The best printer for homeschool family (including yours!) is out there. And the good news is that it's easy to find when you use these tips and ideas.
I'm sharing what I've learned over the past 11 years as a homeschooler to help make the process of finding the perfect printer for your family a success.
Why Are You Looking for a Printer for Your Homeschool?
If you're reading this post, I'm assuming that you are on the hunt for a homeschool printer. Maybe you need a new printer to replace your current one? Or perhaps this is your first time buying a printer for homeschool use and you have no idea where to start?
Well, whatever reason that you're here - welcome and I'm SO glad 😊 I love sharing resources, tips, and ideas that have helped my 5 boys and myself rock our homeschool over the years.
If you're like many homeschool families (even if you don't want to use a lot of worksheets or other types of printables), you still find that you need to print resources and important documents.
In fact, you probably have discovered that you have much more need for a homeschool printer than you ever imagined.
When we first started homeschooling (gosh, has it really been 11 years?!?), I had a few strong ideas about what the process would look like - and we surely wouldn't need a printer. And then quickly learned to be flexible and let learning happen in the best possible way for my boys.
For example, I swore that we wouldn't use worksheets or any type of busy work. And then my boys begged me to do those types of activities because they enjoyed the bit of structure and sense of accomplishment.
I've actually discovered that we use our printer for homeschool purposes on a daily basis. And having this simple device has saved me tons of time, money, and stress!
5 Things to Consider As You Search for the Best Printer for Homeschool Family (& Other Uses)
In addition to thinking about WHY you're looking for a homeschool printer, it can be extremely helpful to take these 5 things into consideration.
When you start to search for a computer (I immediately go to Amazon for this type of stuff), you can quickly become overwhelmed with all the brands and styles.
These things to consider can help you narrow down your choices and reduce decision fatigue (not something you want to deal with when making a larger purchase!) as you find the best printer for homeschool family. As always, keep the needs of your family at the forefront of your mind.
1. How do you plan to use your homeschool printer?
A big part of what you need to consider when finding the right printer for your family is how you'll be using it.
A few questions to ask yourself as you think about "how" include:
- What types of materials and resources will you be printing?
- How often do you think you'll be using it (rough estimate)?
- Will you need both black-and-white and coloring printing? Will you be doing a lot of printing?
- Will you need to print from a mobile device (need bluetooth capabilities)?
- Do you need high print quality?
- Are you planning on printing out any of these types of resources (and how many)?:
2. What is your budget?
As you find out more about home printers, you might get caught up in all the bells and whistles. I recommend sticking to the basics and what you really need and can afford. More than likely, you don't need the most expensive printer. Also, what printer is the best option that will serve you in the long run?
When considering your homeschool printer budget, keep in mind:
- Price of the printer
- Shipping costs (if any)
- Cost of printer supplies (like ink or toner cartridges or tanks)
- Types of paper you will be printing on (regular printer paper, cardstock, etc.)
3. What size would make the best homeschool printer for you?
Another important consideration is how much space you realistically have for a printer.
Are you working with a small homeschool area or roadschooling?
4. Where will you store your printer?
Along the same train of thought, you need to think about where you'll store your printer. Will you keep your printer in your homeschool area? Or will it be stored in another area of your home?
Oh, and don't forget to plan where you'll be storing your printer supplies!
5. What type of supplies will you need for your printer?
Of course, you'll need some type of paper to print on. Also, you might want to keep an extra ink or toner cartridge around just in case. (Unless you go with the HP Instant Ink program which helps you make sure that you have ink whenever you need it!).
Do you need a stand, shelf, or cabinet to store your homeschool printer on or in? Depending on the size of the printer, you may be able to store all your supplies - including the printer - on a rolling cart!
Oh, and other supplies that I love having are a paper cutter and paper punch (for use with 3-ring binders)!
My 2 Favorite Printers for Homeschool Use (& Beyond)
I've tried a few printers to boost our learning adventures. Our budget is usually on the low end plus I'm frugal 😉 We actually have 2 printers that I use for our homeschool. One was gifted to us and the other I purchased after a lot of research. Both printers have special places in my homeschool mom heart - I ❤️️ HP Printers!
🖨 HP LaserJet M1217 nfw Multifunction Printer --> Our "new to us" printer
This printer is a beast (in a good way!). It prints in black-and-white and has saved our homeschool a ton of money. We've had this printer for over 8 years and have never had a problem with it.
The ink cartridges are inexpensive and I get at least 6,000 pages out of each cartridge. Actually, I've only ordered cartridges twice.
This printer is fantastic if you need to print high volume. For example, one year I purchased PDF workbooks from PAC (Paradigm Accelerated Curriculum) for my 2 older boys. With this printer, I was able to easily print out all pages with no worry about cost.
I love that I can scan and print, as well as duplex printing (print on both sides of the paper). Plus, the HP LaserJet M1217 doesn't take up that much space considering all that it can do.
🖨 HP OfficeJet 3830 --> my absolute favorite printer ever!
Hands down - this printer has been the BEST purchase for our homeschool.
Before I bought this printer, I did a bunch of research and asking around Facebook groups. When it came time to hit the buy button, all the checkboxes were filled for the HP OfficeJet 3830.
Here are a few reasons why I adore this all-in-one printer so much:
- Cost - At the time, this printer was on sale and included 6 months free HP Instant Ink (more on that amazing program in a bit!). New versions and styles are available at the price that I got my printer.
- Color printing - The ability to print in color has been a game changer for our homeschool. Now, all of our fun printable resources are extra special!
- Multi-functionality - I love being able to print, scan, and copy with one machine. (You can also fax but I've never used that function). I use this printer all the time for our homeschool AND as a soccer team manager (especially for scanning game cards, registration forms, etc.).
- Bluetooth - I can send a resource to the printer from my smartphone while I'm in another room. I use this function way more than I ever thought would (including extra math practice and recipes to work on with my boys).
- HP INSTANT INK - I really can't say enough good things about this program. It's been incredible in helping me save time, money, and stress. I NEVER run out of ink since my printer has been connected to this program. You can find out more over at HP Instant Ink.
- Basically, you sign up for a plan that will work best for your family. For example, we are on the 100 pages per month ($5.99/month) with ability to rollover up to 300 pages.
- You synch your printer with the program (step-by-step instructions are provided plus there's a help chat, if necessary).
- As you get close to running out of ink (black or color), HP Instant Ink sends you a small package with the ink AND a pouch with no postage required to return your empty ink cartridge. Makes it super easy to recycle!
3 Common Types of Home Printers
Before we get to taking a closer look at some of the most popular printers for homeschooling, it can be helpful to learn more about the different types of printers that are commonly used in homes.
1. Inkjet printers
An inkjet printer is typically inexpensive and uses liquid ink that is rather inexpensive to replace. These types of printers can be a good fit if you don't have a lot to print and don't need high-quality. According to Adorama, inkjet printers "can print photographs in high resolution on photo paper, pages of text on traditional paper, or labels and iron-on transfers on specialty stickers and paper."
2. Laser printers
As the name implies, laser printers use lasers (or small beams of light) on a toner that sets into the paper. The toner cartridge are often more expensive than their ink counterparts but last longer. Other bonuses of using these printers is faster printing and higher-quality.
3. Supertank printers
I don't have any experience with these types of printers (also known as ecotank printer). I've done a bit of research on them and heard from a few friends about their experiences.
Large tanks are refilled with ink (in place of cartridges) to eliminate the need for disposal or recycling. Although these printers have higher prices tags, the overall cost of printing is less.
Let's Compare Some of the Most Popular Homeschool Printers
I don't have much experience with other printers for homeschool use. I share the below suggestions based on research and recommendations from friends so you can get as much information as you can as you pick the best printer for homeschool family.
** If you have experiences with any of these printers (especially pros and cons, as well as if it's a reliable printer), please share in the comments area at the bottom of this post!
HP LaserJet M110we Wireless Black and White Printer with HP+ and Bonus 6 Months Instant Ink (7MD66E)HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e Wireless Color All-in-One Printer with Bonus 6 Free Months Instant Ink (1K7K3A) (Renewed Premium),GreyHP OfficeJet Pro 8035e Wireless Color All-in-One Printer (Basalt) with up to 12 Months Instant Ink (Renewed Premium)HP ENVY 6055e Wireless Color Inkjet Printer, Print, scan, copy, Easy setup, Mobile printing, Best-for-home, Instant Ink with HP+,whiteHP DeskJet 2755e Wireless Color inkjet-printer, Print, scan, copy, Easy setup, Mobile printing, Best-for home, Instant Ink with HP+,whiteHP ENVY Inspire 7955e Wireless Color Inkjet Printer, Print, scan, copy, Easy setup, Mobile printing, Best-for home, Instant Ink with HP+,White
Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One Multifunction Printer (0515C002) with PC Treasures Corel PaintShop Pro X9 & 1 YR CPS Enhanced Protection PackCanon PIXMA TR4720 All-in-One Wireless Color Inkjet Printer, Black - Print Copy Scan Fax - 2-Line LCD Display, 4800 x 1200 dpi, Auto 2-Side Printing, 20-Sheet ADF, DAODYANG Printer_CableCanon PIXMA TS9521C All-in-One Wireless Crafting Color Inkjet Printer, White - Print Scan Copy - 4.3Epson EcoTank ET-2803 All-In-One Wireless Supertank Color Inkjet Printer, White - Print Scan Copy - 1.44Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 Wireless All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer, Black - Print Scan Copy Fax - 4.3Epson EcoTank ET-2800 Wireless Color All-in-One Inkjet Printer, Print & Copy & Scan, 1200 x 2400 dpi, 1.44Brother HL-L2350DW Series Compact Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer - Mobile Printing - Auto Duplex Printing - Up to 32 Pages/min - Up to 250 Sheet Paper - 1-line LCD Display + HDMI CableBrother Compact Monochrome Laser Wireless All-in-One Printer HL-L2395DW, Flatbed Copy & Scan, Auto Duplex Printing, 2.7
Do You Really Need a Homeschool Printer?
Okay, so after reading all this information, you may be wondering if you really need a homeschool printer. Perhaps you're just getting started and not sure what will be the best printer for homeschool family like yours? Or you just don't have the budget or space at this time?
No worries! You can always go with a printing company, especially one that focuses on homeschool materials. Two companies that I am familiar with are:
You can send a print job or two to one of these companies to see if it's a good fit for your homeschooling needs. Look for current turnaround time before placing order (if your material is time-sensitive).
What Type of Homeschool Printer Will You Get?
Wow! That was a lot of information to take in. It's my sincere hope that you find the guidance that you need to make an informed decision on getting the best printer for homeschool family.
Which of these homeschool printers look like the best fit for your family? Do you have any experiences (especially pros and cons) with any of these printers? Please leave your comments at the end of this blog post to help other homeschoolers find their perfect printer 😊