I own the program Startwrite.  I have really enjoyed using it, it has made our penmanship progress nicely this year.  But as Christmas approaches and I try to cut costs where I can to free up funds for gift giving I decided to relook at this aspect of our homeschool day.  I have been going through a printer cartridge a month and the paper to go along with it.  That works out to about $30 a month, calculating the months until Christmas, that equals about $90-$120 just for ink and paper.  Now all of that was not penmanship, some was regular printing needs, and some has been math drill sheets and additional educational printing for school.  So, I have decided to tackle penmanship and math drill sheets first to try to cut that in half which could free up $45-$60 for holiday spending.


For penmanship I bought dry erase lapboards that are penmanship lined on one side.  I bought these at Walmart, they are very sturdy wooden boards and they are made by Expo.  I bought two and each came with a marker.  This was my first step.  Next, I printed on 3×5" cards, using the Startwrite program, each letter of the alphabet.  On one side I printed manuscript, and the other side cursive.  I used my handy dandy comb binding machine and bound the cards together, I made two sets of these.  Now they have a guide for how to write each letter and they can practice forming them on the dry erase boards.  Then I made some cards with each letter of the alphabet in cursive, but joined together, so they would learn how to join their cursive letters.  And on the flip side of those cards I put 3-4 words per card of some bible verses.  Those will also teach them to join the letters into words.  And maybe they will even memorize those verses.


For math drill sheets, I’m still working on them.  I have a couple ideas rolling around in my head.  I can use Calculadder, I have both Masterpak’s.  I can use the reuseable sheet overlay they provide with them to cut costs.  Go to the copy shop and have bulk copies made.  Or copy the sheets I need on cardstock, cover them with contact paper, and cut holes out for the answers.  I could write the answers on the back so they could write the answers in the holes onto a sheet of paper and then flip them over, line up the wholes and check their answers themselves.  I haven’t decided what I will do yet, I’m still thinking about it.


The real trick will be not spending the money I free up on other things, lol!


How are you freeing up money for holiday spending?