I have started a series of homeschool hacks videos so I can share tips I learned from homeschooling my kids. These are all based on our experience and may or may not have the same results as other families. It is my hope to help those who are exploring and/or have just started homeschooling their kids.
Our first episode of homeschool hacks was ran through a Facebook live at around 11 in the evening whilst I wait for the laundry to finish spinning. I discussed some tips on how you can save on paper and printed ink. These tips are applicable not only to those who are homeschooling but for those who have kids that go to regular schools, and with young children like toddlers and preschoolers.
Tip #1 - Get scratch papers
When we started homeschooling V - meaning we had objectives and lessons planned - he was still a toddler. We weren't using worksheets or books then and would spend most of the time playing, exercising, and painting. Now I'm not an artist or even slightly artistic so when my son asks for an art activity, paints, pencils, and crayons were there to the rescue. He doodled a lot.
To save paper, we asked for scratch papers from friends and families. Some given were used workbooks/training manuals that were ring bound. I prefer to have them ring bound because it's easier to store than loose papers. When you do ask for scratch papers, make sure that these are approved documents for disposal and not confidential ones.
You can also use scratch papers from your own printer specially the ones that were printed on error and for page alignments.
Tip #2 - Buy paper in A4 size
We don't use short or long bond papers at home. We always buy A4 sized papers because it's the most common paper size used by the government for forms and companies for their documents. The paper we buy for our home is used not only for homeschool but for other things like printing out government forms (i.e. SSS)
Tip #3 - Buy paper in reams
Remember the saying, "buy more to save more"? The same concept applies to papers.
It's tempting to just buy a 20pcs bond paper pack because it's cheaper and we, Pinoys, have the tingi mentality. However if you compute the per piece cost of each sheet, you are actually paying more compared to buying the whole ream (500 sheets). One ream of multi-purpose paper is less than 240 pesos; each sheet costs less than 50 centavos.
Best to buy paper with thickness of at least 80gsm. I've come to conclude that this type of paper works best as well for painting using tempera paints and watercolor. Remember that the higher the gsm, the more expensive the paper is.
Tip #4 - Always click save toner/ink
Whichever printer you use at home, it's best to always click the save toner/ink or the fast draft option. Most papers you'd be printing are worksheets and readings that are workable already in a fast draft printout.
Tip #5 - Print in multiples per page
If you have documents to print where texts do not require to be read in detail, print your document in multiples per page. This does not only save you ink, it saves you paper as well.
Tip #6 - Use plastic protective cover
I was not able to include this in the first video but was able to at the beginning of the second episode of homeschool hacks.
If your activity needs to be repeated over and over, like tracing or answering a worksheet, there's no need to print multiple copies.
For example, young kids need to train how to make strokes when writing and they will make a lot of mistakes along the way. So instead of printing dozens of pre-writing worksheets, print just one. And then place it inside a plastic protective cover. Now your child can use a dry erase marker to work on his activity, erase it after and do it all over again.
The thinnest and cheapest protective cover I bought was less than 20 pesos for a 10 or 15 pieces at Anson's Supermarket (2nd floor) along Aurora Boulevard. National Bookstore also sells these and I found 2 - a thin (still thicker than the one at Anson's) brand, and a thick, highly durable brand that costs 2 or 3 times over. I use the durable ones to house homeschool documents in my curriculum planner.
You can watch the first episode here:
Please share in the comments below if you have tried any of these and if you have other tips!