Stop Ignoring Those Printable Homeschool Resources You’ve Downloaded

Frugal homeschooler's freebie printables dilemma: what to do with them?

If you’re like me, you’ve got homeschooling file folders on your computer’s hard drive with hundreds of downloaded freebie printables.  I could probably homeschool for free from now until my kids have graduated with all the free pdf’s I’ve accumulated over the past few years since I began homeschooling.  “I’ll save this for later” I say to myself, as I download yet another one.

And now, here I am, completely overwhelmed by them.  I don’t know what to do with so many.  It’s kinda like when I taught public school and I would be given a yearly budget to buy whatever resource books I wanted, so I would stock up on some great-looking reproducible books with all intentions of using them.  Then they would sit on the bookshelf, and I would forget all about them.

So here’s what I’ve decided to do:

I keep a look out on my favorite blogs (like Free Homeschool Deals) and Facebook groups (like Homeschool Curriculum Free for Shipping and Frugal Homeschooling Moms) for printables that are at the “perfect timing” for my 3rd grader, Laynie – especially seasonal ones that I am likely to use that week.  I usually look for the fun ones that shake up the days of monotonous workbook pages with some fun holiday/seasonal cut-and-paste, unit studies, or lapbooking/notebooking, or mini-book ideas.  We usually do those right away, and right now I’m watching and printing out Christmas ones (I always share the best ones on my Facebook page, by the way).

I constantly come across printables and downloads that are great for future use, but I’m not ready for them right now.  So I download them, and save them into file folders on my computer for later.

But I’m faced with a dilemma: I forget about them!  What do I do with these files and files of downloaded stuff?  The things like handwriting pages, math facts reviews, history mini-books, etc…  They’re great resources, and they’re just sitting there, forgotten.  And some of them are perfect for our studies right now.  It’s driving me nuts that they’re not getting used!

I’ve decided to set aside one day, once a month, to go take a glance at them.  I will pick one Math one, one English/Language Arts one, one Science one, and one Social Studies one, and go ahead and print them out.  Then, we will use them on days when we’re having a boring or frustrating day.  They’re going to go in a “Substitute Folder” (substitute in this case means a “substitute” for normal, a break from our daily grind).

Our “sub folder” will contain fun things for when I get tired and when I sense that Laynie needs a change of pace.

Today, I’m printing out a Leonardo da Vinci mini unit, a nonfiction printable mini-book to read and color, a copycat book about Presidents, and a lapbook template about fractions.  These are all old downloads that I have had sitting in my files for ages.  They will be fun on a pull-your-hair-out kind of day.

So how about you?  How do YOU keep from ignoring your printable downloads?  Or do yours, like mine, tend to get forgotten in the memory of your computer?