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Old 01-20-2017, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
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My nieces and nephews are always having me print their projects for school, in color, even though they have color printers at home. I have a photo printer, color laser, b&w laser, and two color inkjets, all of which are used a good amount. The ink for the color can be expensive, but there are some less expensive options with certain printers. I believe HP has a subscription service for $10/month for heavy use, and something around $3/month for light use with some printers. My photo printer has very expensive OEM ink, since it's a Canon and the tanks are $36/each and there are twelve of them, so I might not recommend that as a general use home printer, though I have one because of my cameras, and I do only use OEM ink in it. However, I also have an Epson Inkjet that is not expensive, under $200, and I use non-OEM ink without issue as I do in my smaller Canon inkjet that was under $100, that uses the 250XL tanks that are readily available from non-OEM sources.
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawflower View Post
Elementary was a few times a year, if that. Middle and high school were more often. Trifolds, posters, various other projects. Our printer was only ~$200, toner runs about $120. I'd
say we go through one or two per year.

I don't want to run to Kinko's or the public library every time my kid needs something printed in color, especially not at 10PM when they're putting the final touches on the project...

I agree. Our ink kits are about $80 and they last a few months.

Besides, kids are people too; they sometimes forget, take a long time to complete something, etc. If I had a work project that for whatever reason I needed to print late at night (or early in the morning), my boss wouldn't expect me to break out crayons.

Is a color printer NECESSARY? No, but not everything has to be an exercise in character development.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:21 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
I agree. Our ink kits are about $80 and they last a few months.

Besides, kids are people too; they sometimes forget, take a long time to complete something, etc. If I had a work project that for whatever reason I needed to print late at night (or early in the morning), my boss wouldn't expect me to break out crayons.

Is a color printer NECESSARY? No, but not everything has to be an exercise in character development.
The OP has a kid in elementary school. This is exactly when they should be using crayons, markers, and colored pencils. It's an important developmental skill, even into middle school. Some of my kids' favorite projects and the ones of which they are most proud -- those that found permanent homes in their school memory boxes -- were the ones they wrote/drew/colored by hand. Take that for what it's worth.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
The OP has a kid in elementary school. This is exactly when they should be using crayons, markers, and colored pencils. It's an important developmental skill, even into middle school.
Yes, if a project is to be done with crayons, as most elementary projects are, by all means use crayons.

If it requires a map to be printed or photos of authors, for example, as my kids did beginning in 2nd grade, then print it. Following assigned directions is an important developmental skill as well.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
We do not own a color printer. Toner for laser is way cheaper than ink for inkjet, plus they are faster and more reliable. So we have owned only b&w laser printers since college.


My question is, would a b&w printer be sufficient for your child's needs in school? Were there situations that you needed to print in color? How often did you have this need, and can you provide examples of when color was needed?
Most schools that require color printed items will have the ability for students to go to a media center of some sort that has a color printer. Typically students will not have direct access and will need to make arrangements or an appointment to use it. This is most common for middle and high school where students will make posters, flyers, lab reports, graphs, etc. It is worth noting that it is rare for projects to require color printing, and would not penalize the student for not having it but it tends to look "better". For example, science fairs do not require color printing of posters, and everything from graphs to text can be hand written, but printed and more specifically, color printed media looks more professional.

Almost completely unnecessary in elementary school.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
Yes, if a project is to be done with crayons, as most elementary projects are, by all means use crayons.

If it requires a map to be printed or photos of authors, for example, as my kids did beginning in 2nd grade, then print it. Following assigned directions is an important developmental skill as well.
In my experience, most elementary school teachers provide opportunities for students to use school computer resources if something must be printed or are flexible about how the student fulfills the assignment requirements. As an example, when my oldest was in elementary school, one assignment involved watching a television show of the student's choosing and identifying plot devices. We, by choice, did not have a TV at the time nor did we have a streaming service. The teacher made accommodations for my son to complete an alternate project. Teachers are typically very reasonable when these situations arise.
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Denver area
20,912 posts, read 21,532,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
I agree. Our ink kits are about $80 and they last a few months.

Besides, kids are people too; they sometimes forget, take a long time to complete something, etc. If I had a work project that for whatever reason I needed to print late at night (or early in the morning), my boss wouldn't expect me to break out crayons.

Is a color printer NECESSARY? No, but not everything has to be an exercise in character development.
Of course not. But, and you may differ in your family, once my kids were in about 3rd - 4th grade I was clear in that I wasn't making any late night runs due to their procrastination. There is a difference between something taking longer than expected and they've been diligent or if they just put stuff off. If they've been working on it, then it's doubtful any printing would be unknown before library closing. Just putting stuff off has consequences and the sooner they learn that the better for all of us. I don't recall ANY project in elementary school or even middle school that would have necessitated a color print and a BW one would have been unacceptable.

Last edited by maciesmom; 01-20-2017 at 12:41 PM.. Reason: wordsmithing
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:43 PM
 
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About the only thing I can think that really needs a color printer is science fair, right?
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:51 PM
Status: "Trump/ism, is Putin's-Russia's biggest post WWII WIN" (set 7 days ago)
 
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required no, useful yes.

setting up a secondary printer (wireless of course) is not big deal, just make sure the kids default to the cheap one and only use the costly one as required, maybe even make it so that they are supposed to mention it...
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Old 01-20-2017, 12:56 PM
 
Location: The analog world
13,727 posts, read 7,936,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twoincomes View Post
About the only thing I can think that really needs a color printer is science fair, right?
And you may not even need it for that. Our school adopted a policy that everything but the experiment was done at school to prevent parents from taking over. The planning, documentation, and exhibit were completed in the classroom under the supervision of teachers. I did not see any of my kids' finished projects until the night of the Science Fair.
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