Friday, June 01, 2007

I.D. Cards for Kids

If you homeschool...and your family has a Home School Legal Defense membership, you can make student i.d. cards for your students of any age. You go to the HSLDA members homepage and sign in. Click on "Get Your Membership Cards Here". You will see parent i.d. cards (useful for getting teacher discounts at some stores), followed by a form where you can fill in your children's names and birthdates. Once your children's cards are created, you can print them and cut them out.

Next I cut out a small picture of the child, glue or tape it to the blank space in the center of the card, and then laminate the card with clear contact paper (what you use to line the cupboards in the kitchen). You can even put special information on the back of the card before laminating it, such as your own name and phone number and any special medical needs. Having my children carry these in their wallets gives me a little extra peace of mind, as well as enabling them to get student discounts.

For older children, preparing to take the S.A.T., P.S.A.T., or A.C.T. tests, you can usually get a state-issued i.d. card wherever driver's licenses are issued. In my experience these have been available for ages 14 and older. The cost varies widely by state. In our previous state, I think it was about ten dollars. Here, I think it is closer to $50.

When your child gets a state-issued i.d. - as with getting a driver's permit or license - he will probably need one or two pieces of mail to prove his residence (as well as probably needing a birth certificate). For one of the pieces of mail, if you've moved to a new state or for any other reason he doesn't have a library card, you can have him apply for a library card and ask the library staff to mail it to him rather than hand it to him.

Note added a bit later: I just updated my kids' cards and want to give you a few pointers in case you try to make these yourself the way I suggested, using the HSLDA i.d. card. After printing out the card, I cut it down as trim as I could get it without cutting any of the print. I then used my photo software to make a picture that's 0.8 inches tall, and printed it "actual size". I rolled a small piece of tape to attach it to the center of the card. Then I cut a 3 x 5 index card to fit the back of the i.d. card, wrote parental phone numbers and medical information on it, and attached it with rolled tape. Next came the clear contact paper on each side. Be sure there is a little plastic (contact paper) overlapping the card or else it won't be sealed. I allow plenty of contact paper and then carefully cut it down after it's all put together. If you'd like to do this, I hope it works well for you and you're as happy with it as I am.

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