Five Days of Preparing For Your New Homeschool Year Day 4: Print Ahead

This is one of my favorite parts of preparing for a new homeschool year. Really. Yes, it is time consuming. Yes, it sure has a price tag on it. The time I save during the school year makes every penny and second worth it! Today we are going to delve into the positives and negatives of printing ahead, and then hopefully I will win you over to my side and we can print together.

Five Days of Preparing For Your New Homeschool Year Day 4: Print Ahead


Cons of Printing Ahead

  • You will need to plan to spend a few dollars. Paper can be purchased pretty economically, but depending on your printer, you could need a good chunk of change. I spend about $80.00-$100.00 when I print ahead.
  • Time investment will be at least one day. Some moms may not have any kind of support system in place to give them a free day to do this. A day of printing may turn into several for you.
  • What if you change your mind? This is probably the biggest possible con. If you use all of that precious paper and ink only to change your mind and switch curriculum, you will definitely feel it! If you are using something new, or just aren’t sure, try printing a semester or grading period in advance to get started. This way, you will have less “scrap paper” if the dreaded switch is needed.

Pros of Printing Ahead

  • The cost will be out of the way for the bulk of printing. This may seem silly, but I like knowing that I will have very little printing to do the rest of the school year and that the investment for this portion of our homeschool is out of the way.
  • Less time in preparation each week. How much time do you spend in lesson planning and printing each week? I used to easily spend 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon, and that was before I was working away from home each day. I don’t have that kind of time! With my marathon of planning and printing at the beginning, the framework of our homeschool is set, and I only have to record what was actually done that day. It is a huge time saver for me, and makes that part of being a homeschool mom a whole less stressful!
  • You will benefit from the peace of mind that planning ahead gives. You have a plan. Your plan can be altered. Make sure that your husband has a hand in your planning as well; you never know when sickness, injury, or life change will make it necessary for him, or another family member, to step in for a time. If nothing like this happens in your life, you will still benefit from being well-prepared for the year. No worrying about how many days you’ve completed, if you will have enough time to finish the year, and the obvious “I hope there is enough paper and ink for this week of lessons”.

Have you been converted yet? I know it is a lot of work, but being prepared and organized are things you will never regret. These are just two ways that keep our homeschool a bit more sane. Trust me, I need all of the sanity I can muster!


Five Days of Preparing For Your New Homeschool Year Day 4: Print Ahead

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    I started doing this a few years ago when I noticed a super organized friend did it. And I have done it every year since and has saved me time, energy and it gives me peace of mind. We are classical with a CM twist so I do not believe in busy work. Since Tristan asked “What do you print?” here is my list- Mystery of History (MOH) Maps, Timeline pieces for our century book, Ready Readers (ebook) and all my preschool ABC/123 stuff as well as their Before Five in a Row coloring sheets. I also make all of my copies ahead of time so I will copy all of our Saxon math tests & timed tests & Living Memory Grammar Recitation. I will have them neatly filed and ready for August 19th so I need to get off the computer and get working! :)
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  4. says

    I do not generally print everything ahead, but we do not have much printing in a year with the focus on living books. I’m curious to know what you print?

    This year we DO have some printing to do for our geography and map work notebooks so I am going to print those before the school year begins (thanks for the reminder!). I need to find an afternoon to print and another afternoon to bind notebooks.

    Do you do copywork with your children? I’m torn between printing ahead copywork selections (using Startwrite) or simply having the children write theirs in composition books (which is what they have done all summer). We usually copy poems, hymns, or passages from books they are reading that they love. We do not use a specific handwriting program like A Reason for Handwriting so there are no handy workbooks ready to go. Decisions, decisions!

    I’m enjoying your series a lot!
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    • says

      I print the coloring sheets for MOH, as well as the weekly questions and quizzes. There are also pages I print out for Apologia, as my children seem to retain more when they draw/take notes during the lesson. I have notebooks for copywork as well.