One of the most common questions we receive is, "how do you recommend I approach printing?" We're here to help with all of our favorite solutions all in one place!
Let's begin with equipment. A good color-capable printer will go a long way in the homeschool world, so if you're in a place to invest in a printer, check some of our favorite options on our "Printing, Binding, and Cutting" list in our Amazon Storefront. For more discussion on favorite printers and their pros and cons, be sure to join our Facebook chat group to hear what many families all over the world choose in terms of printing!
When choosing what to print, we recommend choosing either the "by subject" folder or the "by week" folder and choosing the pages you'd like hard copies of from these documents. Note that if you select the weekly file option, you'll need to look through and print from the character kit and supplement files separately.
We have found that the simplest way to select and print certain pages is to use adobe pdf reader (download free here), view the document as thumbnails, and select only the pages you'd like in print. For multiple children, you may choose to print multiple copies. This is a simple way to omit pages that may be for formatting purposes or that you'd like to read digitally but not print.
A note on how to choose which pages to print based on learning level:
Part of the beauty of Harbor + Sprout is that it provides the gentle structure you need with the freedom to make choices based on your child's needs and interests. With our multi-level, family-style learning system, we have tried to make most pages applicable to most learning levels, simply encouraging different uses for each lesson and sometimes the pages themselves. However, you will find very few pages that are specifically meant for just one learning level; at most, you will find different options on activities such as writing pages that you are free to choose from. One child of any level may find that answering with pictures is more natural, whereas another may find writing lines only a better fit. We encourage you to utilize your own discernment to select the pages which will best fit the way you will be completing your lessons. Viewing each subject just once at the beginning of each unit journey will be plenty to decipher what you may or may not need as you tailor the curriculum to your child's needs.
We believe that there is value and dimension to be found in all types of learning activities, even time spent chatting over a coloring page with a child who may be considered "too old" for such things. If, as you scan through documents and lessons, you find yourself wondering whether or not to print a certain page or activity, simply ask yourself whether your child would enjoy the page or activity or if it's an activity you'd like to do and proceed accordingly. Take your schooling out of the box and enjoy tailoring it to your own family. Follow the unexpected trails and enjoy the journey!
Next, let's explore some options you have if you do not own a printer.
Firstly, you can take your files to any local print shop and purchase prints. This option may give you less flexibility in regards to which pages to print, but we've got you covered. If you ask for the entire "unit for printing" file to be printed front to back, you'll receive every page. In addition, you may choose to order an extra consumables file for a sibling copy (print single sided), or purchase the loose parts file on heavyweight card stock (again, single sided).
Another option is to use your curriculum digitally! We have found a few favorite applications that you can use with your pdf's that will allow your children to "write" directly on the pages using a stylus, finger, or other writing tools. If you'd like to try using your curriculum in a digital format, you may search the following in your device's respective app store to download:
- PDF Expert
These are only a few of many options available for digital pdf annotation.
A few other printing companies we love that you may find success printing with:
Stay tuned... next we'll be talking about some of our curriculum organization must-haves! We are here to help you succeed and make the most of every one of your Harbor + Sprout unit studies!
xo, the Harbor + Sprout Team