DIY Homeschool: 5 Gadgets I Can’t Live Without

by Ivory Soap on 08/23/2012

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#1 Duplexing Laser Printer

The first product I ever bought for my homeschool was recommended by the lady who pioneered Hillbilly Housewife.  For her homeschool, Old Fashioned Education, she printed free books and bound them herself.  If the queen of frugality said I needed this product, then I was inclined to believe her.  Laser printing doesn’t smear with the kids drip cereal milk on it, and the duplexing capability means saving paper without that “turn and flip” two sided printing that always confuses me.  Additionally, for large amounts of black and white printing, toner beats the heck out of inkjet on price.   (Click on the pick to check out the specs on Amazon.)  If I only had one gadget for homeschool….this would be it.

#2:  All-in-One Scanner, Copier, Printer

The ability to scan or copy charts is AWESOME.  It makes everything reusable.  Mine, you can plug your camera card into and do all your scanning without running back and forth to your computer.  Additionally, this type of printers is easier on card stock.  I use a lot of card stock!  I only print in color for permanent manipulatives.  Otherwise, I use the laser printer.

#3  Paper Trimmer

If you use art cards or meeting strips or print your own flashcards, you will wear this out!  I burn through a blade on this thing every few months during the school year.

#4:  Laminator

Again, if you’re addicted to manipulatives like me, this saves lots of time over contact paper.  I don’t think it’s cheaper, though.  The device itself is only $30, but you pay $15 at Walmart for every pack of 50 – 8×11″ sheets.  Contact paper runs about 2.81/two-sided square foot.  The laminator sleeves are 2.16/two-sided square foot.  but, you’d have to go through 45 rolls of contact paper to overcome the cost of the laminator itself.  I totally have gone through that much, I’m sure.  So, like I said.  If you laminate A LOT, this is awesome.

#5 Proclick Binding system

I HEART my Proclick, but it’s a total toy. I make notebooks all the time and feel that binders are cumbersome and less finished looking than a custom spiral notebook.  I make each child a weekly notebook.  I have a weekly school notebook.  Then we have all the storage notebooks for work and art we need to keep.  I make a LOT of notebooks.

And I’ve already had people ask me on my homeschool site how I open and close them.  Below you can see the spines I buy.  They are reclosable.  they come with a little “zip tool” that makes opening and closing a snap.

Aren’t they PRETTY?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Melanie August 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

Just a note about the laminating, if you live near a Mardel store the have diy laminating for.25 per foot and they have the big laminators.

Ivory Soap August 23, 2012 at 11:25 am

Nice. We don’t have Mardel. What is it?

Jane October 4, 2012 at 7:12 am

Thanks for this post. I will have to look into the Proclick…looks like it would simplify some things for us. Also, our library laminates for cheap and they do the big stuff….tho’ a little flimsy laminate in my opinion. But…there’s nothing like having your own laminator….I love mine. They are not expensive and the laminate quality is great. I laminate for homeschool as well as our ranch business. Oh, and gifts…laminated homemade picture bookmarks for the relatives are always a hit! BTW….I love your site…great ideas!

Ivory Soap October 12, 2012 at 6:55 am

Never thought of the pictures! Hooray for christmas.

Collette Wheeler February 22, 2016 at 12:41 pm

I cannot get my ProClick zip binder to work.

Collette Wheeler February 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm

My Proclick zip tool doesn’t work,

Ivory Soap February 24, 2016 at 7:27 pm

Why not? The opener or the machine?

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