Starting a nonprofit homeschool group correctly! Dollars and Sense Show # 5


In this episode of the  Dollars and Sense Show host Carol Topp discusses

Starting a nonprofit homeschool group correctly

In this episode,  Carol  discusses how to start a nonprofit homeschool group. She shares her knowledge as the Homeschool CPA on important steps to take when organizing a group such as having a board and a clear mission. She’ll also share tips on how to legally operate your homeschool group.

Listen to the show here

Three steps to launching (or running) a successful homeschool organization:

1. Board: Chose a group of leaders so no one carries the burden of leading alone.

2. Bylaws: Write up bylaws to structure your group. Decide the Who, What, Where, How often and How much issues. In the bylaws mention its purpose (what), its members (who) and its leaders. The Where, how often and how much change frequently and do not belong in the bylaws.

Sample bylaws here

3. Budget: Planning with numbers. Estimate your income and your expenses. Plan a small surplus for emergencies.

Cover Money Mgmt HS Org

Carol’s new book, Money Management in a Homeschool Organization will help your treasurer create a budget and stick to it!


On the show Carol mentioned:

Tune in for the next Dollars and Sense show on December 19, 2013 when Carol will discuss tax exemption and how to get it for your homeschool group.


Unplug the Christmas Machine. Dollars and Sense Show # 4


In this episode of the  Dollars and Sense Show host Carol Topp’s topic is:

Unplug the Christmas Machine

About 20 years ago, Carol read a book Unplug the Christmas Machine by Jo Robinson and Jean Staeheli that transformed the way she and her family celebrated Christmas. She shares her plan for having a less stressful, more joyful, debt-free Christmas.

Listen to the show here

On the show Carol mentioned the four things children really want for Christmas:

Time with parents and the family

  • Kids spell love T-I-M-E.
  • Consider what you really enjoy about the Christmas season. What traditions, activities or occasions were particularly pleasurable to you? What brings you peace and joy?
  • Encourage time-related activities instead of stuff-giving.
  • Have a plan for Christmas day and the day after to ward off boredom.

Reliable traditions

  • Traditions can be simple such as the same decorations on the tree year after year, visiting a local nativity, watching the movie A Christmas Story, or doing a puzzle and drinking hot chocolate.
  • Consider asking your children to donate a nearly-new toy that they rarely play with to a homeless shelter or Toys for Tots campaign.

Realistic expectations about gifts

  • Talk to your children and spouse about realistic expectations and the real reason for the season.
  • Ask your children for ideas on how to make Christmas more Christ-centered. They may surprise you!
  • Teach your children to recognize advertising slogans that emphasize spending, consumerism and a false sense of perfection for the holidays.
  • Consider buying only for children and not adults.
  • Consider buying one gift for an entire family
  • Pay for gifts in cash. Studies have shown that we spend up to 20% more when we use debit or credit cards instead of cash.
  • Talk to your children about proper behavior before you enter a store. Explain that you are shopping for someone else (not them) or for necessities, not toys.

An even pace to the holiday season

  • Don’t start Christmas too early. Wait until after Thanksgiving or later to start activities.
  • Put aside count-down calendars or “letters to Santa” wish lists if they promote greed and over-emphasize the gift-aspect of the holiday.
  • Save some activities for the post-Christmas let-down such as playing games, baking cookies, watching a movie.
  • If your children receive an overabundance of toys (from grandparents or relatives), hide some away and pull them out in February or even as late as the summer.
  • Consider with holding some gifts until Epiphany (the 12th day after Christmas) which is traditionally when the Wise Men arrived with their gifts for the baby Jesus.

Four Things Children Really Want for Christmas handout. Feel free to share!

Carol also mentioned her plan for a debt-free Christmas

Carol Topp’s Plan for a Debt-Free Christmas (click to download) mini-ebook. Feel free to share!

In this 7 page mini ebook Carol includes a budget for the holidays, tips, a funny poem and a recipe that eliminates holiday baking.


Tune in for the next Dollars and Sense show on December 5, 2013 when Carol will discuss “Have you ever thought about starting a homeschool organization?”



Dollars and Sense Show # 3: What a business plan can do for your micro business


In this episode of the  Dollars and Sense Show host Carol Topp discusses

What a business plan can do for your micro business

Based on her book Starting a Micro Business, Carol explains what a business plan for micro business can do for you and why a it is guaranteed to bring you success!

Listen to the show here

Show Notes:

Creating a Business Plan


The product or service

How to measure success


Potential customers

The competition

How you will stand out

Financial Plan

Cost to start

Price to customers

On the show Carol mentioned a YouTube video based on her book, Starting a Micro Business.

and her Pinterest page with lots of micro business ideas

Here’s a free e-booklet on creating a business plan for a micro business. This is a 24 page extract from Carol’s Micro Business for Teens books


Tune in for the next Dollars and Sense show on November 21, 2013 when Carol will discuss Unplugging the Christmas Machine.


Coming soon: a homeschool radio network (podcasts galore)!

A great bunch of homeschool speakers are lined up to offer radio shows that you can listen to live or download as a podcast.

I’m one of the show hosts! My show will air every other Thursday at 1:00 pm ET and be called the Dollars and Sense Show with Carol Topp. It will focus on a topic of interest to everyone-money!


Upcoming Show Schedule

October 10, 2013 Micro Business for Teens: What is a micro business and why is it such a great idea?
October 24, 2013 Micro Business for Teens: Finding and testing a great idea for your micro business
November 7, 2013 Micro Business for Teens: What a business plan can do for your micro business
November 21, 2013 Unplug the Christmas Machine
December 5, 2013 HomeschoolCPA: Ever thought about starting a homeschool organization?
December 19, 2013 HomeschoolCPA: What is tax exemption and how do I get it?

I’m pretty jazzed about what I have planned for in 2014:

  • How to teach your kids about money, a four show series covering preschool through high school ages.
  • Tax breaks for homeschoolers
  • Five money myths that trip up homeschool moms
  •  Avoiding pitfalls when starting a micro business
  • Easy fundraisers for homeschool groups
  • Career exploration, a four-part series helping teenagers discover a potential career or college major

The website for you to listen live is will launched soon (hopefully by September 19), so until then join the Facebook page to learn more

My show will start Thursday October 10, 2013.

Sign up for my email list (on the home page) to be notified when I have a show dedicated to homeschool leadership!