Picking Out a Printer for the Homeschool Family

Picking out a printer for the homeschool family has many challenges.  Probably the biggest challenge is the financial side. Most of us are single income families, and well that means that having that extra $200-$500 laying around to spend on a printer when the need arises is probably not the case…

Picking Out a Printer for the Homeschool Family

Earlier this month I was trying to prepare lessons and set up my children’s assignment notebooks.  When I went to print, my printer decided to be a major issue and brought me to an abrupt halt that I really didn’t have time for.

There are many considerations to take when picking out a printer.

Compatibility with your computers

  • Operation System
  • Mac/Windows

How Much do you print?

  • I print a LOT.  I need to find a way to make ink as cheap as possible.  Using the Office Max Teacher Max Perks program really helps me save money.
  • I get paper through Office Max also.
  • How fast does it print?

Double Sided?

  • Printing double-sided saves paper, but if your printer doesn’t print double-sided automatically, then you will spend a lot of time doing this.
  • If you plan to print double-sided you may want a duplexer and auto two-sided printing.  For me, this is a MUST! I print entire workbooks for my children and bind them.  NOTE:  They are purchased through sites that allow this. such as Currclick

How economical is ink?

  • How many pages can you expect to print from each cartridge?
  • Can you refill the ink cartridges?

So, now you are wondering what printer I decided on?

I chose the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4530 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax, iOS/Tablet/Smartphone/AirPrint Compatible (C11CB33201)

I had a friend who is a public school teacher recommend this to me.  She uses it in her classroom and has found it to be wonderful.  After reading a few lot of reviews, and comparing the upfront cost with similar not as highly rated printers, I chose this one.  In order to refill the cartridges, I will need to purchase a chip resetting gadget, so at this point I am buying new ink for replacement.

My Review

So far, after over two week’s of use, I am really impressed with this printer.  I have printed well over 800 pages and still have over half of all ink cartridges left.  It is fast, and smooth when printing.  It did take me a bit to figure out how to use the new to be print dialog box on our computers when I went to print.  I also am having to get used to not having a touch screen LCD on the printer itself when coping.  I am finding I can live without it.

I absolutely love being able to EASILY print from our smartphones, and iPad without any issues…I didn’t even have to install the printer on them.  Speaking of installation, it was quite easy.  In under an hour, I had it installed and working on three different computers.  Setup was quite easy also.

If you print quite a bit, need two-sided, want to make copies and are looking for ease of use… This printer is for you!!

What are some frustrations you have gone through as you are picking out a printer to meet your family’s needs?

Galapagos Islands a EduVacation in a Book

What is an EduVacation?  It is a educating vacation.  However, this one is in a book.  Galapagos Islands is a book published by MasterBooks, is a pictorial view with lots of text to help your family get an idea what the Galapagos Islands is all about. It could be considered one of the most beautiful coffee table books ever.

Galapagos Islands An EduVaction in a book

This book is available in hardback ($18.99) or in as an eBook ($9.99).  I received the hardcover book for this review. This is a sturdy book with heavy glossy glossy pages, helping the many photos in this 104 page book pop from the page.  There are chapters from Ken Ham, John Morris, John C. Whitcomb, Danny Faulkner, Gary Parker, and more.

From the website:

Quick Overview

  • Observe the wondrous diversity of life, including birds, reptiles, and plants
  • Learn how Darwin’s worldview and the biblical worldview differ and the importance of this in studying the Galápagos
  • With poignant chapters from Ken Ham, John Morris, John C. Whitcomb, Danny Faulkner, Gary Parker, and more!

Where Darwin once visited and later used evidence from to support his faulty case for evolution, discover the wonder of God in this full-color book filled with vibrant images of these glorious islands in the Pacific, as well as powerful insights that give Him the glory due His name. Your faith will be strengthened as you learn the importance of a biblical worldview from some of the best apologetics speakers in the country. It’s an overall emphasis on Galápagos as testament to God’s majesty and mercy rather than the empty legacy of one man

Click here to look through some sample pages.

My children have literally fought over the chance to get to sit and look through and read this book.  I have had two ask for it for their birthdays…In other words, they each want their own copy.  We are using as part of our science curriculum right now.  The photography helps hold my younger children’s attention, while the text and explanations help my older children grasp the complexity of God’s creation in this part of the world.  With this book we are combining science, history, geography and more together as we work through the book.

It Read more reviews of this book here.  Be sure to join us for our monthly Facebook Party, on the Master Books Facebook page, January 28th, 8pm CST. There will be several prizes, including this book! You just might win it!

Book Review Team of Master Books


Review Disclosure_edited-1

You Might Be a Literature Based Homeschool If

Lit Based HomeschoolerMy oldest two children love to read, they read in the car, they read during their free time, they read during our nap/rest time, they read when they should be doing chores, they read to their siblings, and well, they read to get out of trouble.  My husband and I both love to read also.  I always have three to five books that I am currently reading, besides the Bible.

You Might be a Literature Based Homeschool if…

  • Your children would rather go to a book store than a toy store.
  • Your husband carries a list of books we need with him in his wallet, so he can grab them if he comes across them.
  • You bought a Kindle because you have so many books that have already been read, and you can’t make room for the new baby.
  • You keep a heavy duty box in the van for when you come across a book sale, so you can easily grab up.
  • You don’t budget for books, because quality books are priceless.
  • You use a literature based curriculum for at least part of your homeschool, such as TruthQuest History.
  • Your children know search terms to use to find book they want on the internet. (Of course you have some sort of protection installed for them)

How do you plan the literature based homeschool?

  • Well, you figure out what your children like to read, then you push their limits.  Yep, you encourage them to get outside their comfort zone.
  • You provide your children with literature they will read.
  • You make sure it is quality literature.
  • You purchase literature guides to help you find quality literature.
  • You provide time to discuss what they are reading.
  • You allow them to write about their reading.

Why use a literature base in your homeschool?

  • Quality literature is becoming lost
  • They can learn so much for reading
  • Everyday becomes an adventure
  • Creates a very flexible base for your homeschool
  • You can learn as a family
  • Meal Time Discussions are always easy to get started

Do you use a literature base in your homeschool?  Have you considered it?

2014 Word of the Year

2014 Faith

I chose the word faith for my word of the year.  I am really not into resolutions, but wanted to have something to focus on this year.  I am choosing to focus on faith.

Faith in:

  • Daily life
  • Future
  • Husband
  • God
  • Children
  • Trials
  • Praises
  • and everything in between

Another reason I chose Faith?  This baby is due during our busiest time on the farm.  We should be in the middle or just beginning wheat harvest and finishing or getting ready to start second cutting hay.  It will take Faith to keep me from panicking during that time.  I am two hours from the hospital… O.o So, I choose faith.

It took faith to get through the first three almost four months of this pregnancy.  I have never been so sick.  I had bleeding in my esophagus from acid burns from vomiting so much.  Sad smile I lived through it, but without faith, I would have been suffering a whole lot more!!

Do you have a word for 2014?  What is it? Why?

I am working on getting back to blogging.

A Light bulb Moment with my Sensory Intense Child and her PJs

As our evening temperatures drop, I have been putting my children in warmer jammies at night.  Not footed jammies, but light weight pants and a long sleeved t-shirt or night gown.  My youngest, who has Sensory Processing Disorder wasn’t handling this.  She wasn’t getting rest which meant I wasn’t getting rest.  She also only had one pair of pants that would fit her.

Buying Clothes for the Sensory Intense Child

I went shopping for some new jammie pants and could not find anything.  Then my seven year old found some leggings.  Now, I am not one to put my children in leggings, but knowing that Hannah was struggling with the pants we had, I thought, they are rolling or sliding up her legs and bunching up about half way between her ankles and knees. (there were always little indentations one her legs there).  Leggings are tapered and probably wouldn’t do that. Guess what?  It worked.  She has slept well for the last few weeks.  So, I am soon off to buy a few more pair of leggings for her to sleep in.

 Purchasing clothing for your Sensory Intense Child:

  • Cotton or nearly all cotton
  • No tags on the clothing
  • None of the bling on the clothes that will irritate sensitive skin
  • Stretchy, so they move with your children
  • layers, so they can shed as needed through the day.
  • No turtle necks or anything tight around the neck, arms etc.

Please note, many of the cotton pants will not meet the code for fireproof pajamas for children.  You MUST decide if this is something that will bother you as you sleep.

As the holidays are just around the corner, our sensory intense children will have more struggles.  To help them, and to make this season easier, I suggest getting a plan together, having some pages for them to work on and be sure to have some down time for those days that you and your children just need a break.  To help you gather those resources, don’t forget to grab the Inspired Holiday Bundle with 25 eBooks to help you get a head start on it all.


Helping your children learn to live with their little sensitivities will help them be able to live a full life as adults.

The Announcement that Caused Excitement…

I had planned to keep up with blogging, but life got in the way…again.  Only, I mean LIFE… About a week ago, we made a little announcement to our children and well, lets just say it caused a GREAT deal of EXCITEMENT. Honestly, I wish I had pictures or a video, but I don’t… You…

Holiday eBook Bundle to Help Your Family Stay Focused

Thanksgiving, Christmas and all are just around the corner.  It is time to get organized and focused on the true reasons for these special holidays.  This bundle of 25 books for JUST $25 will be sure to help you.  There are planning pages, homeschooling helps, pages to help your children record their memories, crafts to…

Not Just Tacos Recipe Book Giveaway

Remember a few weeks ago, I did a review about the Not Just Tacos book and linked you to how to get the eBook version for free?  Well, now I am so excited to get to giveaway one of these away in real hard back form.  AKA not an ebook. Due to all the busyness…

Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Day 3

   Have you been enjoying the pictures of our life on the prairie?  Well, you are  going   to laugh at one of these, say awww with one, say how fun and then well wonder what in the world I am taking a picture of for the last. I am really enjoying sharing our life on…

Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Day 2

31 Days of Our Life on the Prairie from PeaceCreekonthePrairie.com

So, how did you like a look into our days, for day one?  Looks like fun so far to be living the life on the prairie ehh? Today is another fun day too.  But, let me warn ya, not all days on the prairie are fun days.  Remember Laura from Little House on the Prairie…

Thirty-One Days of Our Life on the Prairie Pictures

So, as I was praying what I should be posting on this blog over the next several weeks, God kept saying keep it real. So, I thought oh Farm pictures, but really I am not always able to get just farm pictures, but our lives revolve around the farm, homeschool and this all takes place…

Ten Reasons I LOVE My Big Van~Two Hundred Thousand Miles and Counting

As is true with many larger than average families, we gave up the fun to drive cute cars years ago.  We had a mini van for a bit, but then child number five was on the way and we bought our 15 passenger Chevy Express with 123,000 miles on it.  Just the other day, it…

October Homeschool Deals

Many of us have gotten into the new homeschool year and have a routine figured out.  However, you may be finding you need a few extra items or to change a few things.  Maybe you want to plan for encouragement to continue this homeschool journey.  Whatever it may be, I have a list of several…

Winter Promise Episodes in American History: Civil War ~Review

As many of you know, our family really enjoys history.  The Civil War has always been fascinating to me, and well, I seem to be passing that onto my children.  Earlier in the summer I was contacted about a NEW Civil War Unit Study for homeschool families from Spirited Autumn Hope the owners of Winter…

Online Challenges, Social Media~How to Take What Is Said?

Over the years, I have seen a lot of challenges in the gathering of people in social media, forums, and other such groups.  In fact there was a time, I walked away from many of them.  Recently, I have walked away from a couple more. These groups, or many of them, are supposedly to support,…