A homeschool yearbook. As a homeschooling family my kids miss out on some things, one of the big ones is that yearbook that so many treasure and cherish for years. But it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, homeschoolers can create a yearbook that is even more special because it is uniquely theirs, and they can be an integral part in it’s creation. Here are some tips for making a homeschool yearbook.
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The best way to create a great homeschool yearbook is to start the year with it in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t make one now, but if you know throughout the year that this is part of your homeschool plans, it will make it’s creation easier. This year, one of the things we did was have “not back to school” photos taken at the beginning of the year. We were able to get fantastic photos of the kids laughing, having fun and enjoying life. It was the first year we got “school” photos that we really liked and truly reflected who our children are as people.
From that point forward we set off on our year of learning! The joy of having a smartphone is that I can take pictures whenever great opportunities present themselves. I take full advantage of this and love to record my children’s learning.
At the end of the year I gather all the photos I’ve taken and pick out the best ones. (For tips on organizing and storing your photos check out my favourite tips here!) I make sure I’m representing their year by including projects, activities, concerts and performances, plus field trips. I also include pictures from any family vacations.
Then I take pictures of their creations and crafts. I also take pictures of badges (from swimming and scouts), ribbons and trophies they have earned during the year. The Shotbox is perfect for this! You can take perfect pictures with your phone of all those special items using the posable sideshot or using the slots in the top for perfect top down shots.
Don’t forget photos of friends! I try to include pictures of the boys with their homeschool friends and supporters so they can remember the people who were part of their educational journey.
Tip! If you want to get creative you can put the Shotbox on the floor and have the kids lie down with their head in the box and snap head shots. Or have all the kids put their hands in the Shotbox for a creative picture of all their hands linked together. An image like this would make a great cover photo for your yearbook!
Here is a list of ideas for photos that would be perfect in a yearbook:
– individual shots of the kids
– group shots of the kids and family
– the homeschool space
– favourite books
– favourite curriculum or subjects
– crafts and creations
– projects and activities
– concerts and performances
– sporting events
– field trips
– badges earned from swimming, scouts, etc.
– ribbons and trophies earned
– any major life events
Once I have all my photos together I go to Blurb or Photobook America, and start putting together our yearbook. Both Blurb and Photobook have lots of templates to chose from, and you can simply input your pictures plus some captions explaining the images and preserving the memories. For those more tech savvy you can manipulate the layouts, customize finishes, and create a very unique product, but even their basic templates are quite slick and very easy to use.
Using these companies is also great because they store all your files. So if something happens and your yearbook gets lost or destroyed, you can have another one printed off. Your precious memories are protected!
Reflecting on a school year is an important part of an educational journey as children advance from grade to grade, moving up in their educational achievements but also growing as people. The yearbook is a chance for reflection and thought.
The best part is that not only is the yearbook specific to your family, you could even make ones specifically for each child.
On top of that, you could have the child involved in creating the yearbook and turn this into a powerful educational opportunity. Teach them about photography (beyond selfies!), how to use the layout/editing software, and how to organize and chose which photos to use.
Doing a homeschool yearbook is a fantastic activity for all homeschoolers, regardless of age and it doesn’t need to be expensive. Lots of photobook options are available for under $30, and those memories are priceless.
Preserve the memories and celebrate the accomplishments with a yearbook!