Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Yearbooks ...

I posted this picture on Facebook yesterday, but thought I'd do it here too. These are our yearbooks. We've been homeschooling since 1998 and are coming up on our 14th year next month. Each year I've made my kids a book documenting what they did over the year. You might notice that gap in the middle. That was 2002 and the year Neil was born. Nathan was a toddler, Neil was a newborn, and I was teaching both the girls. It was a crazy time and I never got that book done. I will though and it's next on my list. Fortunately, I keep all my kid's school work in big 3-inch binders, so it won't be too hard to create that missing book. I'm determined to get it done this year.

As you can see, the one on the bottom isn't bound yet. That's just a piece of paper showing the cover. That's last year's yearbook, which is the one I'm currently working on. I am about halfway finished, so I should have it done in another day or so. I still have a bunch of books to print up though, which is the most expensive part. I've thought about having them printed someplace else, like Staples, but I think it might cost me just as much (if not more) than doing it myself. We already have the binding machine to put them together. I make Rick do that part and he hates it. It's the ONE thing I ask him to do each year and he complains, but always does a good job.

It's funny because every year when my girls were in school they'd request that I make the yearbooks even longer than the year before. The kids have always enjoyed going back and looking at what they did over the years. I'm often asked what's in the books. It's basically like a digital scrapbook. I take pictures of everything, including big art projects that we don't have room to keep. I also take pictures of food projects, so those are fun to include before they get gobbled up. Here is a list of some of the stuff I put in the books ...

Portraits of the Kids
Family Snapshots
Self-Portraits (they draw one on the 1st day of school each year)
All About Me Forms (listing all their favorites of the year)
Any Extracurricular Stuff (like swimming lessons)
Book Reports
School Field Trips
Special Events (weddings, parties)
Family Outings
Lists of Books Read (and photos of our Reading Charts)
Samples of School Work
Art Samples
Pet Pages
Autograph Page (the kids sign each other's books)

Like I said, they have fun going back and looking at them over the years. It's a fun way to include all those odd pictures of things that I don't put in frames or anything -- you know, like Lego designs the boys make, or Play-Doh creations and stuff like that. It's a lot of work on my end, but it's one thing I really LOVE doing. I am usually not this far behind, but I have faith I'll be all caught up soon.


  1. Wow! That is amazing, Rena. What a fabulous way to look back at the school year and everything learned and created!!
    And I'm sure it takes a lot of time from you! You are one good mom and teacher!

  2. That sounds like a great idea. I don't know if it's customary for parents who homeschool to make yearbooks but I think it's a wonderful idea.

  3. What a cool way to document their lives and their work!

  4. I love that you document every year! What cool keepsakes. They can treasure them forever. :)