When we began homeschooling, I made sure each child had their own workbook and we wrote right on each page. I had no clue about reusing them, reselling them, sharing, or borrowing them. After I joined a homeschool support group (which I highly recommend), some of my homeschool friends shared with me the concept of buy once and use over and over again for each child and even share with friends, not just the books, but the workbooks too. All I could think about then was the funds I had thrown away by not saving the workbooks from my oldest child for my youngest.
Once I had the concept of being able to recycle my workbooks I ran with it. I tried all kinds of things, making copies on my scanner/printer, using transparencies over the top of the pages, you name it. But then I found an app for my iPhone called Scanner Pro that is by far the best way to recycle/reuse. It is awesome for homeschoolers. I can snap a picture of the worksheet page from my phone and then send it to my wireless printer immediately. It is the fastest easiest way to ensure that the workbooks remain in like new condition for the next child and each child can actually write on paper with a regular pencil instead of trying to keep a transparency from slipping and smudging answers with a wet eraser. Not to mention, I no longer have to wrestle with the book on a copier.
There are other apps that provide a similar function, but Scanner Pro is my favorite. This app gives you the ability to select the part of the page you want to print by adjusting each corner independent of the others. The other functionality includes being able to email it to yourself or someone else and even faxing!
Here’s how easy Scanner Pro is to use. Open the app and you will see anything that you have scanned previously and saved. This allows you to click on an item and reprint or resend it. I usually leave these things on my screen until I get the worksheets back from the kids, because sometimes “they lost it.” Then I can just reprint and make them do it again! (They both love and hate Scanner Pro.)
If you need to make a new scan, tap the orange plus sign and the camera opens. Hold it over the worksheet you need to make a copy of and click the white camera button.
The app allows you to select the whole screen or individually adjust each corner to just select the page or part of the page you want. In the below image, I wanted the whole page so I clicked “Select All.” After you select all, the button changes to “Find Borders” in the event you don’t like what it selected and you want to go back and set the corners manually. Once you tap on “Save Selection” you have the opportunity to add another page by taking another picture.
If you are done adding pages (I only had one), you tap the blue box with the number in it. The number is how many pictures/pages you have. The app then shows you the converted pages.
If you need to add more pages, you can tap the “Add+” button. Swipe through all the pages to see if you need any edits. If you need to, tap “Edit” and you can adjust the borders, brightness, etc. If you are ready to print or send, tap the “Share” button in the middle bottom of the screen. You will see the “Share As:” page open. Just click print and the print screen opens. If you don’t have a wireless printer, you can email it to yourself and open and print from your computer.
As you can see there are lots of options. You can save it to your photos, email, fax, print, etc. You can add or subtract shown options by clicking the more button and choosing which options appear when you tap “Share.”
Another availability is adding a workflow. A workflow is similar to a macro in that it is a series of steps you set up that are repetitive. I use it to save records to my dropbox, because it allows me to map the folder I want it added to, instead of having to go through and select a subfolder of a subfolder every time.
Scanner Pro makes record keeping easy, also. I set up a gmail account for each child and added subfolders for each year/subject. It looks like the below.
You get the idea. Then I setup rules in each email account for emails to be added to a particular subfolder based on the subject line. I snap a picture of my daughter’s history midterm. Then I email it to her account with the subject line 6H. The rule finds “6H” and stores the email in her 6th grade history folder. If I send the subject line 6C it goes to 6th grade composition. I tried to make it easy on myself by setting up a code instead of typing out the entire folder name, because I am not a great speller on my iPhone.
With Scanner Pro, I don’t have to keep all those paper copies, I can keep even more records than I used to, I don’t have to use transparencies or wrestle a book onto a copier, AND I really do have LIKE NEW workbooks to resell! I highly recommend Scanner Pro as a homeschool tool and I promise, I have not been paid to tell you that. I hope you find this tip useful and I pray it makes your homeschool life a little easier and more blessed.
All the best and God Bless!