Making A Homeschool Yearbook: Tips And Inspiration
Last year was the first year I made a homeschool yearbook for us, and I love it! It gets flipped through a lot, and actually serves as a review for the things we’ve covered. Plus, it sure makes all the cool school stuff I do with the kids feels worthwhile and is not forgotten!
Our homeschool yearbook was just for lil ‘ol us, not part of a large co-op. Well… we do actually get together with one other family on Wednesdays and have “mini co-op” so this yearbook did serve for both of our families.
When I started making a plan for our homeschool yearbook, I wasn’t sure where to start. My first inclination was to just put everything in the order that it happened… but then I realized that I wanted to group like things together (for instance, all the Science together, all the field trips together, etc.)
Then the real secret of yearbook building came to me… The yearbook is one snapshot of the year. It doesn’t have to go in chronological order of the school year, the book in itself is the time frame- the school year. Once I realized this, I divided our year into subjects, and made the pages accordingly.
Here’s the list of sections from our homeschool yearbook (and you’re going to see a lot of Charlotte Mason style shining through here.)
- Title Page
- Homeschool Overview
- Meet the Staff/Students
- The Homeschool Room
- Charlotte Mason Hymns and Picture Studies
- Poetry Teas
- Extra Curriculars
- Field Trips
- Nature Study
- Liturgical Year
- The Classroom Is Wherever We Are! (this is where I show pictures of all the awesome/weird places we’ve done school over the year)
- Deskwork/Hands On Learning
- Religion Class
- Special Days/Tea Parties
- End of the Year
- Places For Signatures
My System For Completing Photo Books Quickly:
I can make a whole year into an album in two afternoons when I’m willing to bunker down and concentrate. This is only possible if you first have your photos digitally organized into yearly folders. Here’s how I do it.
- Make a new “album” in Snapfish. Upload only your favorite photos from that year. Upload them in the order of which they happened. Don’t agonize over which are your “favorites.” Just choose straight from the uploader. Set it to “large thumbnails,” scroll through, and pick the ones that make you smile.
- Start a new photo book as a project. I do the 8 by 11 hard back books that allow for a custom cover. Choose a consistent look so they will look like a “set” when they’re all together.
- Create an image to be your cover file. Upload it, and drop it onto the cover.
- You’re going to go through the book 3 times before you’re finished. In the first round, decide about how many “pages” you want for each event/subject. Because you’re only doing highlights, a trip to the zoo for instance maybe only gets 1 page. Just choose your favorites, and quickly drop them onto the page. Move onto the next event and to do the same thing. In all of my books, I have a few pages where a really good photo is featured and gets to cover an entire page. Go through the whole book this way. When you’re finished, make sure you’re ok with the number of pages you’ve ended up with. I like to keep my books under 100 pages.
- Now that you know what each page is dedicated to, go through again and click to choose a photo layout. I like to use the “grid” option because it allows for the most amount of photos to be the largest on the page. If you’ve chose too many pictures for 1 page and it makes them too small for your liking, this is when you weed some more unnecessary photos.
- Go through the book one more time, putting in background colors on the pages. Also, minimally you can add text boxes and “embellishments” around the page. This is where it’s easy to loose all your time, so again, don’t be a perfectionist.
Going over and doing the whole books like this will take a lot less time than agonizing over each page individually.
I’d love nothing more than sit with you on my couch with a cup of tea, flip through our homeschool yearbook, and chat about all of our good times from last school year. But this blog post is probably as close as we’re going to be able to come.
So get your cup of tea, and kick back. Let’s flip through our yearbook together. Rather than picking and choosing the best pagespreads, I’ve decided to just share our entire 2014-15 yearbook with you!
I have bible verses on the title page of all of our family albums, so it seemed fitting that we have one here as well.
Then I decided to share our homeschool goals, mascot, and a favorite educational quote. I put this really big picture in the front of my kids at the table and I tell everyone “This is what our homeschool looks like 80% of the time. And the other 20% is the rest of this book.” So true! But usually Lydia would be sitting… Some of the kids still being in their pajamas is bonus for this picture!
Then I thought it would be funny to have a staff/students page. Do you love all of Mark’s jobs? This is a great way to tell what grade everyone is.
Then I took the opportunity to show off my new homeschool room. The year before I had the homeschool room upstairs, but now it’s in the office attached to the kitchen. I LOVE having it so close to the kitchen!
Charlotte Mason hymn study and picture study.
Our presentations are kind of a glorified “show and tell”
Durer art project
Music class- listening to different composers
Vivaldi’s 4 seasons, and practice with instruments (We study 3 artists and 3 composers per year due to our Charlotte Mason homeschooling style)
Music notebooking pages, and another Durer art project- creating a signature like his
Poetry teas- so much fun!
Geography and handwriting
Preschool with Violet and Anabelle
and more preschool
Extra curricular- horseback riding lessons and fun days at church
Cub Scout trips
More Durer art projects- making texture hares, and printmaking our own bunnies
Nature study homeschool yearbook page
Living the Liturgical Year at home- basically Catholic Icing for the year boiled down to 2 pages
Field Trips to a Frog and Toad play, and the Carl Sandburg Home. Both super fun!
Field trip to Alabama Space Center
Walnut Grove Plantation field trip- this is one of my favorites!
A Harvest-themed tea party for the Fall
We heart books! Our reading page.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Another Durer art lesson: His rhinos. And… The Homeschool Classroom is Wherever We Are!
Rembrandt art project- painting light and dark cubes. And a self portrait project.
Studying Tchaikovsky and the Nutcracker!
A special Nutcracker themed tea party.
Field trip to see the Nutcracker.
Rembrandt art project: tint and shade nativity paintings
Christmas themed tea party
Charlotte Mason handicrafts
Desk work and hands-on learning
Rembrandt art project: tint and shade sphere planets
Religious Notebooking Pages
Saint Patrick’s Day tea party
Lenten tea party
Rembrandt art project: light and dark fruit and Easter crosses
Easter tea party
Van Gogh art project- fill in the missing pieces with impressionistic texture.
Van Gogh art project: make Starry Night into Morning Light… and other variations!
More poetry teas
Learning to conduct and marching Sousa style!
Going to see a live band perform Sousa music.
And a Sousa themed tea party because, hey, why not?
Van Gogh art project- impressionistic color wheels and perspective landscapes.
A birthday tea party for Anabelle, and painting Van Gogh’s sunflowers on real canvases!
A Vincent van Gogh themed tea party- which was super fun!
The last day of co-op with review games.
That’s it! Thanks for flipping through it with me. <3 I’m currently working on our 2015-16 yearbook. Hope to share it when I’m finished! I’ve been treasuring this one for the last year now, and I’m sure will continue treasuring it forever!