PDF Printing Problems

Troubleshooting Tips for PDF Printing

The #1 question I receive via email, Facebook, and comments is about PDF printing problems.  I have the troubleshooting tips in my FAQ section and have had them there for years, however, I still get the questions multiple times per week, sometimes per day.  I do not mind answering them for you, I just hate that you have to wait to solve a frustrating problem!  I plan to repost this post every so often to be sure any new readers are aware of the solutions in case you stumble upon PDF files from my site or others that don’t download and/or print properly.

Unfortunately this is a common problem and one that is solved differently for different people.  I wish I could say there is a simple answer, but often it is trial and error.  Other than offering these tips, there’s not much I can do, since the issue isn’t on my end.
Here are the tips I have accumulated over the years, I hope something helps you get it working, please let me know!

  • Go online and install the most recent Adobe Reader update. This is the problem 99.9% of the time! It’s that simple!
  • If you are using a MAC-the problem is usually because you are using the standard Mac PDF viewer instead of Adobe, Make sure you have updated Adobe and that your downloaded files are opening in Adobe and not the Mac viewer and things should be fine!
  • Sometimes Google Chrome or Safari {or another browser} can be the problem. Try opening in Firefox or possibly IE and see if that helps. Whatever browser you are using, try another browser and the solution may be that simple!
  • If you are opening directly, try right clicking, saving to your computer, and then opening from your own folders.
  • You can see a thread on my Facebook page here offering even more troubleshooting tips! Awhile back, I asked readers to share their solutions in this thread, there is valuable information there if none of the basic tips above solve for you.

If you get your issue resolved, I’d love to know what fixed it for you so I can possibly use the info to help others in the future.  I am sorry for the issues, I sure wish there was a way I could solve these silly issues on my end!

Our Current Curriculum

I have been working on this for months now and finally have it as done as it will get for now, I will update and change it in the future.  I hope this page helps answer some of the FAQ concerning our curriculum. There is a link to this page in my top navigational bar, under the “Homeschool Help” section.

This list was updated April 2012.

As we change and add/delete programs, I will come back and update this page!

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Ladybug  ~ Tot School, age 3

Krash ~ In between K and 1st, age 5 1/2

PacMan ~ 4th Grade, age 9

Family

  • USA Geography
  • World Geography
  • New Testament Overview, from Grapevine Studies
    • This is a once a week thing we are using as our family time, it is targeted towards Krash and PacMan, but Ladybug is included too.
  • Calendar Connections
    • We are using these mostly for PacMan, but depending on the theme, Krash and Ladybug pick up on the facts too.
  • What’s in the Bible DVDs
    • We are watching the episodes together during school time and discussing them.  Ladybug obviously doesn’t really “get it”, Krash tends to pick up on some of it but needs to watch episodes repeatedly.  PacMan LOVES them the most and is really learning a lot.  I hope to continue using these on a regular basis in the future too!
  • Speekee Spanish & Boca Beth
    • Ladybug is the biggest fan of these, but these programs have helped us all pick up on some simple Spanish.
  • iPad

FAQ ~

I heard your boys are enrolled in a cyber school, how does this work?

Yes, they are and we have a VERY unique situation.  We are enrolled in a cyber school but we traditionally homeschool just like someone using Calvert who bought it from their site.  The only difference is that my kids get their supplies, curriculum, computer, printer, and MUCH support for free.  We are so incredibly blessed to have this option, it is working for us right now.  I teach them every single subject, and we use traditional Calvert texts and books…hardly anything is done online for my boys-except fun games and such we have access to.  This is another perk for us we have free access to: First in Math, Study Island, Let’s Go Learn, Brain Pop, and more.  These sites are amazing.

If you are wondering what state we live in, you can email me privately.  I just don’t publicly share the name of our specific school and location online.  Let me emphasize that all sates are different and ALL cyber schools are different.  I personally do not know ANYONE else who has a situation like mine {except those enrolled in my particular cyber school}, most are much more controlled from what I have heard.  Here is a place on Calvert’s website that allows you to seek out using Calvert with a partner school in your state.

Would you use Calvert even if you didn’t get it for free through your state? 

I am not sure.  I do love it, but I think I would look into something like Sonlight or My Father’s World ~ with a more Christian backbone.  I have heard great things about those.  I also think Mystery of History and many products from Bright Ideas Press look awesome.  I would probably piece together subject by subject, although the box curriculum approach is really nice and works for us.  So, maybe I would stick with Calvert, maybe not.  I honestly don’t know!  I have NO problems with Calvert, and it has served us well since PacMan’s PreK year.  I specifically have really enjoyed Calvert from grade 2 on, which is the beginning of where I am not as comfortable teaching!  I absolutely love Calvert this year {4th grade} and am really benefitting from the box approach in a grade I am so uncomfortable teaching!

Why are you using All About Reading for Krash if Calvert has a good reading program within it?

Honestly-I got AAR to review and decided to review it fully to help my blog readers.  I do not need a program to teach reading, I have done it with hundreds of children and it just comes naturally for me {I am a former Kindergarten teacher for any new readers}.  Something I truly love.  I followed Calvert’s program with Pac, but still basically did my own thing, which is what I have done with Krash too.  BUT, I get tons of questions from moms who tell me that teaching reading does not come naturally for them!!!  They want me to recommend a program and up until now I couldn’t since I had no experience with any homeschool reading program {other than Calvert}.  I can’t recommend Calvert’s reading program separately {it is great, but it only comes with the complete box curriculum}. When given the opportunity to review AAR Level 1, I jumped at the chance, knowing this would give me the experience I needed to give my readers an opinion on this reading program-which so far is amazing and definitely what I recommend!  I used All About Spelling Levels 1 & 2 with Pac and loved it.  We went to AAS when he began struggling early on.  He has now went back to the Calvert spelling program and does fine. Our great experience with All About Spelling led me to want to review All About Reading.

Will you enroll Ladybug in the cyber school when she is in PreK?

Probably not, I am thinking of taking PreK-1st and doing it myself for her.  But, that may change and we may enroll her if Calvert is still available.  Being a former K teacher, I just really, really enjoy doing my own things for these lower grades!

Will you always homeschool?

We believe in making this decision on a year-by-year, kid-by-kid basis.  We had no idea we would ever be homeschoolers, so we realize that we have no clue what God has in store for our family.  For now, we cannot imagine not homeschooling, and are very thankful to have been led here.

Are you against public/private school?

Absolutely NOT!  I believe that the decision of schooling needs to be made by individual families based on so many different circumstances.  I NEVER thought we would homeschool, but now am so glad we do {although it was very rough for me the first year}.  Some homeschooling families need to go back to group education for various reasons or during different seasons of life and who knows-that may be us one day.  I know the Lord will guide us each year in making this decision and I trust He guides families individually in this area. 

Why do you homeschool?

Honestly we started because of the area we live in.  We are inner city missionaries living in one of America’s toughest neighborhoods and the schools aren’t anything to jump for joy about.  We looked into private school but it just wasn’t in the budget, and it wasn’t something we really felt called to.  We have fellow missionaries on our team who homeschool and even though at first I thought they were a bit nuts-ha ha, I now adore them and the knowledge they have shared with me.  Although the decision to homeschool was made due to circumstances, we now feel we would continue even if we had the opportunity to send our kids to a great public school.

Do you have a daily schedule or routine? How do you “do it all”?

Updated: See our A Day in Our Homeschool Series Here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 {part 4 coming soon}.

Loosely, yes…but we seem to work better being a bit more flexible.  We know what we need to accomplish and we usually do that-but we tend to go with the flow more since Ladybug often has sassy attitude problems and throws our mornings off a bit.  We school intensely each afternoon while she naps…even if she doesn’t sleep she is in her bed from at least 1-3:00.  This afternoon quiet time is vital to our day!

We try to keep a basic outline of a routine…Calendar Notebooks first thing, Pac upstairs to accomplish independent work while I play with the little 2 {focusing on Ladybug for at least 30 minutes each morning}.  Snack, recess, lunch… Then nap for L-bug and individual school for the boys.  We usually finish up all school around 3pm each day.  In the middle of it all we fit everything in somehow!

We still use a lesson plan blog for PacMan, and Krash still uses workboxes.  I now categorize Pac’s blog by colors {green-independent, blue-possibly need help, red-with mom}. It is SO easy and we both love it.

It is hard for me…the whole schedule thing.  We have good and bad days.  We have on and off-routine days.  We get things done most of the time and then there are days when I let the little 2 watch too many “educational” DVDs.  There are days I adore being with my kids all day long and days I wish I could bury my head in the pillow and not emerge for hours, or possibly days!  If you are struggling with creating a routine/schedule that works…know you are not alone.  I have been at this homeschooling things for 5 years now and I still struggle.  We get through yes-but it is still a struggle for me.  I often get asked how I “do it all” and I wrote a post about that here if you’ve wondered my thoughts on this topic.  The post is older but still applies!


If you have any other general questions about our curriculum, please leave in the comments below and I will do my best to add the answers to this list!

Understanding RRSP, YCR, and MO

This post was originally written in September 2011, and was updated in June 2014.

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I know, I know…I have weird names and sometimes things on my site are hard to understand. It seems that the paid items I offer tend to be the most confusing and I can understand why. I hope this post explains a bit more about what they are and include.

#1 Members Only PowerPoint Section {often referred to as MO}

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The MO section should have a better name, I know. When I launched it, I was new and just came up with a generic name. In hindsight, I should have been more specific and named it something like POWERPOINT SHOWS. I think it would cause even more confusion if I changed the name now, so I will just keep explaining it to new people!

The Members Only PowerPoint section is $15 to join and is a LIFETIME membership. There is no recurring fee. It is a one time payment and then you have access to a link/password and can download any shows I create. I have a details page showing you exactly what is there currently.

In addition to the PP shows, there is a section where the RRSP {Raising Rock Stars Preschool} lessons are linked up, and there is an entire series of PowerPoint shows just for RRSP. This is where the confusion comes in. Many people think the MO section is the RRSP section. It just hosts the PowerPoint shows for RRSP.

So in a nutshell think POWERPOINT SHOWS when you think Members Only!

 


#2 You Can Read Bundle {abbreviated YCR, sometimes just called “ad-free”}

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The bundle includes 18 base sight word units + color words and number words. There are also several bonus items which are only available on the ad-free bonus page. I have many units available for free, you can see those here.

The You Can Read Ad-Free/Bonus Section is $10, and is also a one time fee. You get a link/password and can save it and come back to download at any time. You will also have unlimited access to any bonus YCR items I add in the future!

 


#3 RRSP Bundle {Raising Rock Stars Preschool}

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This is my most recent addition and is basically a glorified and simple version of the printable RRSP units. I worked hard to bundle them up in a neat and organized folders and also added several bonus printables to the new download bundle! You can see details about the bonus materials that were added here.

The RRSP Download Bundle is $10 and with the one time fee you get a link/password where you can download your 2 folders {1 for base units and 1 for extras}. I will also add any other bonus printables to this webpage so you can come back in the future.

There is a RRSP Bundle DISCOUNT available in the Members Only section. So, if you join the MO section, you can then purchase the RRSP Bundle for just $8.

All base RRSP units are available for FREE here, just scroll down until you see the blue section with the letters in it!

 


#4 RRSK Bundle 

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This is the  Kindergarten version of RRSP. Learn more here.

Units A-P are available for free so you can decide if this is a wise investment for your family!

 


#5 Animal ABC 

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I offer  Animal ABC  in a bundled format for $10.  You get access to all files, plus future access to any extras I add.  All links to files are added to the private download page and you can come back at any time to download anything new I add.

 Free files available are located on the main Animal ABC page, just scroll down to see them!


#6 Raising Lil’ Rock Stars Through the Bible A-Z

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Learn more about Raising Lil’ Rock Stars here!

 


Why sell anything?

Why not give it all for free as a majority of my printables are {Preschool Packs, Tot Packs, Clip & Learn, Montessori Printables, Preschool Printables, Kindergarten Printables, Tot School Printables, & more}?

I believe 100% in giving as much as I can away for free in order to serve others. When my blog began to grow years ago, and take time away from my family, my husband and I prayed about what to do. At the time I was studying the Proverbs 31 woman using this awesome study guide book. We prayed for a long time and then ventured into learning about selling a few things online to supplement our missionary income. We felt this was where God was leading us and we have been truly blessed! My blog is both a service to others and a service to my family by alleviating some of the financial strain that we have been through in the past. My blog is something my entire family gets excited about and is on board with. Especially my husband and my oldest son!

If you are in a financial situation that makes you completely unable to consider paying for any of my paid items, but you feel they would benefit your family…please email me. I don’t want anyone to be without something that could help their family.


I hope that helps you understand what I sell, why I sell it, and what you will get when you make a purchase!

PS-If you have ANY problems downloading or printing any of my PDF files, please see my FAQ section and be sure to go to the Facebook link in the last bullet point for troubleshooting tips. I get emails about this almost daily! I don’t mind helping you, but it usually takes me awhile to get back to you and I don’t want anyone to be frustrated!

FAQ…

These are the most frequently asked questions I receive! They are in no particular order and I will be adding ?s and answers as I find the time!

I am having trouble printing your PDF files {smudges, text missing, black boxes, etc.}, how can I fix this?

This is usually a VERY easy fix, you can read more in this post!!

How do you create your printables? I want to make printables too!

I so wish this were an easy answer! I can share with you what I use but it will still be different for us all. I am not a tutorial site at this time {maybe someday}, so I don’t spend my time teaching the HOW, I spend my time providing!

I use Microsoft Publisher and PowerPoint mostly, with a bit of Adobe Photoshop {I use version 7 because I have had it for many years and it works fine for me!} thrown in. I am not sure if it is any good, but I did see this Publisher tutorial book on Amazon that might help you learn the ropes.

I purchase many of my graphics, either through memberships {www.clipart.com} or Etsy {search digital clipart}. I get many of my fonts online for free! The fonts I get asked about the most are my standard printing font: Primer Print and the font I use in my header and on my calendar supplies: Love Ya Like a Sister. Both are free online and I got them where I linked to. I do also own a font package from Fonts 4 Teachers and highly recommend it if you will be making any of your own printables.

My good friend Jolanthe uses the same programs I do, we actually collaborate a lot! She has written a post including the basics of how we do it.

My best advice is to see what you have on your computer and start fiddling around to see if you can make stuff!

I have created printables, how do I share them?

To share your files you need to be able to save as a PDF file and host the file somewhere. I have my own website so I host there, but many people use a free hosting service online {I don’t use any so I won’t offer any links or advice about the free services}. I do advise you to be very cautious with hosting your PDF files on a free hosting site as the ads displayed aren’t always “nice.” Also-if you ever decide to have your own site, you will have to deal with removing them from the free hosting site-which I have heard is a big pain. If you are interested in seeking out your own website, I recommend looking into Yahoo, most of my friends online who run sites host them through Yahoo. I personally use Homestead and have for over 12 years but have heard good things about Yahoo and their prices seems very reasonable. If I were starting out today I would not choose Homestead.

I am BRAND NEW to your site, where should I start?

Be sure to start here, at my Welcome page. You can learn the most about what my site offers there. Then you can decide where you want to explore first! Be sure to look at the right sidebar of my website for the general categories of what is offered there.

I saw something on your site and now I can’t find it, help!

My best advice is to use something to store ideas when you find them, tumblr is a great option, so is Evernote. Pinterest is my favorite! BUT, if you haven’t done that, and you have lost an idea, best bet is to use my search box {this isn’t the actual box, just a visual of what to look for on the sidebar}. imageJust type in any text you can remember and usually you can find it! I even use my own search box to find things quickly! It’s always over there on the right sidebar!

I am adding buttons at the bottom of my right sidebar with links to popular posts {or collections}. Maybe what you are looking for might be there!

You can also always check my blog categories section on the right sidebar…image

Everything Else…

I have a large section on my site entitled “Behind the ScenesBehind the Scenes

You can easily see links to these posts using the top navigational bar, or by going here on my website to see a detailed list. Most of my FAQ have been answered in detail in one of these posts.

Do you LIKE me on Facebook?

I think the whole “fan” and “like” of Facebook is silly and it makes me giggle, but be sure to LIKE me on Facebook as I share a lot of tiny tidbits over there and even offer some things earlier to my Facebook followers. Many questions get answered over there, sometimes not even by me but by my helpful readers!

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This page is linked from my Welcome Page and will also be linked on the top navigation bar {if it isn’t already} so you can easily access it in the future!