Fixing a Homeschool Book That Lost Its Cover

I love John Saxon. I first became acquainted with John Saxon’s math program when I attended high school since my school used the program. I was always good at math, but I had never been challenged or reviewed like I was with John Saxon. When I was a junior in high school, my teacher happened to be the Mathematics Department Head. Mrs.MathDepartmentHead was always singing the praises of John Saxon and frequently showed us a snapshot of her with John Saxon. As a stupid teenager, I rolled by eyes, but now looking back on it, I see she was right- John Saxon’s math really is awesome. As I am teaching elementary math to my young children, I am remembering my own elementary math and I see how the formation of my own non-Saxon Math was lacking and how my Saxon-years were different as Saxon Math actually forms the mind mathematically. My junior year math class was Mrs.MathDepartmentHead’s pride and joy. We were her most advanced group besides Calculus. There was a math book conference of some sort and John Saxon himself would be there. Mrs.MathDepartmentHead volunteered our class to work the conference. When the day came, I was very behind on my schoolwork in other subjects. I talked my parents into letting me take the day off from school. I knew that since my entire math class would be out (on the trip) and since those students were in the majority of my other honors classes, I wouldn’t miss any work since the other teachers wouldn’t teach much with 3/4 of the class missing. My parents agreed and I didn’t go to school that day or attend the math book conference. John Saxon died a year later. I forever missed the opportunity to meet him or at least stand in the same room with him. And now all these years later, I regret playing hooky from school and never meeting John Saxon. It is amazing how I feel the consequences of this seemingly insignificant decision all these years later.

I try to buy used homeschool books whenever I can- I am all about economics. A few times, kind and generous people who have used the same curriculum that I have have even given us some of their used homeschool books. By nature, our family of six young children in a small house are not very gentle on our things, homeschool books included.

Our copy of the Saxon Math 6/5 Solutions Manual was falling apart. The front and back covers were gone and I thought it was beyond tape and clear contact paper. My oldest son was using it and I intend for it to last through all six of our children. I didn’t want to fork over $20- $25 (that I don’t have) to replace it. (But here is my Amazon affiliate link if you didn’t get yours yet.) I will detail how I fixed it here and perhaps you can copy this procedure if it will work in your own home for your own books. Oh, and for the curious who have picked up on the fact that my son is only in Second Grade and yet is doing fifth grade math, he’s a math genius, that’s all. Put another checkmark in the why-it’s-good-to-homeschool-column and let his mama brag- my son is able to set his own pace in our homeschool and that pace just happens to be three grades ahead in math.

To fix a homeschool book that lost its cover, first gather your supplies. You will need string, the book, a drill, a long thick drill bit, a pen or pencil, a piece of looseleaf paper, a plastic folder with fasteners inside, and a piece of wood you don’t care about (I used firewood).






Next, put the looseleaf paper on top of the first page and trace the holes.
After that, drill the holes you have marked, with the whole book on top of the wood you don’t care about. (I didn’t want to drill my kitchen table.)

Next, use the string to secure the book into the fastener holes and tie it. You’ll probably be able to do a better job than me- I ended up with a bit of loose string, but I think that’s OK.

Next, depending on your string type, burn the ends if necessary to prevent unravelling.

And there you are, here is your fixed homeschool book with its new cover. I should probably add a label, but I didn’t yet. Hopefully, it will last through my remaining five children’s use. I have had it in use for about a month or two after I have fixed it and so far it is holding up perfectly.

In the pictures above, you can see what the fixed book looks like from the outside and from a random page on the inside.

Posted in Homeschooling in Our Little School on the Prairie by with no comments yet.

How to Fix a Spiral Bound Book With A Missing Cover

I homeschool. I don’t write too much about our homeschool adventures because I’m learning as I go.  I’ll make an exception here and tell you how I figured out to fix a spiral bound book with a missing cover.

I have a love-hate relationship with spiral-bound books.  Your homeschool, like mine, may include several.  After making their way down the line (or down a few lines like this hand-me-down book I’m talking about today) you may loose the cover or pages.  We’re fixing it.

Gather your supplies.  You’ll need:
* the spiral book
* a scissor
* scrap ribbon pieces
* a cheap three prong folder (These are maybe 25¢.)

Here’s how to do it:
1. Loosen folded “spine” of the three prong folder.  Basically, you want to make it able to have a thickness at the folded part and not be just flat.
2. Use the holes on one side of the “inside paper holder” to tie the spiral book into place.
3. Use the holes on the other side of the “inside paper holder” to tie the spiral book into place.
4. You now have a new cover on your spiral bound book!  (It’s sure cheaper than buying a replacement book.)

Here’s a recap of how to recover a spiral bound book with pictures:

Step one: Gather supplies and loosen the "spine" of the three prong folder.

Step one: Gather supplies and loosen the “spine” of the three prong folder.

how to cover spiral bound book

Step Two: Tie the spiral book into the prong holes of the folder on the front side.

spiral bound recover

Step Three

spiral bound recover

Step Three: Tie the back of the spiral bound book into the back of the folder, putting the ribbon into the holes for the prongs. (Using the assistance of little fingers helps to hold the knot in tightly.)

spiral bound recover

Step Four: You will have a new cover on your spiral bound book. Label it if you desire. Of course it’s not professional, but it will keep additional pages from coming unbound, it will stay nice on the shelf and it only costs about 30¢.

spiral bound recover

Here’s the finished product. Take a look inside a random page.

Posted in Homeschooling in Our Little School on the Prairie, Laura's Cheapskate Secrets and tagged , , by with no comments yet.