Let me say first that I am a gadget kinda girl. When I stumble across a problem I usually look for a gadget to help me solve it. So when I ran into the notebook problem with our curriculum, I went shopping for a gadget to help me out.
The notebook problem was this, when I purchase curriculum, I like to find materials that are printable for the sake of expense and I like being able to just print out a fresh copy for the next child. Curriculum like IEW’s Fix-It Grammar allows you to buy the teacher book and download the entire student workbook as a freebie. I am all over a discount like that, but putting these in three ring binders really took a lot space on our bookshelves and made my wallet much lighter.
I found and bought the pro click and purchased a pack of combs (spines) to use with it. ($55 punch + $9 combs) If you don’t know what a pro click is, it is a hole punch system that creates the holes necessary for a spiral notebook or for use with their pro click binding combs. In my opinion, these are really easy to use.
You align your pages (6 sheets of paper or 1 sheet of cover stock) and slide the punch across the length of the pages to punch the holes.
If you lay the comb out flat, punch your back pages first and simply lay them on the comb to the right side. Because the comb is open, you punch the back half of the book back to front. When the right side of the comb is full, you punch the front half, front to back and align them on the left side of the comb.
When all the pages are place close the comb either by hand or with the tool they provide in each comb pack. If you need to add pages you can open it back up with the same tool. Then you have a smaller more compact notebook that takes up way less space on a bookshelf or a in a backpack if we have to school on the go.
One of the neat things about this system is that you can customize it so easily. You can punch tab dividers, card stock with a custom design you’ve printed, scrapbook paper, etc. You can be creative, add the kids’ names to the cover. You can also just put a blank piece of heavy card stock as the cover and let the kids design their own with markers or crayons.
I think the best thing about the system has got to be that it is small. It is not much bigger than a regular hole punch.
Let’s do the math. $55 + $9 for 25 half inch combs. $64 (plus tax) divided by 25 equals $2.56 per notebook (plus tax). Now let me add that you can reuse these combs at least twice before they start to show wear. $2.56 divided by 3 uses equals $0.85 per notebook. I don’t think you can beat that anywhere unless you have an AWESOME sale.
Another great thing is you don’t have to worry about shopping for binders anymore, no more sales to catch, or stressing over binder inventory or how big to buy them or where to store them. Simply print out a half inch (85 pages) worth of the workbook and make it “Part 1”. Print the rest in 85 page batches and make them “Part 2” or “Part 3”, if you have to. You could just print what you need for this term, then over the holidays, print the next term’s materials. There are lots of ways to do that if you don’t want to buy the larger combs.
NOTE: You CAN buy larger combs, I just like to take the least amount of space on the bookshelf and spend the least $$ possible. Also I didn’t add in the cost of paper above because it is assumed you were printing them out anyway to put in binders.
If you have the same “problem” I do, from printing out your own notebooks, this is a good way to save room on your bookshelf and spend less from your wallet.
I hope this blesses your homeschool, too!