Remember When? Homeschool Yearbooks
My high school class is having a reunion next year. As we’ve been making plans, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has referred to my yearbook to put names and faces together. As I scan through the pages, I recall fond, and some not-so-fond, memories. That’s why most of us not only bought our high school yearbooks but have kept them.
Can our children have the same trip down memory lane? What do you want them to remember? How can memories be preserved? Can our children have yearbooks?
The answer to the first three questions is up to you and your family. The answer to the fourth is a resounding “Yes.” Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Many think of this as the family scrapbook. Same idea, but this scrapbook is devoted strictly to homeschool activities. Once a month, the entire family can gather at a table to work on individual pages. This relieves pressure from mom having to keep up with the whole project.
The pages can be put in the book by the month or sorted by each family member. Even preschoolers can have pages with an older sibling or a parent writing sentence descriptions as the youngster dictates. Be sure to include samples of schoolwork throughout the year.
In addition to the scrapbook option, students can record their memories in a journal, a binder, or on a computer. The idea is for each family member to record what is important to them for the school year. A monthly family gathering to work on these individual yearbooks will keep everyone up-to-date.
Small Group Yearbooks
Small homeschool groups, less than ten families, may want to put together a joint yearbook. This method allows for pages for group activities as well as pages for individual families and students. Once all the pages are gathered, they can be taken to a local print shop for printing and binding.
A spin-off of this idea is to have a day once a month for families to gather and work on individual family yearbooks. Each family (not just mom) works on pages with pictures from other group members. Individual favorites can be added.
Usually, this option is a co-op class with older children, grades 7-12. Some classes include lessons in basic journalism and graphic arts in addition to compiling a group yearbook.
This group book will look more like what many of us received in school with individual student pictures, teachers’ pictures, and school activities. It can also have individual pages for families to include their most memorable moments. Group books rarely include schoolwork samples.
More high schools produce video yearbooks. Students take videos of activities such as field trips or group classes. The videos are then edited to include the best of the year. For groups, several students’ videos can be put together to produce a product for the entire group.
Computer software is now available to make digital yearbooks. The same type of information and photos are used as standard yearbooks. But instead of a bound paper book, it is a DVD, thumb drive, or downloadable file, which can be easily copied and shared with family and friends.
Web pages are another way to document a school year or the activities of a group. Whether the homeschool group has a web page or a simple blog is used, pictures and descriptions are posted. These websites can be kept private by use of passwords. Although web-based yearbooks are not as enduring as other options, it is an easy way to share memories with others who live far away.
Is it too late to start a yearbook? Maybe. Maybe not. Most traditional yearbook companies’ deadline is in April for June delivery. The first yearbook our homeschool group created was printed at a print shop. The students collated and bound the books. This allowed for a later deadline. Digital yearbooks are also more flexible. Of course, your family can create a personal yearbook any time.
No matter the method used, you will be glad you documented the school year for your children and grandchildren to enjoy in the years to come.
Scrapbook supplies & classes
Standard yearbooks & homeschool group yearbooks
- Homeschool yearbook FAQs
- School Annual Publishing (a division of Jostens for elementary and middle school)
Yearbooks & memory books
- Harper’s Printing
Video and Digital Yearbooks
Click here for a yearbook unit study for the family or co-op group.
Susan K. Stewart, Managing Editor with Elk Lake Publishing, teaches, writes, and edits nonfiction. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions. Her books include Science in the Kitchen, Preschool: At What Cost?, Harried Homeschoolers Handbook, and the award-winning Formatting e-Books for Writers. Her latest book, Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks, was released in July. You can learn more at her website www.susankstewart.com. Join Susan and other homeschoolers at Harried Homeschoolers Facebook group.
Science in the Kitchen https://www.susankstewart.com/books/science-in-the-kitchen/
Harried Homschoolers Handbook https://www.susankstewart.com/books/harried-homeschoolers-handbook/
Donkey Devos https://www.susankstewart.com/books/donkey-devos-listen-when-god-speaks/
Harried Homeschoolers Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/harried.homeschoolers