Once upon a time, people took pictures, had them developed, and preserved their memories in albums. In an age where everything is digital, I’m sad to say most of my pictures never make it off my phone. I’ve found an easy, inexpensive way to keep our school memories preserved, as well as a few other documents I like to keep for our school year.
Remember the days of receiving a yearbook in school? With anticipation, it was one of the few things I looked forward to every year. I still have them all, and occasionally my kids will ask to look through them. My dad (who is 80) pulls his yearbook out often. It’s entertaining to hear him tell stories from his school days, see pictures of his friends and how different they look now as senior citizens. Several years ago, I decided a yearbook of our school memories would be a cool end-of-the-year gift to my kids, and so the tradition began.
Scrapbook? Smash Book? I don’t really know what to call it. Perhaps a hybrid of both. Smash Books are for those who possess more of an eclectic style, so that would be me. I’m somewhat of an old soul that prefers paper over computers. Whatever you call it – with minimal supplies, a few late nights, and a few gallons of coffee, you too can make a yearbook to preserve all those great memories this year!
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- Report Covers – the kind with the clear cover and three prongs work great!
- Sheet Protectors – to protect the pages – plus they have so many other uses! I use them for recipes, schedules, and more!
- Photo Printer – One of the BEST purchases I have ever made! I have even taken it to family gatherings, and it has been a big hit! When printing a lot of pics, I usually use Walgreens or other commercial print service, but I always have a few that I forgot to print, or need a quick reprint. The print quality is great, and it’s so easy to use!
- Paper cutter – great for trimming down pictures or scrapbook-sized paper into 8 1/2 by 11.
- Photo Corners – I use these to stick some of the photos, and I like the the instant frame look they give.
- Various paper or cardstock, gluesticks, tape, scissors, stickers, washi tape, or anything else you may have from your scrapbooking days.
- Creativity! My pages are random and unplanned, and there’s no wrong way to do it.
Put it all together
Most of the time, I organize the yearbook in chronological order. This year, I typed out highlights of the month, printed it off, and organized it that way. Other times, I have organized by topic: field trips, art projects, science, etc. I then go through and adhere a few photos, notes, ticket stubs or postcards we may have from field trips, plays, or other events we attended throughout the year. In 2017, I saved the special eclipse glasses to add to the book. A couple of years ago there seemed to be many fads, so I included a picture of that too.
I also include our attendance sheet and standardized test scores. It is a requirement in NC to have them on file. That way, I know exactly where they are if I should ever get audited. I also keep a list of books we read together and the curriculum we used. It’s also a good idea to keep a few samples of their work. You will be proud of the progress they have made throughout the year.
When to create
Easy peasy! If I had my ducks in a row, I would take a couple of evenings every couple of months, and make a few of the pages then. I don’t have my ducks in a row, so I work like a crazy person for a week at nighttime and put them together all at once. That’s where the gallons of coffee come in!
This is a fun mini-summer project to do with your kids, or alone. I prefer to do it by myself as it adds an element of surprise when I give the booklet to them. I do one for each kid, but I only have two. You could certainly do a family book that includes everyone. Either way, you have a keepsake to look back on as well as a place to put things you need to hang on to. I really like this type of memory keeping. It is not complicated and won’t take a lot of your time, plus it has a personal touch that is sometimes absent in digitally printed albums.
My yearbook style is where I can let go of perfection and enjoy preserving those memories. In just a few short years, I will be glad I did! How do you preserve your homeschool memories and memorabilia? I love new ideas!