Friday, October 8, 2010

Creating a School Yearbook

If you like the idea of capturing your child's journey through their schooling years, but feel scrapbooking falls into the 'too hard/too fiddly/not creative enough/don't have enough time' basket, then you will love the idea of creating a simple School Yearbook for your kids.

My motivation to post about this subject was given to me by the Super Organiser Mum blog. She always has the most gorgeous organisation ideas and when I saw the School Yearbook she made for her little boy, I was instantly hooked on the idea.

Now is a great time to get your child's school yearbook set up for the beginning of the new year (while you're not flat out with the silly season). I'm also thinking these School Yearbooks would make an inexpensive, unique & simple Christmas gift idea for any mummy friends or family with school age children.

After gathering advice from the Super Organiser Mum and Becky Higgins, below are my steps to help you construct your child's very own School Yearbook.

1. Creating the Yearbook - Grab a sturdy A4 sized folder. The prettier, the better! If you have a plain folder, decorate the front with your child's name. Or print your own labels explaining what the folder is all about (see below) and stick them on the front. (Tip: You may need a few labels since the folder will probably hold quite a few years of schooling memories in them).

2. Title Pages - You will need to start off with a title page for each year. Design your own, leaving room to record your child's name, the date, their grade, their teacher's name and other vital details. (FYI - Becky Higgins provides a free title page download, just print and fill it out). Don't forget to leave room for a photo of your child on their first day. Why not make your own sign (see below) to photograph with your child? (Tip: Grabbing your child's 'signature' is a cute touch, so you can see the changes in their handwriting skills over the years. I'm also inclined to leave room to record their height as well as a handprint).

3. The Big Day - To make the most of your child's yearbook, remember you're telling a story here. Allow yourself time and room in the yearbook to photograph the little details such as your child's school belongings like stationery, backpack, uniform. Do all of this preferably before the 'big day'. Capture the moment your child wakes up, them eating breakfast, getting dressed and on the way their way to school. Note: Not all photos need to be taken on the day. Give yourself the time to comfort and support your child and take additional classroom shots another day. (Tip: Look for photos that capture your child's likes and interests at that point in time, e.g. backpack styles)!

From this:
To this?
4. Throughout the Year - Designate a special occasion, theme or activity for each month. Discuss these with your child's teacher and allow yourself 2 days a month to come in and photograph your child at work and play in the classroom, the library, on stage or on the sports field. Any school photos, report cards, certificates, noteworthy newsletters and other letters can also be displayed in your child's yearbook, so be sure to hang onto them. (Tip: Write down your child's friends, their favourite subjects and any other details regarding your child's interests and hobbies at school).

5. Bringing It All Together - Where possible, print your photos off on a regular basis so you can keep up to date with the yearbook throughout the year. Alternatively, store your photos and other documents in envelopes with the subject e.g. First excursion, clearly written on the front. (Tip: Consider finishing the year off with an autograph page or with well wishes from your child's friends and class mates).

I am definately not happy with the idea of my children going off to school (insert sad face). Two days of preschool is one thing. Parting with my children for five days a week seems almost unbearable. While I still have one more year before my daughter officially starts 'big school', I am looking forward to the kids having one year of preschool together next year and knowing I am now going to be better prepared to document their journey from this point on!

Ideally, this project should be fun. Don't stress about capturing every single schooling moment. Keep it lighthearted and full of love so you and your children will appreciate it more in years to come. 

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