Mom-Schooling Encouragement!

(Guest post by Amanda Osenga)

Let’s talk about Mom School.

We often hear moms saying they don’t have the time. Moms are busy. We get that! Which is why we think Mom School is especially important. It’s an opportunity for you to feed your mind, set an example for your kids, and unwind.

Consider this- even one page per day is enough for you to fill multiple Mom School journals in a year. Stop scrolling- you have time for one page a day. Even if you only get one page for 180 days- that’s a full Mom School journal.

There is also a big mental impact of “should-ing” yourself and feeling like you’re not accomplishing something. Think about how great you’ll feel at the end of the year when you’ve filled a journal or two with only one page per day! 15 minutes or so is all you need. You’ll have learned new things, helped your brain think in new ways, and balance your thoughts.

Our journals are designed to help decrease stress and bring more ease to your days. Give yourself permission to take time for yourself. Moms struggle with this.

We suggest 4-6 pages per day most days of the week for full Mom School. Working up incrementally is the easiest way to build a habit. Start with one page. In 6 weeks, start doing two; 6 weeks after that add a 3rd- no need to jump all in right away.

If you can get someone to hang with the kids or a program for them to go to a few hours once a week, give yourself a regular Mom School date! Pull out your secret stash of snacks, make your favorite drink, and spend time learning something new. It’s tempting to binge-watch your favorite shows when you get a moment alone- there’s nothing wrong with that- try starting with a bit of Mom School first.

🌸ALL Mom School PDFs are 50% off!
– INCLUDING Brain Games and the Bird Watching Journal 🐣
😍 Mom School Handbook Paperbacks are $15.75
🦆Bird Watching Paperback is $12.50 🦉
☕ Coffee Time Paperback is $17.50
🌺 Homeschooling Handbook Paperback is $17.50
🤩 All Brain Games Paperbacks are $10 or less
🌹 90-day Pocket Planners are all $5 or less
We hope this helps you on your Mom School journey!

Peek inside all of these and more next week- RSVP here

May is Mom School Month, and we are excited to share more tips, resources, and ideas with you. Make sure and join us at our main Fun-Schooling group for great content, giveaways and discounts, and encouraging discussions! And our Mom-specific Fun-Schooling group has a regular giveaway each week! Hope to see you there!

Using Fun-Schooling Books to Develop a Complete Curriculum

Guest Post by Gina Phillips

I would like to share with you how I am using the Fun-Schooling books by Sarah Janisse Brown to create a complete curriculum for my 5th grade (working at a 3-5th grade level) son.

I first purchased the Do-It-Yourself Curriculum Fun-Schooling with Minecraft journal. Then I just took each section and figured out what I wanted to use to cover it. My son needs a little more structure with his learning so not everything is just him choosing what he wants to use. I let him choose topics and extra books but the core is chosen by me. Then, we added in items to cover Math and Language Arts.

Here is a list of what we do:

For the Geography pages we use: The Children’s Atlas of God’s World and The Not-For-Parents Travel Book

For the Design Your Own Animal pages we use: Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas

For Reading Time and Core Subject Pages, he has decided to study Chemistry and Middle Ages: Amish Pathway readers, The Story of the World Vol. 2 (we also do the color pages associated with this book), Usborne Look Inside a Castle, Fizz, Bubble & Flash, God’s Design For Chemistry and Ecology: Properties of Atoms and Molecules, Usborne Medieval World. We are also reading Robin Hood and The Knights of the Round Table.

News, Movie Time and Nature Study are not planned out I just help him find good quality things to cover these areas that we find online or outside! Some we like are the Wordup! DVD, Drive Through History and Horrible History.

For the Math Time pages we will use the Bedtime Math App. because we have a separate Math program

For the Copywork pages, I decided to use Draw-Write-Now and let him choose which book he wanted to use.

For Listening Time we are going through the Usborne Famous Composers Reference Book. (It has QR links to listen to music from the composers!)

Then for the Vocabulary pages we are using English from the Roots Up Vol. 1. We write the word root at the top of the page and I let him select from the included words which ones he wants to write down and define.

For our remaining subjects we use the following:

Math: Comic Book Math and Learn Math Fast Books

Spelling/Phonics: Explode the Code and Teach Your Child 100 Words to Read, Write,Spell and Draw

Thinking Skills: Thinking Skills from

Grammar: we are reading Simply Grammar, Usborne Illustrated Grammar and Punctuation and we use the Mad Libs Game.

I hope this helps give you an idea of what we are doing in our homeschool using the Fun-Schooling books. Click here to see how this looks on a daily schedule.

21 Thoughts About Core Journals

1. I originally created the Core Journal so I could take a break from customizing each child’s curriculum around their interest, while making sure we included copywork, nature study, logic, film study, math time… I wanted a way to document internet based learning, library based learning, and include the Charlotte Mason goodies into each day without searching for the individual notebooks.

(View the Core Journals Here:…)

2. I was about to have our tenth baby and wanted to take time off, but keep learning going, according to the daily structure that works for my kids.

3. They need to have a balanced plan that covers the basics, while allowing them to dig deep into the topics they love.

4. We were also about to move from Florida to Ukraine and I wanted a way for each child to have all their work in one portfolio.

5. My kids were already studying their interests, doing copywork, nature study, logic games, drawing, reading and watching documentaries… But nothing was being documented. Sometimes I would be busy or sick and they would watch YouTube and read all day and not remember to do the simple things like nature study.

6. I only planned to use the Core Journal for 6 weeks, but found it to be wonderful long-term for some of the kids.

7. My Detective and Explorer kids really thrive with them.

8. My Friend learners enjoy them when doing it with others, but like the smaller themed journals best.

9. Followers who are motivated to study a topic like the routine, but they find the journals to be too open-ended and they may try to just get by with whatever is the minimum to move on. With Followers, a strong example is needed, this we have Mom-School.

10. Creators like a lot of variety, and in some stages of life really need to learn to have more structure, for them the journals are not open-ended enough and they may feel limited… So they skip pages or repurpose them. Not all children have the drive, skills or personality to really embrace to potential of the core journals. They don’t work for everyone.

11. Many kids are okay with a system that doesn’t require them to use a lot of research, creativity or thought. These books are designed to be a launch pad for learning.

12. Kids who are in a rush to move on to play, chores, gaming, social media, or personal projects may feel that the core journals are just something that should be rushed through so they can do what they love.

13. It’s okay for a child to not use any system of learning that doesn’t work. For the many kids who have a Follower Learning Style they will actually do better with some classroom style learning, fill in the blank, memorize and test methods.

14. For the Super-Creators the core journals may feel boring and limiting. You need to know your child.

15. My Detectives and Explorers do especially well, but work in different ways.

16. The Detectives need quiet and focus, while the Explorers move from place to place all over the house and yard, and need to be told that chores come after they finish their work in the core journal, so they don’t rush. They really learn to look forward to the activities they love in the daily routine of the book.

17. For kids who thrive on structure they enjoy using a core journal daily, but really need to know what is expected. I suggest doing the first 20 pages together to teach the child how to do copywork, a nature study, or creative writing. It’s so important to be an example.

18. In most cases, don’t say “when you finish you can play Xbox” — they will rush. It works much better if the next activity is something they don’t mind putting off while they focus on their work, like cleaning a bathroom. For example say: “You can take as much time as you need to finish five pages, then show me your work and I’ll show you how to clean out the oven.”

You will be amazed at how much detail they pour into their work.

19. It’s also very important to be available to your child to help them find the right documentaries and books to study their topic. Most of the actual learning isn’t in the journal, it’s what the journal reminds them to do.

20. So know your child. If they don’t put their heart into learning with a core journal, what will they put their heart into? Starting a business? An online course? A textbook? A series of Documentaries? A boxed curriculum that tells them exactly what to memorize? A classical education? Dance school? An internship? Volunteer work? Building a fort? Sewing a dress? Baking? Full-on Unschooling?

21. Some kids are like, “I don’t care… Whatever!” Then they get on their phones and post 80 selfies, and play games until midnight, and complain about everything that requires any effort at all. In that case you just need to pull the plug and light a fire under the child.

I hope that helps someone out there! Let me know if there is a specific example of a child’s struggle that I can help with.

What is your child like? Of these 21 thoughts what stood out to you and why?

See a Flip-Through of the core journals here:

Let’s Talk Charlotte Mason

We have many Fun-Schoolers who love the Charlotte Mason method in our Fun-Schooling Mom Support Group on Facebook! Visit these posts for some great info:

What is Charlotte Mason?
Charlotte Mason + Fun-Schooling
Peek Inside Charlotte Mason Inspired Journals-

Did you know we have a lovely Charlotte Mason Homeschool Journal? It’s ideal for ages 9-17, (3rd-12th grade).

This curriculum handbook is designed to be used along with library books, audio books, tutorials, documentaries, and classical music. Unlike our other core journals, we tap into the Charlotte Mason method by incorporating Picture Study daily and creative writing/ narration sections. Make homeschooling fun for your students, while tapping into their interests and covering all the basic subjects.

This plan is perfect for struggling readers and learners. We have included Art & Logic Games that help with dyslexia, reading confusion, and letter reversals.

“Great layout for Charlotte Mason beginners that need to transition. Still elements of fun-schooling but definitely an enjoyable resource and we love that it implements nature study, picture study, and copy work! Key elements in a Charlotte Mason atmosphere. We also love that Sarah has taken the time to look out for the struggles some of our children have with dyslexia and ADHD. Well done!” ~Amazon Customer

“This is truly a beautiful one of a kind book. It has art study in it which is different than the other journals. The book is just beautiful and my daughter is really enjoying it.” ~ An Amazon Customer

What aspects of the Charlotte Mason Method are addressed in Thinking Tree journals?

  • Nature Study
  • Art
  • Poetry
  • Timelines
  • Copywork
  • Utilization of great books

Speaking of timelines…here’s a little peek at how we used them a few years ago…

Someone asked about how our family uses the Make Your Own Timeline Of World History.

1. I put the Timeline, 3 history books, pens and pencils, and a calculator on the table in the dining room.

2. I ask all the kids to come to the table.

3. I tell them that today everyone in the family will add something to the Timeline, including mom and dad.

4. I added the summer of 1950 when both my parents were born. Joe added pictures and dates to 5 pages, Esther added WW1, Rachel added January 1917. Some kids will work later.

5. I will clear the table once everyone has added something.

Top Ten Letters to New Homeschooling Moms

Are you new to Homeschooling or Fun-Schooling? Be blessed! Read these letters…

#1 Dear Homeschooling Mama,

Welcome to Fun-Schooling! Keep it simple, do not over think, and make learning fun. Have fun yourself! Get a journal and learn along with your kids. Don’t overcomplicate things. Kids learn best by example and having fun. This curriculum will really change the way you think and learn, but in the best way possible!

You have so many fellow Fun-Schooling mamas to help and support you, and who are rooting for you to succeed. You are not in this alone. Welcome to homeschooling, the fun way!


Audria Perez

#2 Dear New Homeschooling Mama,

You are about to embark on a new journey. It can be scary, overwhelming, exciting, and every other emotion. You have got this, mama! There will be good and bad days, but this journey is so worth it.

Welcome to Fun-Schooling! It is such a fun way to get your children to learn and enjoy what they are learning. At first glance, it may seem like it’s not enough, but it is! It is enough and you are enough to be their teacher! They will love learning about the topics they are interested in. The Fun-Schooling Facebook groups are full of other Fun-Schooling mamas that understand and are always willing to help!

Enjoy this Fun-Schooling Journey!

Stephanie Schulte

#3 Hi Mama,

I am so excited that you have decided to join in on the journey of homeschooling! I know it is overwhelming, so stop and take a breath. You are not alone. When you doubt your choice, remember no one loves your child more than you! No one is more invested or wants your child to succeed more than you. If you love your child, then you can and will do this. You will be amazed at how your child will grow, not only academically, but also spiritually and emotionally. There is nothing more rewarding that teaching your own child and seeing the light bulb click on.

Now you choose your curriculum. Pray. Pray hard! Contemplate what your goals are…a specific subject, character, Bible, etc. Think about the ways your child learns best. Plan your budget. Ask fellow homeschool moms to see their curriculum and find out what did or did not work for them. After doing that, you will likely still be unsure, so just pick something and get started. If it does not work, you can always try something else next time. Remember, no child is ever behind. Go at your child’s pace and enjoy the new, closer bond you and your child are making. Teach to the whole child, not to the curriculum, and enjoy the wonderful blessing of homeschooling.


Kera Adams

Your Sister in Christ and Fellow Homeschooling Mama

#4 Dear New Homeschooling Mom,

There are some things that you NEED to know before you get started. You will not be able to teach your child(ren) EVERYTHING that you want them to know. Guess what? That is okay! There will be things that they do not retain or that you’re all bored to tears by. The most important thing is to make the most of things that you do enjoy. Enjoy spending time together. Read aloud, create art together, go on field trips, let them cook with you, and enjoy nature. Not all learning is done by sitting at a desk and reading from a textbook. In fact, the best learning does not happen that way!

Another thing you should realize is that there is NO perfect, one-size-fits-all curriculum. If there were, homeschooling would be SOOOO easy and many curriculum publishers would go out of business! With that said, take some time to get to know your child’s interests and learning styles. Doing this will make homeschooling much easier. Once you do pick a curriculum, give it a fair chance, but do not be afraid to ditch it if it’s not working for your family. It is not worth the hassle and headache to try to stick it out with a curriculum that makes you miserable. Hopefully, these thoughts help you as you begin your homeschool journey!

Best of Luck!

Jennifer Fischer

An Experienced Homeschool Mom

#5 To the New, Overwhelmed, Homeschooling Momma,

Take a breath when it is overwhelming, frustrating, or scary. You will go through lots or curriculum until you find what works (the journals are great testaments to your journey). Not all days will be productive, things will be forgotten, and houses will be disheveled. It is all ok! Remember your children are listening and learning even when you think they are not. When Plan A does not work, go for Plan B, then C, D, and E. Grab the little moments, those will be remembered.

If there is frustration, regroup, refocus, bake cookies, go outside, and try again. It does not mean it isn’t working, it means it is hard and requires a different approach or a break to look at it fresh. Ask the veterans…we are always willing to help, and I would not have made it through our homeschooling journey without them. Most importantly, have fun! Education should not be drills and cramming, it should be about genuine curiosity and the ability to fulfill it. Give children the tools and they will surprise you. The best thing about our journey has been to watch my kids develop a true love for learning. They love to discover new things. As teens, it has helped them immensely as they prep for and attend college (my 17-year-old is on his second semester). It’s okay to admit you don’t know and learn right alongside your children. My son was teaching me things I never learned in history. It was fun and showed him we never stop learning. It will get done, they will succeed, and you will have done an amazing job!


Jessica Chakey

A Veteran, Self-doubting, Procrastinating, Homeschooling Momma

#6 Dear New Homeschooling Mom,

Get a cup of coffee, tea, or water and take a breath. Look at the beautiful kid or kids in front of you and breathe. You are ok, they are ok, and everything else will be ok. You have made an extremely hard choice to be responsible for your children’s education and complete wellbeing. You are doing great!

There will be days when everything flows. Assignments get done, dishes get washed, and no one fights; but more often than not, the days will be filled with unscheduled breaks, impromptu field trips, third breakfasts, half-done worksheets, and even tears…from the kids and from you, and that is ok and normal. They will learn, in their own time and in their own way, and so will you. Enjoy this very fleeting time.


Mary Ann

An Experienced (and sometimes lost) Homeschool Mom

#7 Dear Mom,

You say you are not equipped to teach your child and that you are not a remedial teacher, but who taught her to walk, talk, potty, get dressed, and have good manners? Did you employ a speech therapist, a pastor, or an occupational therapist to develop these skills in your child? You have unconditional love and passion, you know what keeps her awake at night, what her biggest joy in life is, and how to bring the best in her about. I wish someone had told me five years ago that I can teach my child how to read and spell in a FUN way, without the stress and anxiety of a cold therapy room, with a person she has never met. I wish someone could drown my fears of failure by handing me a Fun-Schooling journal and share the joy of accomplishment. I hope I can help you and your little one to skip all the heartache I have felt and all the tears my daughter shed.

I would like to share with you the most engaging, fun, and resourceful curriculum you will ever find! Fun-Schooling with The Thinking Tree is a lifesaver. With as few as perhaps three journals, a library card, nature, and some stationary, you can provide world-class education, tailor-made to your daughter’s (son’s/child’s) needs. You will be able to address all the concerns you have regarding her reading and math, as this curriculum builds on the child’s strengths and not their weaknesses, like is done in most traditional settings. Your child will learn in creative ways. They will learn to research and make their education their own. Every day might not look the same and some days you might feel dismayed. Just know it is normal to feel that way. Relax and lead by example. Get a Mom journal and let her see what you are doing. Don’t fall in the trap of ticking boxes. Let your child lead you on this learning journey. Kids are wired to learn, even when it looks like FUN!

From a Passionate Homeschool Mom,

Stephane Burger

# 8 Dear New Homeschool Mom,

After 13 years of homeschooling and trying tons of different curriculum and styles of learning…Fun-Schooling is the best! The one thing I wish I had known from the beginning is to let them follow their interests with their whole heart. Don’t let school get in the way of their education. We started out schooling this way in the early elementary years and then let the pressures of how education looks in public school pull us away from child-interest-led learning. Fun-Schooling has brought back the joy in our home. Learning is fun again!

Give yourself grace and keep things simple. If something is not working, throw is out. Most importantly, focus their education around their interests and they will develop a life-long love for learning.

Happy Homeschooling,

Kirsten Crawford Turner

#9 Hey Friend!

This may sound crazy, but I never thought I would homeschool either. Never! I thought it was “weird.” I thought I was “too dumb.” I thought my kids would be “ruined.” But guess what? We tried it and we are never going back to traditional school again! There are a million different styles of homeschooling, a billion types of curriculum, and about a trillion more options to choose from. Before you get overwhelmed, would you like to know what worked for us? Fun-Schooling!

Did you ever know that school could be fun? Yeah, I had forgotten, too. With Thinking Tree journals, your kiddos can grow and learn in ways they never thought possible and enjoy doing it! The best part is that you can grab a journal and get in on the fun. There are some pretty amazing resources and groups on social media and at to help with any and all questions that might come up. Let’s be real—some homeschool days are harder than others, and some days make me doubt my choices, but when I watch my kiddos actually pursue their passions, become independent, and look forward to the next Fun-Schooling day, it makes this journey completely worth it. Above all else, friend, know that you are loved, supported, and YOU CAN DO THIS! Your children will be so glad you did!

Big Hugs and Lots of Grace,

Jessica Stidham Bittner

10 Dear Mom,

Welcome to the world you dreamed of when you were a child! Do you remember sitting at school during a lesson wishing you were somewhere else? I wanted to be a princess who fought like a knight to defend the castle and tame the dragon, who would become my friend. I would bake mud cakes, build forts, read in trees with the wildlife, or on a yacht sailing to do “6 impossible things before breakfast” (C.S. Lewis).

Now I can do that with my children. We can be knights learning about the crusades and doing math. We can tame the dragon and bake real cakes, not just the mud kind! We get to read about animals who fascinate us and write our own stories about them. I get to live my dream childhood through their imaginations, while recording all of it in their journals. “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way!” (Dr. Seuss) Who could wish for a better way to learn?

Alene Candy

You are not alone! Join us at our Facebook Support Group for Fun-Schooling Moms here! Want to read more encouraging letters? Grab “The Homeschooling Letters” by clicking the image below!

Creatively Organizing

You have all these amazing Fun-Schooling journals…how do you organize it all? The books are beautiful, colorful and engaging…a delight to the eye! So here are some fun ways to display them for ease of use. If you have the luxury of a large wall space, you can use floating shelves like these above.

We gathered some ideas from some of the amazing members of our Mom’s Fun-Schooling Support Group. You can choose to shop wherever you prefer–these ideas are mainly for inspiration. 🙂

Some members like Bern Bright like hanging wall units. Hers are below. Here are some cute chicken wire baskets and more choices for horizontal options.

Carmen Kloppers mentioned plastic magazine holders like these, which have room for your journal plus other resources, pencils, pens, etc. Easy to find what you need, because they are transparent. Here is something similar. Here is one for multiple books.

Jenna Sheridan mentioned, “When I was first looking around in this group I remember a mom saying she prints the covers from every PDF and has them in a binder the kids can “shop” at the beginning of the year to pick what they want.” Great idea!

Schooling on the go? Alex Romano mentioned getting a great book bag, and Bethany Messer offered the option of even repurposing a good diaper bag. Here is a terrific, sturdy option that is really roomy and has lots of pockets for pens, pencils, gadgets and other items. Sarah Nguyen mentioned upcycling an old scrapbooking bag. Brilliant!

Another idea for organizing things in a portable fashion is to use a large shower caddy that has a longer compartment which can hold multiple journals/notebooks and smaller compartments for writing tools, art supplies, sticky notes, index cards, etc. Here is one option.

Samantha Anderson mentioned rolling carts. There are lots of options available, but this one with additional hanging baskets is ideal for all the art supplies we use in Fun-Schooling!

Finally, Jenessa Boothby provided some ideas of how to “strew” books in a way that is inviting and engaging for our children. You can come to the Facebook group and see many beautiful way in which Sarah utilizes this method in her home:

On the Fence About Fun-Schooling?

People are curious about this refreshing way to educate their children–a way that nurtures a love of learning, accommodates learning differences, and gives children the freedom to learn about what they love while developing their researching skills, independence, and critical thinking.

So many learning styles are addressed as students write, scrapbook, color, complete Art & Logic exercises, draw, research, do puzzles, try experiments…the entire approach is very creative!

This blog and and our online presence has exploded with activity just in the past week or so:

We’ve had numerous great giveaways recently (don’t miss this one right here at the blog!) and LOTS of journals are currently marked down significantly.

If you’ve been waiting to try Fun-Schooling, there has never been a better time to dip a toe in…or just JUMP IN feet first!

If you’ve already fully immersed your family, share this post with a curious friend!


My goal for our main Fun-Schooling Mom Support Group is to equip mothers to guide and teach their children according to their own values, world view, religious beliefs and political perspectives while empowering the children to think for themselves and ask hard questions.

This is why most Thinking Tree Books are so open-ended and research based.

I often recommend resources that we enjoy in our family. I often share pictures and stories of our unique experiences and celebrations, But I don’t do this because I think every other family should look like mine.

So, perhaps we are a Christian family with Jewish roots and love our Jewish foods and holidays. And maybe we celebrate Christmas and Easter traditions just as I learned to in my childhood. And maybe we embrace some Libertarian values, and drive Teslas…We believe in adoption, and even adopted some struggling older kids! I love herbal tea, but like coffee too. We have chickens in the back yard, and a hungry fox living in the front. There are a million dreams we haven’t even started living here on Earth, yet our treasures are best kept in Heaven. It’s a beautiful life and your life is beautiful too!

I don’t think you should be just like me. I don’t think your unique family should be anything like mine. Love what you love. Dream your dreams. Live out your vision. Follow your calling. Be you! Yet be willing to grow.

I’m investing in the homeschooling community in order to empower moms to create a FUN learning environment in their homes, and I have lots of tips and ideas!

Some of my older writings are geared towards the community I used to be most involved in – Conservative homeschoolers- but I never fit in. I was often encouraging those moms to quit “acting” and be real, and be realistic.

Our community has THANKFULLY grown to embrace a far greater homeschooling movement! And I’m loving it!!! If you want a homeschooling Facebook group that is clique-ish there are many. That’s not us, though many of us are outliers, eclectic, and neuro-divergent thinkers who don’t fit into any mold!!!

I’m growing a lot because of the diversity of thought in our group! I’m changing. I’m making friends who are opening my eyes to a bigger story, while staying true to my core values. I love the learning that happens in our community! I love the uniqueness and the vast diversity of homeschooling moms who make themselves at home!!! We are all welcome here. Come join us!

PDF Journals–All You Need to Know!

Click this image to take you to our bookstore for a complete list of PDFs!

Special thanks to Amanda Osenga for writing this guest post to help all of our lovely Fun-Schoolers during this season of change!

When you think of PDFs, I bet your first thought goes to a pile of printed pages. What if I told you there are dozens of options for using PDFs? Including options involving zero printing at all. You can even get them printed into a physical book! I hope these tips will help you find new ways to use PDFs.

Binding and printing options-

Yes, you can go the standard route of print and staple. There’s nothing wrong with this! It’s a tried and true binding technique. Here are a few other options-

  • “Booklet” style.
                This is a setting in Adobe. This will print the size of a standard book. You can fold them in half, staple them, or even hand-stitch them. We find printing about 48 pages at once easiest to work with. Otherwise, it gets too thick.
  • Bookbinding
                Most local print shops can print PDFs as a book for you. Lots of Fun-School moms tell us Barnes & Noble Press does a beautiful job for close to the price of having individual pages printed through a print shop.
  • Disc-bound binding
                These are most well known through the “Happy Planner.” A benefit is the ability to move pages around. Moms love this method for rearranging journals and/or combining multiple journals. You can purchase disc-bound punches at craft stores and office supply stores. This option functions similarly to a spiral notebook and can be folded back or laid flat.  This also allows you to reuse the same rings- saving money and resources!
  • File folder
                Use expandable or hanging file folders to sort, organize, and file PDFs. Print with your desired number of pages per sheet and organize to your heart’s content! Some moms organize by day, others by journal- and others by type of page (Reading Time, Screen Time, Math, etc.)
  • Multiple pages per sheet
                Consider printing two or four pages per sheet. This will save paper and money! It is also a great option for kids overwhelmed by writing because it reduces the space to write on. Moms with kids who love to color often choose to print the coloring pages full-size.
  • Three-ring binders
                Similar to the disc-bound method, this allows you a lot of flexibility. Fun-Schooling families often recommend the Five Star Flex binders because the cover bends backward and lays flat. Any binder will do!
  • Spiral bind
                Spiral binding is another classic printing method. Local shops and box stores can bind for you. Binding machines are also available for purchase, including some with reusable spines. Sometimes churches, schools, or community centers will allow families to use their binding machines.
  • Combine methods!
                Print a PDF booklet style and use it with disc-bound disks. Or print multiple pages/sheets and stick them in a binder. Play around with different methods until you find what you and your children like best. Remember, each kid may like a different method!

Making Family Count is a homeschool printing company operated by a Fun-Schooling family. There are also several other homeschool-based printing companies out there.

Your Local Print Shop

If you haven’t dropped into a local print shop lately, I encourage you to do so. One shop I visited had over 20 different ways they could print and bind PDFs! It’s worth it to head in and ask for their ideas.

Printing Considerations and Tips

Here are a few tips and considerations-

  • Ask your local library
                Many libraries have printing allowances for those with a library card. Some will do discounted or free printing for homeschoolers.
  • Reach out to local churches– especially those with homeschool programs
                We’ve heard from many moms who can print free or cheap this way!
  • Community centers sometimes have free or cheap printing available too
  • Do you, a spouse, or a relative have a printer at work? Ask about paying a small fee or providing your own paper to use printer
  • The Epson Eco Tank printer seems to be the lowest-cost option for an at-home printer This one is on sale at the time of this posting for $169.00 (discounted from $249.99!!)
  • Subscribe to email newsletters from box store office supply companies. They do deeply discounted paper a few times a year.
  • If money is extremely tight- ask your neighborhood Buy Nothing, Freecycle, or Neighbors Helping Neighbors group to see if anyone would be willing to print for you if you provide the paper.
  • Some moms combine multiple journals for an entire week, month, semester, or school year. You can rearrange journal pages with some of the flexible binding methods mentioned above. There are also programs available online to merge and reorganize PDFs!
  • If your print shop has any concerns regarding printing copyrighted material, you can email and request a printing release.

Skip Printing and Use PDFs Digitally

You can use PDFs digitally with the following apps/programs- tutorials can be found on YouTube for using them




Liquid Text

PDF Expert


Microsoft Edge has a built-in PDF editor

You can also get the paid version of Adobe and edit directly on the PDF.

*Note- these are programs Fun-School Moms have suggested. We have yet to test all of them. This is not considered an endorsement of these programs. Do your research to verify their privacy rules, advertising, etc.

We hope these tips help you to get the most out of your PDFs! Let us know if you do something else unique with your PDFs.

Start a Fun-Schooling Co-Op!

Step one in beginning a Fun-Schooling Co-Op is to Flip to Fun-Schooling yourself! Then you are prepared to encourage other moms to join you on your journey! Here are some photos from our Co-Op at Olive Branch Farm.

How Do I Start a Fun-Schooling Co-Op?

1. Create a Facebook Group: “Fun-Schooling in My Region, My State” (If there are no other homeschooling families in your city interested in FUN expand you reach to the county or region, like Central Florida, as soon as you decide on a region, post it in our Fun-Schooling Moms Homeschool Support Group so others in the same area can join you and not duplicate. Check comments for duplicates before you create a new group.)

2. Share some posts from our main page and in your group.

3. Invite me to your group.

4. Everyone who starts a Fun-Schooling Facebook Community group should join our Leaders Group:

What Do Fun-Schooling Co-ops Do?

Co-ops are private gatherings, like birthday parties- so don’t worry about legalities as long as everyone who comes is invited. Some people worry about creating a formal organization but that’s not needed when you are getting started. Everyone can pitch in and contribute like family.

They schedule FUN social activities for local homeschooling families and support each other while using Fun-Schooling Journals. They may plan activities based on a common Fun-Schooling Journal or Theme. For example if your group is using the Nature study PDF you might do nature crafts, weather experiments or go to a nature preserve together.

What are some activities we offer at Olive Branch Farm? Our always-evolving list includes: Pottery Painting, Watercolors, Gardening, Swimming, A Disk Golf Course, Soccer Field, Scooter ramps, Bikes, Scooters, Skateboards, Horses, Music Room, Lego Zone, Jewelry making station, Library, Fidget Room, Zip Line, Farm Animals, Nature Park, Cafe, Pool Table, Volley Ball, Preschool Zone, Snack Bar, Board Games, and our Herb Garden and Orchard.

Need inspiration? Here is a great resource: