Monday, June 30, 2014

Cutting Up and Rebinding Workbooks

Something I hesitated to do for a long time, but finally decided to try, is rebinding my 6th grader's workbooks.  

I really like the Avilian Method of putting worksheets and papers into a binder organized by day.   You can see another take on the binder-assignment method here.

Much as I like the idea in theory, I am not generally successful at handling loose papers.   Even if I have them in a folder, they get reshuffled and I can't find the ones I need when I need them.  

Also most of my kids seem to do better with a stack of books to supplement their checklist -- a physical and visual reminder of what needs to be done.

Rebinding seemed like a good compromise.    From what I understand, you can have it done at an office store, but I wanted to do it at home.   Part of the reason I wanted to rebind is that perfect-bound workbooks are somewhat difficult to write in.    But another reason for rebinding is that I can add, subtract, multiply and divide pages within the workbook.

 If I use an editable format for binding -- either comb-binding (which is what I have already) or pro-click type spiral binding -- then I don't have to plan ahead what I *might* want in the book.   I can just add things or take things away as I go.   For example, I added an assignment checklist to my son's Christian Studies book.

It was hard to rip up books, even workbooks.   Not mechanically hard, since I love messing around with paper, and can hardly think of a more fun way to spend a quiet Friday afternoon than with my comb-binding machine and some cardstock and labels.   Hard in the same way that I have trouble marking up books even though this is what you are supposed to do.   Viscerally hard, as in "you are ruining this book".  But it has worked out well.     After all, workbooks are supposed to be marked up and some of them even come with detachable pages.  

 Apparently, though I don't know quite what I think of this, you aren't supposed to reuse or sell a consumable except in certain circumstances -- hmph, that set of laws is probably rarely regarded to the letter, though personally, purely by happenstance, I don't remember breaking even the more stringent rules stated in the article.      OK, I can think of a couple of cases where I had the child write in a notebook and then reused the blank workbook with a different child.     But usually only when the workbook was out of print so I knew I probably wouldn't be able to acquire another copy.

This may be a good reason to buy PDFs of workbooks when possible, because the rights usually extend to whole-family use.    Or textbooks, which can legally be reused through several people and resold.   Or, of course, living books, but if you are reading this blog you probably use a lot of real books in your homeschool for many other reasons besides copyright laws.

A couple more articles on rebinding workbooks:

You can see some of my homemade planners and planning form over on my homeschool log site.  

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