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. https://press.barnesandnoble.com/print-on-demand/
  • 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 contact@funschooling.com 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

Goodnotes

Kami

Notability

Liquid Text

PDF Expert

Krita

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.

Fun-Schooling Fans, We Need Your Help!

Hi Friends, could you pray for a quick resolution of a serious problem? We publish our books through Amazon and over 50% of our family income comes from Amazon sales, along with royalties we pay out to many other authors including several missionaries.

Amazon has glitches because it is managed by robots and algorithms and they mistakenly deleted our entire publishing account and say they will not pay us our royalties for all the books sold over the past 60 days.

This kind of thing has happened before and creates serious issues. And it’s very unethical.

So please pray it gets resolved. Last time it happened we didn’t get it resolved until the concern got to Jeff Bezos desk. But it did because so many of our customers complained.

You can still get our books through Rainbow Resources and PDFs through FunSchooling.com

If you are one of our customers who orders through Amazon you can help us by writing to Jeff and telling him that you love our Thinking Tree Books by Sarah Janisse Brown.

Email jeff@amazon.com for direct attention from Bezos or his Executive Team.

It actually worked last time.

Fun-Schooling Themes for 2023!

Make sure you never miss out on special sales, coupons, and giveaways this year as we feature journals for these themes in the coming year! Join us in our Mom’s Homeschooling Support Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FunSchoolingwithThinkingTreeBooks/

January- Language Arts

February- Math

March- Animals

April- Social Studies

May- Mom School

June- Core Journals

July- Science/ Technology

August- Back-to-School

September- Minecraft

October- Fashion

November- Cooking & Food

December- Holiday School

New Year Savings!

🎉 We’re ringing in the new year with a coupon!!

Use CODE 2023FunSchoolingTime

for $23 off your purchase of $25 or more*

at https://www.funschooling.com/

🎇 Code works for anything bought directly on our website.

🥳 Expires January 4th.

🌠 What will your family do to welcome 2023?

*not valid on Amazon or the Dyslexia Games website

Special Media Event: Celebrating with Anna!

A special media announcement just went live! Anna’s musical, His Story, will be opening at Grandscape in Dallas Fort Worth area, and tickets are now available–click here! Opening night is May 18th! This will be a 360-degree theatrical production performed in a beautiful 1,300-seat Italian show tent on the grounds. They are expecting 10,000+ unique visitors each week, so get your tickets now! Special rates available for groups of 12+. Learn more by emailing groups@hisstorythemusical.com or by calling the toll free number (855) HISSTORY / (855) 447-7867.

Read more about the musical here. Here is a link to the live event from Grandscape. Hear Anna share some thoughts about her inspiration and beautifully sing portions from the score, Bruce Lazarus and Willie and Korie Robertson (Producers) share some background and thoughts, see the stunning performance location, hear Richard Boyer, (Mayor of The Colony) and Kronda Thimesch (Texas State Rep), Jeff Calhoun (Director) and Jeff Lind (President of Grandscape) share some supportive words. Let’s celebrate with Anna!

From the His Story: The Musical website:

Anna started writing His Story, The Musical at the age of 16 while on a mission to Africa. A dyslexic, unable to read or write before 9 years old, homeschooled, Anna focused instead on the arts before writing her first songs at 15. As a social-media-savvy Gen Z, she sees a chance to reach her generation with the timeless story of light and hope. Anna is an author and illustrator of over a dozen educational books, some bestsellers, for children, especially kids with Dyslexia and teens with their passions and career goals. Anna currently lives in Dallas and travels often doing research for writing projects, which include several new musicals.

Our company “The Thinking Tree, LLC” produced the original concept album of His Story the Musical, and is now co-producer of the theatrical performance.

Shop Anna’s Books:

Experience Homeschooling Joy Show!

Sarah is excited to be a part of the Experience Homeschooling Joy Show on December 6th and would love to see your lovely faces there.

This is a free, live event, hosted by Christine Owens.

We have secured a seat for you at experiencehomeschoolingjoy.com/brown . We can’t wait to see you there!

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 FunSchooling.com in your group.

3. Invite me to your group.

4. Everyone who starts a Fun-Schooling Facebook Community group should join our Leaders Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/637742757064906/

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:

The “Why” of Mom-Schooling

Mom-School happens when you remember who you are through your passions, your interests and your needs. You fill a basket with learning tools for yourself, then in your free time you dig into your Mom-School Basket, read a book or watch a tutorial about something you want to learn… instead of watching TV, Netflix, or cruising Facebook.

Mom-School energizes me while the children curiously look into my basket, watch me learn, see me grow… and they discover that I am not just their mom, but a woman with dreams, goals, ideas, needs and desires.

They see me research and join me for an online class, they flip through my Mom-School Journal and see my careful efforts and beautiful handwriting. They see me as someone who is curious, they see me as a detective, an explorer, a creator, a follower, a leader and a friend.

Mom-School is waking up with ideas, and being full of wonder. It’s problem solving and crafting, it’s higher education or a new recipe.

Mom-School is remembering who you are in the midst of the busy season of mothering and holding on to your dreams so your children will be inspired to become who they were created to be, because they are basking in the example of you.

Mom-School is refreshing and calming, and it’s worth your time and mine. Mom-School is empowering to you as a woman and sets the stage for your children to follow your example because you make learning look so delightful.

Join our Mom-Schooling Facebook group here!

Let’s Talk About Gameschooling!

Who gameschools with their funschool?

Who would like to see what fun, award winning, educational games from SimplyFun would pair well with your funschool journals?

I am having a GAME PARTY and YOUR INVITED. Click here to join:https://www.facebook.com/groups/1092241268046471

Special Event: Homeschooling Yard Sale & Trading Post!

On August 6th – 11am – 3pm we will host a Homeschooling Yard Sale where you can come sell and trade anything relevant to Fun-Schooling and homeschooling!

You are also welcome to sell your crafts, baked goods, and homemade/homegrown items.

Bring a table, $15 fee, and please contribute $15 worth of lovely items to our Trading Post. Put price tags on your barter items, everyone who contributes $15 worth of items to the Trading Post gets $15 in trade-bucks to shop at the Trading Post.

Secure your spot for a table by sending $15 and confirm in the comments.

All Thinking Tree Books will be $15 each!!!

Pay for your $15 table space here: https://paypal.me/ThinkingTreeCorp
(Write in the comments what you will bring to sell and trade)