On my most recent Pictures post, Brandy asked if I would give more information on our yearbooks. I would love to!
Click on the picture below to view a “generic” copy of the yearbooks (i.e. one with references to our real names removed). Then come back to read more about what was included, the pros and cons, and how it was done.
This is the first year that we’ve made yearbooks. In the past, I’ve made various keepsakes to record our memories – kid-made memory books, photo albums, scrapbooks, even printing out pages from this blog. Last year, I heard about the concept of family yearbooks from Heidi at Bugs, Boys and Burritos. I kept the idea tucked away in my mind, and took the plunge this year.
We decided not to limit our books to purely homeschool-related pages. Instead, we made it into a family photo album/scrapbook/yearbook all in one. Some things we included:
- a section dedicated to each child – pictures, full name, grade or age
- a few paragraphs about each child – personalities, interests, accomplishments, favorite things, favorite Bible verse, etc.
- school projects, field trips, activities
- new baby
- random pics
What I love:
- With a large family, it’s difficult to keep up with separate photo albums, scrapbooks or memory books for each individual child. Yearbooks, on the other hand, can represent our whole family. I design one book, then have multiple copies published.
- It was very easy to save multiple copies of the yearbook and customize the covers with each child’s name and a design of their choice.
- The finished result is stunning. I do believe that these yearbooks will be passed down to our great-grandchildren some day. I can’t say the same about the efforts of some of our previous years.
What I don’t love:
- It’s rather pricey. Catching a 20% off sale, clicking through Ebates for a 10% rebate, and using a free shipping coupon helped a lot, but it’s still expensive to have eight yearbooks printed. I can justify this somewhat because I know that school yearbooks, keepsake photo albums, and scrapbooks aren’t cheap either.
- It takes a lot of time and organization. I can justify this because any kind of memory books require the same (or more) work, and Shutterfly really does a lot to simplify the process.
Want to give it a try? Here’s how you can get started:
- Jot down memorable items to include. For ideas, you can browse your past year of photos, your blog, your diary/journal/etc., your calendar, or any place where you’ve kept track of important events.
- Open up your favorite photo editor/viewer/organizer. We use Picasa.
- Select the pictures you might want to use in your yearbook, and save them all in one place on your computer. In Picasa, I found it easiest to create a new “album” for that school year and saved all the pictures there.
- Upload the pictures to the photo-book publisher of your choice. We used (and loved) Shutterfly.
- Once the pictures are in Shutterfly (or Snapfish, Kodak, etc.) play around and design your book.
Note: In Picasa, you can select all the photos in the album and click “Order Pictures.” Picasa will give you a list of choices, asking where you would like to order from. Shutterfly is on the list, along with many others. This allows you to upload the bulk of the pictures all at once to the photo publisher, making the whole process a lot simpler.