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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How We Homeschool: Ink (Blogging Through the Alphabet)

Welcome back for I week! I thought I'd share how we handle ink (printing) and binding.

Homeschoolers go through a lot of ink! Even before we started homeschooling I owned two printers, an inkjet and a laser. I am really glad for that now! There are many good printers out there, and though I've owned HP and Epson I'd pick an HP any day, laser or inkjet.

We use a black and white laser printer for most of our printing needs. Toner is less expensive than ink. In the past I have purchased remanufactured toner cartridges, but I found that I wasn't getting as nice of prints with them... they looked washed out. So I've stuck with HP cartridges, and I watch for sales so I can keep an extra one on hand.

I also use a color inkjet for the papers we print that really need color. I chose a printer that has pigment black ink. This won't smear when written on with a highlighter... one of my biggest pet peeves with ink! Ink can get very expensive, but there are other options. HP offers an ink subscription service, and sites like Ink Owl sell cartridges with ink that you can refill yourself. You can purchase a Continuous Ink Supply System for many inkjets too.

One of my printers has a scanner. I scan to a memory card if I want to reprint on the other printer. Both of my printers have a duplexer, printing on both sides without messing with the paper is important to me! Right now we own two wireless printers and this has been such a useful feature. My kids can print from the laptops rather than saving a file and opening it on the desktop to print.

After all of that printing, we often need to bind pages together. I own a ProClick hole punch. This punch doesn't take up much room and punches 3:1 holes for coil binding. The standard coil binding size is 4:1 (how many holes per inch) so it does need special coils, but I have purchased from If you do want a ProClick, watch your Office Depot receipts. Sometimes you'll get a survey on them and completing it gives a coupon code. I was able to get my punch for about $40. You can buy ProClick spines that easily open to insert new pages, but I find they don't turn pages well. It's easy to bend a coil's end and twist it out to add pages though! (There is a special tool for cutting and crimping coils, though not everyone thinks it is necessary)

We have a laminator too, and sometimes I get carried away with laminating and binding. Grown-up toys can be a lot of fun!

Hopkins Homeschool


  1. interesting indeed. :)

    I was surprised when I saw your title and thought...what can a person say about ink... I came away feeling more educated. :)

  2. I also use a lot if ink. I signed up for Hp Instant Ink which has helped me since getting our Hp printer.

  3. We use a lot of ink too. I love our laminator. I agree grown up toys can be fun.

  4. We need to get a new printer soon, so this was helpful.

  5. I really wish we had kept our old colored ink jet for those times we really do need to print in color but we just LOVE how many prints we can get for such a cheaper price with a toner cartridge.

  6. I love Mom toys like printers and laminators! I wish we had been able to get a laser printer when our girls were little, but I think I'll go that route next time we need one. Everyone here like stop use our laminator. :)

  7. My husband was horrified at how fast we ran out of ink when we first began homeschooling. Now I think he is mostly used to it. Nice post!