With all this talk about Bundle sales, you may be wondering whether getting a bunch of ebooks or MP3s is worth it, even if you do get them at a huge discount. I’ve been homeschooling for 10 years during which time I have acquired LOTS of digital curriculum — ebooks and MP3s. Do we use them? How do I organize it all? Read on to see 8 ways we use digital curriculum in our homeschool!
Get a 3-Ring Binder to Keep Track of What You Have
Simply make a list of what you have. You can then divide it up by subject or grade level or child or however it is more useful for you. Use divider tabs to do this. Maybe you’ll want to make a copy of the first couple of pages of each ebook so you can remember what’s in it. That way when you’re making plans for your homeschool year, you can choose what’s best for each child.
Have a store print and bind some of them
If there is a specific curriculum you’ll be using daily to read from or your kids will be using to write in, it might be best to have a store like Staples or Office Max do the printing and binding for you. They sometimes have coupons, so keep an eye out for them.
However, my FAVORITE way to print digital curriculum in our homeschool is through HomeschoolPrintingCompany.com. When you place your order, tell them I (Gena Mayo) referred you! Hopefully, they are still giving a 10% discount for you! (Read more about the Homeschool Printing Company here.)
Buy a bookbinder and do it yourself
Bookbinders are handy DIY machines that cut the holes in the pages and then insert a plastic coil to keep it nicely together. You can save a lot of money doing it yourself!
Organize by folders on your computer
I have separate folders for different subjects and that has been helpful for me to find what I’m looking for. Some of my folders are Homemaking, Lapbooks, Preschool, Christian, Music, and Math. When you download an ebook or MP3, immediately store it in the correct folder and rename with a searchable name. That way it will be easily found later.
If they offer an e-reader version, get it!
You can then easily put them in your Kindle app (I use it on my iPad) and read them on an e-reader rather than printing or reading on your computer. You might even want to get a less expensive e-reader (like a Kindle or Nook) for your kids to use. I also use it for read-alouds during our couch/circle time.
Search for reviews of the specific curriculum
Find other homeschool families who have used the curriculum you have and get great ideas of how to use it for your own family.
Laminate after printing so it will last longer
Our laminator has saved me a ton of money– both because I don’t have a store laminate it and also because the items last longer! There are several types of ebook curricula that will be best used if laminated: preschool manipulatives, flash-cards, and games just to name a few.
Back up all your files with Carbonite (or other cloud-based storage)
I am currently going through my 3rd round of restoring files that were backed up by Carbonite because something happened to our computer.
What I love about Carbonite is that you set it up to automatically back-up your files, like documents, ebooks, and photos. They are backed up online to their server. So, if anything ever happens to your computer or hard drive (corrupts, stolen, fire, etc.), you’ll still have everything. LOVE IT! Here is my Carbonite referral link. (You and I can both earn a $20 gift card!)
What do you love about digital curriculum in your homeschool? Do you have any other tips to add?
- The Most Important and Useful Thing You Can Do To Prepare for Your Homeschool Year
- Get Organized with the Ultimate Homeschool Organization eCourse.
- 2015-2016 Curriculum Choices for Grades Pre-K through High School
- Step-But-Step Guide to Planning Next Year’s Homeschool
(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)