What do I do with these Digital Resources?

The more I shop for books, the more digital resources I find.

I like books. I like old books.My goofy kids seem to prefer printed material (isn’t this new generation supposed to love the digital formats? mine didn’t get the memo)  While we do literature on kindle when it is free- my kiddos FAR prefer printed material. So how to make it accessible and organized!?!

I have a lot of books to organize.I am also thrifty. I don’t want a lot of cost in printing and storing…and I also want to be able to sell the books I am finished with to another family- for their benefit and mine. What to do about homeschool digital resources….

Well here are some solutions I’ve found:

3-ring binders! I’ve come to the conclusion that not all 3-ring binders are equal. I ONLY collect the ones with a plastic pocket on the front and spine. Sure I’ve written on them in sharpie too but in the end It becomes obsolete and I end up tossing a perfectly usable item. I have copy paper boxes full of empty three ring binders I’ve been collecting:

  • Collect them from family members and office folks. Lots of times offices will be getting rid of them. Pick out the ones with plastic pockets and keep them. I keep them in all sizes.
  • garage sales- I’m not sure who would be getting rid of these (lol) but I buy them!
  • back -to -school sales. This is my last resort but sometimes they are reasonably priced in August.
  • thrift shops. I always go by that shelf.

I print digital resources and put them in 3-ring binders. Sometimes by subject, sometimes each individual book. I print a cover and a spine!!

I like the little 1/4 inch ones. Many of my digital books will fit in them, take up less space and be a nice hard cover book.

I like the thicker ones for multiple resources- we have one titled CIVICS and one titled ECONOMICS.

Report Binders! I started collecting these awhile ago too, but it had more to do with 4H projects and scholarship applications. But you know what? many digital resource print-outs fit in them AND I can sharpie a title on the spine. I also use these to organize things like “Alternatives to Book Reports”- print outs from blogs and Pins!

I’ve picked up quite a few of these at garage sales too, but if you watch you can pick these up very reasonably in August back-to-school sales. Specifically for me I’ve found them at Menards (yes the lumberyard! they were .33 a three pack. I bought a box full!), Walgreens, and Dollar Tree.

comb binding machine Okay I’m still on the hunt for one of these. I’ve priced them and I can buy a LOT of 3-ring binders for what it costs to buy one of these babies, but I’m still looking for one! If you have access to one. I’d use it. I’ve heard it suggested too that you, as a homeschooler, can have access (in most cases) to your area education agency. ( or is that just an Iowa thing?? not sure. check!) You can also have things bound at your local print center. For now I’m using 3-ring binders and report covers 😉 LMK if you have  a comb-binding machine to sell really cheap LOL

Save for later! I follow http://www.homeschoolfreebieoftheday.com and have for years. I’ve just ‘found’ all kinds of files I’ve saved before I ever knew I needed them. It has been exciting to find just what I needed in my own computer files! FREE!!! I make folders in subject areas and save to computer and external hard drive.

Digital media readers If you have phones, ipods and tablets available and your kids enjoy using them- load them full of digital resources.

Spreadsheets I read of a mom that keeps youtube videos and channels on a spreadsheet for easy access. I don’t have any experience with this yet, but I think it sounds like a very promising idea!

Folders? Another thrifty idea I’ve used, but since abandoned is pocket folders with the 3 hole punch clips (I’m sure there is a real name for these anyone?) I used to use these in a color code system- orange was art, blue was social studies…. in the end it was a lot of sifting through to see what I had. The three-ring binders made real books that fit nicely on my shelves and had a readable spine. But the folders have enough merit to share the idea- after all in August you can but them for about less than $ .10 each! 😉

PRINTING SUGGESTIONS– in the end, my kids prefer printed copies. So, I weigh the cost of printing when i purchase digital resources, but I print them! In this way, I also believe that if I have printed ONCE, used it and am done with it, I am perfectly legal in selling this at rock bottom garage sale prices to another family same as any other book.

  • I print front and back to save paper
  • I print in ‘draft’ quality to save ink. I haven’t found that it is any less readable than a higher quality print. I’m very happy with it and continue to print almost everything that way. color too.
  • look through the digital file before printing. If it contains 4 pages of full color advertisements at the end- print pages x-y and don’t print the advertising pages (yes I’m talking you you currclick!) I do suggest printing the cover- in all of it’s color. It makes a nice cover on your three-ring binder or report binder

Please let me know how you manage your digital resources!

Some of my favorite digital resource sites:




http://www.buildyourbundle.net (seasonal)


also…kindle and gutenberg.org