More laminator love

A couple of weeks ago I spent some quality time with my laminator. I had purchased a Kumon book a while back thinking it would be good for some of my people working on learning their numbers. And I was right, it is. I really like some of the Kumon stuff. It's on good, heavy paper, the graphics are appealing, and they do some good incremental review that isn't found in regular math texts. All of this good stuff comes with a price and I needed four of them. Plus, my crew needed even more repetition than doing a page just once would give. The little girls tear through workbooks like they are candy, sometimes with about as much thought. H. and K. could use some significant repetition. I liked the book, but didn't want to keep buying more and more copies of it. 

Enter the laminator. I took the book apart and laminated each page, then hole punched them and put them in a binder. (Thus giving me the double satisfaction of using the laminator and putting things in binders. Bliss.)

This is all great, but you need to be able to write on the laminated sheets and then remove the writing in order to be able to reuse them again. Thus enters my homeschooling tip for the day where you can benefit from my rather expensive trial and error investigation. First, dry erase markers stains lamination. Don't use them. Having failed with dry erase markers, I then switched to erasable crayons. This does work, but it really depends on the brand. Crayola worked well, but they do eventually break (or get mixed in with the regular crayons) so need to be replaced. The next time I bought a different brand (Alex, I think) which did not work at all. At. All. complete waste of money. Finally, I friend suggested I try wet erase markers. I don't know why I didn't think of this in the first place. I've used these markers on large laminated maps for years. Sometimes my brain just doesn't make the connections. I'm happy to report that the Vis-A-Vis wet erase markers work great. They are easy for the children to use, they don't smudge, and they erase completely with no staining.

Everyone has been happily doing these pages over and over again, which makes me happy. I love my laminator.


liz said…
I wonder why your dry erase markers didn't work? i don't own a laminator, but we do use them on professionally laminated items such as maps or anything I have brought to say a kinkos to get laminated. We use Sharpie. I wonder if the laminate for home use absorbs the dry erase? Do you know why they don't work? I am honestly interested as I am a homeschooler also and have thought about purchasing a laminator.

Most of the products we buy say "consumable" and therefore are actually illegal to laminate and use over and over.
liz said…
*Sharpie "dry erase"
thecurryseven said…
Liz --

I don't know why the dry erase markers I used stained. I can't even remember what brand I used at this point. :-)

I also did a little research and laminating and copying are not quite the same thing under copyright laws. According to a thread on the Copyright Advisory Forum, it seems that laminating is allowed if you purchased the item you are laminating. What you cannot do is then sell or distribute what you laminated or turn those laminated pages into something else and then sell them.

I was curious and thought other people might be as well.

Kristin Mueller said…
Also, random fact...I have had success writing on laminated surfaces with Sharpie permanent markers. They "erase" when you spray them with hairspray. I did discover though, that if you leave the marker on for months at a time, it's much harder to remove. Not quite the right method for what you're doing, I imagine, as it would involve putting Sharpies into the hands of young children!
Pang readable crayons work well. I have a left handed child and no markers work. Especiallywith her dislike for messy hands.

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