Homeschool Creations

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Using Page Protectors to Reuse Workbooks

Let it be known that I am cheap and looking for a bargain.

This idea has been floating around with homeschool moms for years, but it is one that bears repeating in case you haven’t caught it yet.

Page protectors are a lovely asset to homeschooling and being able to reuse workbooks.
Recently we started using Language Smarts C from Critical Thinking and although you can copy the workbook, it is in full color. It would probably be cheaper for me to buy another workbook rather than photocopy each page.

The solution? I had the binding cut off the book {around $3 at Staples}, hole punched the pages and now have it nicely stored in a 3 ring binder.


When one of the girls needs to complete one of the pages, I can pull the pages out of the binder and slide them into a page protector.


 They use a dry erase marker to complete the worksheet, I check it, and then they can wipe the sheet clean. The worksheet then is put back in the binder to use later {and yes, I did help McKenna correct the good/well mistake below…}.


Just wanted to share a little something that has been a big help in our homeschool time!



  • Loving this idea! thanks!

    By Blogger Jenilee, At April 7, 2010 at 11:46 AM  

  • How do you document the work if you don't have the worksheets? That has been my hang up about doing this....

    By Blogger K-tribe, At April 7, 2010 at 11:59 AM  

  • I already tweeted back at you, but I will add this: If you cut off the edge of the page protector, where the binding/holes are, you can just slide it over the page right in the notebook (or even in the workbook itself) without needing to take the page out.
    Another option is to just buy a box of 200 at Costco for $9 and put the whole workbook in page protectors. That's what I did for my kids. They all loved "The Grey Book"-- a grey 3-ring notebook that had a whole 150 page Frank Shaffer phonics practice workbook in it, and "The Green Book", which had a counting to 100 practice workbook in it. To this I also added all of Donna Young's early handwriting worksheets. That's what they used for kindergarten 'busy work' when I needed to work with an older child. :)

    By Anonymous Dawn, At April 7, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

  • We thought of using this idea when we first bought workbooks for the girls. Unfortunately, a major con was the documentation. I do a portfolio to show all their past works and we didn't know how to use the page protector option with the portfolio option. I was thinking of just taking pictures (which I do anyway) but that would also cost more money than I am willing to spend on documenting.

    Do you document any of your children's workbook exercises? And if you do, how?

    By Blogger Luna, At April 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM  

  • I write down that what pages we do in my planner, but as long as I'm checking it I'm fine with it. We can't document every little thing we do in our school time ~ most of that comes out in our end of the year testing. :)

    We live in a state where I can either do a portfolio or standardized testing ~ and we chose the testing option for now.

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At April 7, 2010 at 12:59 PM  

  • What a great idea!!

    By Blogger Twisted Cinderella, At April 7, 2010 at 1:07 PM  

  • We do this too!!! Such a great idea!

    By Blogger jackie, At April 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger jackie, At April 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

  • I don't think documentation means saving every peice of work that they do in their portfolio. We just save some here and there, and when we do this method, I put the entire page, with the protector on my flatbed and scan & print it if its one to save. What we do keep, is their grades. I use the free downloaded version of homeschool tracker. It asks how many points possible, and how many they got right and figures the grade. You also fill in the date, subject, page number...I think that is enough documentation without having to save every single worksheet. Plus, some learning isn't by worksheet, but by video, hands on, field trips..which you can't save-but in homeschool tracker or a planner book you can document that as well as the amount of time spent per subject per day.

    By Blogger April, At April 7, 2010 at 1:53 PM  

  • April ~

    That is a GREAT idea ~ and you are right. SO much of what we do during a day really can't be documented. :)

    We have a scanner and that {never} occurred to me. Are you all able to turn in cd-roms along with your documentation too? That would seem to make more sense {and be way less wasteful also}.

    I would think the school system would be open to things that were more 'environmentally friendly.' :)

    By Blogger Jolanthe, At April 7, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

  • Hey Thanks everybody!!! :) I have our first review coming up so I am a little document crazy right now! :) I like the scanning idea, and writing it down in the planner. You are right I can't write everything down they learn all day! :)

    By Blogger K-tribe, At April 7, 2010 at 3:04 PM  

  • We've just started doing this ourselves. So much cheaper and easier than making copies!

    By Blogger Loving Our Homeschool, At April 7, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

  • What type of page protectors do you use? I've tried this with some cheap ones and my kids don't really like it. So, I'd love to know what you use.

    By Blogger Ticia, At April 7, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

  • Funny I was pulling apart a Math-U-See book and putting it in a binder while I was catching up on some blogs when I read this. I just can image spending $30 on a workbook and then once its done its done. This way i can save it for future children :) Great idea thanks for sharing!

    By Blogger Waterdreamer, At April 7, 2010 at 8:00 PM  

  • I love this! This would be great for the pre-writing worksheets that I don't want to laminate! Your so smart! : )

    By Blogger Cindy, At April 7, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

  • I really have a hard time getting outside the mindset that I have to save e.v.e.r.y.thing. I am just now getting to the point where I can throw things away. S . . l. . . o. . . w. . .l. . . y . . . but surely, I'll get there. But, I LOVE this idea! (especially for expensive workbooks)

    By Blogger Michelle, At April 8, 2010 at 12:55 AM  

  • I love the worksheet extenders that I bought from (there are 4 in a set). They're sturdier than page protectors, and we use them in workbooks--they easily slide over the page so that you don't have to take the book apart. We've been using them the past 4 years. This idea, whichever kind you use, is definitely a life-saver when you're on a tight budget!

    By Blogger Debbie, At April 8, 2010 at 4:30 AM  

  • Wow, I am new to homeschooling and this idea is just a great one. I will be buying some page protectors SOON. My girls are only 17 months apart so as soon as I am done with a workbook the next one needs it. Thanks for sharing again. :)

    By Blogger ThroughAMothersEye, At April 8, 2010 at 8:14 AM  

  • We use this method too. Some additional ideas: I purchased the Avery Quick-Load that are split down the inside seam and much easier for the kids to load/unload themselves (or can be slid around a book that is still bound). Or as Dawn said you can cut them yourself. Plus, this might go without needing to be said, but use the WASHABLE dry erase markers!

    By Anonymous Stacey, At April 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM  

  • love this idea and love that it is frugal!

    By Blogger cooperkelly4, At April 8, 2010 at 9:54 AM  

  • I use this idea for pre-handwriting worksheets, then have the kids do tracing with a vivid dry erase marker. The kids usually enjoy the change from pencils to markers. It is great for multiple uses. One of your comments asked what kind of protectors. They have to be glossy, not matte finish. I get a big box at Sam's club.

    By Blogger Jennifer Miller, At April 8, 2010 at 11:38 AM  

  • what a great idea! thanks!

    By Blogger misadventures in homeschooling, At April 8, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

  • Perfect timing for me! My orders for our second year of homeschool workbooks are just rolling in this week! I am so excited about this cost effective post! Do all Staples offer this service? Thanks!

    By Blogger Samantha, At April 8, 2010 at 5:22 PM  

  • Thank you thank you thank you. I love this idea.

    By Blogger Nance, At April 9, 2010 at 12:35 AM  

  • Oh thank you!!
    What a great idea and timely too. I'm having that issue right now preparing for our 2nd grade work. I don't want to write in the books like we've been doing because I feel bad about not being able to share with someone else starting homeschooling but by the time I take the valuable time to scan and then the resources of paper and ink for the printer it would be so much easier to just use the book as is. This solves it all.......I'm sending my Leprechaun over to spread a bit of good luck upon your home!!

    By Blogger Dawn, At July 31, 2010 at 2:22 PM  

  • I love all of the ideas sprouting from this, thank you all so much.
    I hope you don't mind but I linked this post to my blog so I'll be sending anyone following my blog over here to see this great idea.

    By Blogger Dawn, At July 31, 2010 at 3:03 PM  

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