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How to Make Your Own Inexpensive Yearbook for a Homeschool Group

Updated on January 14, 2012

Simple, Cheap, Unique Yearbooks for Your Homeschool Group or Individual Family!

Looking back at a memento of a year with friends is always fun. But how can a homeschool group, with members often on a tight budget for money and time, put together an inexpensive homeschool yearbook that everyone can afford? The answer is: very easily!

Pencil "Homeschool Yearbook Assembly" into the calendar for May or June, bring food and games, and make it a party! You'll have a blast putting the yearbooks together, getting autographs, and looking over everyone's original contributions to the yearbook.

picture credit: ratopiangirl

What to Put in Your Homeschool Yearbook

Title Pages

Section Divider Pages

Who's Who Pages

Family Pages

Autograph Page

~ optional ~

Group Pages

Scrapbook Pages

Print the name of your group in big block letters, along with the academic year, for a title page. In a matching font, make a similar divider page for each section ("Family Pages," "Who's Who in Our Group," etc).

Get a headshot for each child. It does not have to be a professional portrait, just a good clean picture of the face. Crop and shrink them to be the same size and shape so that you can fit them into a grid to fill the page, and for a clean look.

Getting all the headshots to be exactly the same size is almost impossible, but you can make it look like you did. First, crop each photo to a square, getting fairly close to the head (crop out extra space). A square will get you the most space on the page, and most photos are fairly easy to crop down to a square.

Size the photos down to about the same small size, then lay thick lines in a grid on top of the pictures.

The pictures automatically appear to have been altered to the same size. Heavy black lines can be a nice design element, as shown at left; or turn the lines white for unbordered pictures, as shown at right.

Any page layout program or scrapbook software will work for creating these who's who headshot pages.

Picture Order

There are several options for ordering your pictures. Strict last-name alphabetical is the most obvious. On the sample pages, we put the children alphabetically by last name, but by age within families, for example: Oldest Child Jones, Middle Child Jones, Youngest Child Jones, Oldest Child Smith, Middle Child Smith, Youngest Child Smith.

Other options would be to separate families and put grades together in descending order, as they would appear in a traditional school yearbook; or put age groups together (all high schoolers first, all junior high next, then all elementary, etc). In the sample page shown, we used colors to differentiate age groups. So orange is for the teen/tween group; green designates elementary age; and preschoolers are blue.

Alternatively, and far more simply if no one has access to a page layout program, you could just use a group photo with a key to identify each child's face!

Snap Pictures All Year Long for the Group Yearbook - A bunch of candids will not only yield great photos for the yearbook, but you'll be able to find good face

My family owns two of these Canon Powershot cameras, and we love them! They are extremely easy to use and always give excellent quality photos!

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Blue)
Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Blue)

* 10.0-megapixel resolution captures enough detail for prints up to 13 x 19 inches

* 3x optical zoom; 2.5-inch PureColor LCD II screen

* DIGIC 4 Image Processor with evolved Face Detection Technology; Face Detection Self-timer

* Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings

* Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)

 

The Secret to Cheap, Simple, and Elegant Homeschool Yearbooks

Family pages make up the bulk of the homeschool yearbook and give it a splendid personal touch.

The heart of this yearbook is the Family Page. You can choose a standard format for your family pages, or let each family make a unique page (or pages). You need a FIRM headcount of how many families want a yearbook, and a commitment from each participating family to contribute at least one family page to the yearbook.

This is the key to keeping the yearbook simple and very, very cheap. If 25 families want to receive a yearbook, then each parent makes 25 copies of her family page. It is as simple as that! Add few front pages (cover page, who's who pages) and the book is complete!

These are the guidelines our group uses for homeschool yearbooks. Adapt them as preferred for your group.

1. Each family that wants a yearbook should be prepared to contribute AT LEAST ONE family page to the yearbook.

2. The "family pages" will be completely up to each individual family as to style, content, format, etc. (Your group may prefer a standardized format.)

3. Bring enough copies of your page for everyone to have one. So, if 17 families want a yearbook, you provide 17 copies of your family page (or of each family page, if you are making more than one); if 22 families want a yearbook, you bring 22 copies of your page or of each of your pages.

4. Color or black-and-white copies according to your preference and pocketbook. (Your group may wish to choose all B&W or all color copies.)

5. Make copies on standard copy paper size (8.5x11), and DO NOT hole punch! The pages will be slipped into page protectors instead.

Scrapbooking Software Makes Page Layout Simple - Some people may prefer using layout software to design their homeschool yearbook pages.

Nova Development US Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 4.0 [Old Version]
Nova Development US Scrapbook Factory Deluxe 4.0 [Old Version]

This new version of Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe gives you the ultimate collection of designs for scrapbooks and other keepsake projects, featuring beautiful photorealistic graphics. Now you can be sure to capture the excitement of any occasion or event! Whether you're new to scrapbooking or a seasoned crafter, Scrapbook Factory Deluxe gives you all the tools you need to create sensational projects for family and friends.

 

Homeschool Yearbook Sample Family Pages

Here are a few individualized family yearbook pages to give you ideas.

Our group leaves the format of each Family Page up to the individual families. You might prefer to standardize the format for your group's yearbook, but allowing for individual personal styles of expression makes for a wonderfully unique yearbook for your group! Below are some sample pages that people in our group allowed me to share with you.

Two-Page Layout for the Whole Family

Two pages showcase the entire family of four children. The only text is a big family name

followed by the four kids' names and ages, and then a bunch of pictures from the year to

create a simple, colorful layout. This page was created on the computer and printed at

Office Max. (Names are blurred out deliberately.)

Two-Page Layout, One Page Per Child

Each child got her own page in this family, and each child created her own page.

These pictures were pasted down, the text was typed and pasted down, and

the whole thing was photocopied on a color copier.

Single-Page Layout

In this very simple layout, the photos were cut and pasted in a scrapbook style,

and the text was handwritten. The pages were photocopied in black and white,

and stickers were added for color.






You can see that letting individual families create their own family pages will result in a charming and unique homeschool yearbook, with each family's individual character shining through.

Class Ring Charm - A perfect gift for your homeschool graduate!

925 Sterling Silver Class Ring Charm
925 Sterling Silver Class Ring Charm

An adorable silver charm inscribed "High School" is perfect to add to a charm bracelet or necklace. This .925 sterling silver charm by West Coast Jewelry measures 11mm in diameter and features a 3mm blue crystal.

 

Homeschool Club Pages

If your homeschool group has clubs

or subgroups, such as a teens group

or a book club or an ABC Club, you might include a page for each group, with pictures of the group or its projects with notes on their activities during the year.

Cost for any group pages can be taken from group funds or divided among those who are participating in the yearbook project.

Assembling the yearbooks is easy! All the pages are slipped into plastic page protectors, and the page protector sleeves are snapped into three-ring binders (each family provides their own binder). Page protector sleeves are far cheaper purchased in bulk, so although each family could provide the sleeves for their own binders, it will be a significant savings to make a bulk purchase and share the cost, or take the cost out of your group fund.

Decide on the order for your pages, and place them around a long table, with the page protector sleeves in the middle. The trick to getting the pages into the sleeves correctly is to remember the two pages that go into the sleeve will NOT be facing pages; that is, not a left-right spread.

Do one set first as a sample, to make sure you have the pages in the correct order, then get an assembly line going: one person does all of one stack, instead of everyone going around the table and assembling one whole notebook. Believe me, you will save yourself a lot of headaches by assigning each person two pages to put into a page protector sleeve!

Once all the pages are in their sleeves, then everyone can go around the table, notebooks in hand, and pop the filled sleeves into their notebooks.

Using the page protectors simplifies the process so much! The pages don't have to be taken to the printer to be bound, so each family can put their own book together and take it home the same day!

If a family is absent, get their pages to include, and create a set of pages for the absent family.

Plastic Page Protector Sleeves - Buying in bulk will save money for everyone who wants a homeschool yearbook.

Avery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Acid Free (75091)
Avery Economy Clear Sheet Protectors, Acid Free (75091)

The page protectors make it possible for you to assemble your homeschool yearbook without the cost of binding! Pages can be added at a moment's notice, and next year's yearbook pages can be inserted into the same binder to save on shelf space - a premium in most homeschool homes!

 

Kids' Scrapbook Pages

A fun option is to bring a Polaroid camera (or digital camera with printer) and scrapbook supplies.

Let the kids snap pictures of themselves with their friends, then sit down and make scrapbook pages to add to their yearbooks.

This gives them something to do while the adults or teens are assembling the yearbooks, and also gives the kids a way to truly personalize their books.

Teach Kids to Make Scrapbook Pages - Kids can each add a personal touch to their own yearbooks with scrapbook pages.

Either during the yearbook assembly party, or sometime before or after, get the kids together to create their own scrapbook pages to drop into page protectors in the back of their yearbooks. No need to duplicate the pages for everyone - let each child have a few personalized yearbook pages! Use Polaroid or digital snap-and-print cameras to take pictures on the spot, or just have everyone bring in stacks of photos from the year.

The Kids' Guide to Making Scrapbooks & Photo Albums!: How to Collect, Design, Assemble, Decorate (Williamson Kids Can Books)
The Kids' Guide to Making Scrapbooks & Photo Albums!: How to Collect, Design, Assemble, Decorate (Williamson Kids Can Books)

With a lively text that explains the process of using images to tell a story, this is an excellent source of information and ideas on a fun and meaningful activity. Among the topics discussed are types of albums, the design and decoration of pages, what to include and how to arrange items effectively, supplies, techniques for special effects, captions, and more. Each spread has black-and-white illustrations of materials, techniques, designs, etc., and there are several templates.

 

Keeping Homeschool Yearbook Costs Low

This method gives everyone in your homeschool group a nice memento book at very low cost.

The cost of the bulk of the book is the photocopied pages, and each family carries just a little of that cost - printing or photocopying their own pages to share.

The front pages (cover page & divider pages, who's who pages) can be taken out of the group fund if you have one, or the cost can be divided among the families who want a yearbook.

The page protectors can be purchased with group funds, or cost can be divided among the families. Each family could also provide their own but it is much cheaper to purchase page protectors in bulk, so it will be a significant savings per family to purchase together.

Count how many pages you will have in the book and DIVIDE BY HALF (since two pages go into each sleeve) for the number of page protector sleeves you will need for each yearbook. Allow for sleeves that will have only one page (such as the cover page, or the last page before a section divider). Allow 2 or 3 extra page protectors per family for miscounts!

Each family will probably want to provide its own notebook. Some will want to put the pages in a scrapbook-style book; others will want to keep several years' worth of yearbook pages in a single notebook.

Inexpensive Home School Yearbook Binders - Notebooks can also be purchased in bulk for the yearbook covers.

Universal Round Ring Economy View Binder, 1 Capacity, White, 12/Carton (20962CT)
Universal Round Ring Economy View Binder, 1 Capacity, White, 12/Carton (20962CT)

These binders have the virtue of being inexpensive in bulk, plus a cover can be inserted into the front and spine to personalize it.

 

Since the yearbooks aren't bound, next year's yearbook can be inserted into the same binder!

Memory Albums Make Great Yearbook Binders - Scrapbooks are attractive home school yearbook covers.

Pioneer 8 1/2 Inch by 11 Inch Postbound Frame Cover Memory Book, Apple Red
Pioneer 8 1/2 Inch by 11 Inch Postbound Frame Cover Memory Book, Apple Red

One virtue of this homeschool yearbook project is that each family can choose a yearbook cover that suits them individually. Scrapbook or memory books are ideal for the purpose.

 

Don't forget to include an autograph page! We did one with a border of quotations about friendship. Keep a big stack on hand and pass them out to the kids, so they can get each other's autographs while the yearbooks are being assembled. After autographs are collected, insert the page into a page protector at the end. If siblings are sharing a book, they can each have separate autograph pages for their own friends.

Good Friendship Quotes

A day without you is like a day without honey. ~ Winnie the Pooh

Every person should have a fair-size cemetery in which to bury the faults of his friends. ~ Henry Brooks Adams

Count your life with friends, not years. ~ John Lennon

The road to a friend's house is never long. ~ Danish proverb

Friendship is when people know all about you, but they like you anyway. ~ Anonymous

A friend in need is a friend indeed. ~ Scottish proverb

A friend's eye is a good mirror. ~ Celtic Proverb

A friend hears the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.~ Anonymous

True friends are there for you when they would rather be someplace else. ~ Anonymous

Find Great Quotes for Your Autograph Page - You'll find great friendship quotations in these books!

Homeschool Group Sample Info Letter

Here is a model letter to send to your home school group members, detailing what needs to be done for the yearbooks. Permission is granted to recopy this letter for personal use only.

It's that time of year again ... time to work on our YEARBOOKS!

Your YEARBOOK will consist of:

1. cover page (provided by group)

2. "who's who" page with head shots of each child and adult (provided by group)

3. a couple of group pages (TnT, ABC, etc) (provided by group)

4. family pages contributed by each individual family (by YOU! see explanation below)

5. page protectors for all pages to slip into (provided by group)

6. a binder of some kind to hold the page protectors (by YOU!)

7. (optional) kids can make ("scrap") their own pages to add to their own books

This eliminates a lot of work (and time) but still allow everyone to contribute as much as they wish.

YEARBOOK COST

You contribute your own binder, and copies of your family page(s) for every other participating family (see explanation below). That will be the total of your cost. If you want more than one yearbook, you may duplicate your yearbook at your own cost. The group fund will cover cost of the cover page, who's who page, group pages, and page protectors.

FAMILY PAGES

Each family that wants a yearbook should be prepared to contribute AT LEAST ONE family page to the yearbook. The "family pages" will be completely up to each family as to style and content, etc. You will bring enough copies of your page for everyone to have one. So, if 17 families want a yearbook, you provide 17 copies of your family page (or pages); if 22 families want a yearbook, you bring 22 copies of each of your family pages. Color *OR* black-and-white copies according to your preference. THESE ARE STANDARD COPY-PAPER SIZE (8.5x11).

The CONTENT and NUMBER of your family pages is UP TO YOU. You can do one or two pages for your whole family, or one page per child in your family, or whatever you wish, but you provide copies of EACH of your pages for everyone who wants a yearbook. Your kids might like to create their own personal pages to share what they've done throughout the year.

The content of the page is up to you. For example:

* tape some photos on a page and handwrite captions underneath and photocopy the pages

* fill up a page with photos and just write your family name at the top

* make a "what we did this year" page on your computer

* do your favorite photos from the year scrapbook style

* ... whatever

* let your kids design their own individual pages if they want

We will have some samples at the park for you to look at and see what we're talking about, and I'll be happy to help anyone who needs help! :-)

YEARBOOK ASSEMBLY

We will assemble the yearbook pages at the Year End Party. The cool thing about this yearbook is, once you take it home, you (or your kids) can add your own pages to personalize and add to it! You can even keep several years' worth of this style of yearbook in one binder.

START WORKING ON YOUR FAMILY PAGES NOW!!! :-D

Add Your Own Scrapbook Pages to Your Yearbook

Once the group book is done,

you can add your own

mementos to your yearbook,

pages that are not duplicated

in everyone else's books.

Some ideas to slip in at the back:

~ Memory pages of

projects your kids did.

~ Cards the kids made

for birthdays or holidays.

~ Ticket stubs of plays and

movies you saw together.

~ List of best/worst memories

of the year from each child.

~ Photo pages of field trips

and family vacations.

Get Ideas for Your Personal Scrapbook Pages - These books will help you organize and display your memorabilia from the past year.

Starting Points: Creating Meaningful Scrapbook Layouts From Whatever Inspires You
Starting Points: Creating Meaningful Scrapbook Layouts From Whatever Inspires You

from product description: Getting started can be the hardest part of scrapbooking--but it doesn't have to be. Starting Points shows you that inspiration for creating a scrapbook page can come from anywhere: an old photo, a conversation, beautiful architecture or even a clever ad in a magazine. In Starting Points, author Linda Harrison teaches you how to open your eyes to all the starting points around you, then illustrates how they can lead to an attractive and meaningful page. You'll be inspired to take favorite photos, memorable notes, trendy new product and more and use them to fuel fresh new layouts bursting with personality and style.

 
Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches For Creative Layouts
Scrapbook Page Maps: Sketches For Creative Layouts

from product description: By referring to the sketches in the book, readers can select photos, papers and embellishments and then bring the page together quickly and easily. Helpful resource information such as a supply list and photo sizes are included on each card, along with page information cross-referencing the sketch back to the book. Scrapbook Page Maps is the essential book for beginning scrapbookers as well as those short on time.

 
Scrapbooking Made Easy  (Leisure Arts #15946) (Simple Scrapbooks)
Scrapbooking Made Easy (Leisure Arts #15946) (Simple Scrapbooks)

from product description: For anyone still a little intimidated by the scrapbooking craze, Scrapbooking Made Easy is the best place to start. At its core is the notion that even the simplest pages will make for treasured family heirlooms. From that, it's only a matter of applying the basic techniques in a step-by-step process, starting with quick ways to enhance layouts, and gradually moving on to more advanced techniques. Includes advice on organizing.

 
Month by Month Scrapbooking: A Year of Scrapbook Ideas (Creating Keepsakes (CK Media Hardcover))
Month by Month Scrapbooking: A Year of Scrapbook Ideas (Creating Keepsakes (CK Media Hardcover))

from product description: Every year, we end up with piles of Easter pictures and stacks of Thanksgiving photos. We take the same pictures of fall leaves and snowmen. Year after year, it's the same story. Has this annual routine begun to feel confining? No more! Month-by-Month Scrapbooking is your guide to unlocking the calendar and making it work for you.

 

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    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Very nice pictures and instructions to get the kids involved in creating these memory books ... nicely done! Congratulations on having one of the top 35 homeschooling lenses.

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      We are in our last year of homeschooling! Amazing. This info is SUPER helpful and I give you a *** SquidAngel Blessing *** boost for such great info and images. Yay!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea!

    • Hedremp profile image

      Sandra Wilson 5 years ago from Wilson Education Resource Centre

      Creative Memories is another good program for yearbook making. I was on our homeschool groups yearbook committee for two years - wish I had some of your advice back then, would have made the job so much easier. Thanks!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Very useful information and detailed enough for others to make their own yearbook.

      Blessed by a squid angel.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Another epic lens! Great idea!

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 6 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Wonderful! We have past year homeschool yearbooks, and hope to help with creating one with our group this year, too! *Squid Angel Blessed! =D

    • Bookmama2 profile image

      Bookmama2 6 years ago

      This is a great idea you've got. I think providing a sample letter you can send to other families is a nice help along the way.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, what a wonderful resource you've put together. Deserves a blessing and Purple Star. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • JanieceTobey profile image

      JanieceTobey 6 years ago

      What a fantastic resource for creating a homeschool yearbook! Blessed by a Squid Angel!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      this is a terrific idea for homeshooled kids to have a yearbook too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I'm not a homeschooler, but I know several families who are. I think this is a great idea!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Making a yearbook is a really good idea for a homeschool group project!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      This looks like a very useful resource for homeschooling families. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • RobininColorado profile image

      RobininColorado 7 years ago

      You have made having a yearbook seem much more possible! Thanks for this wonderful lens.

    • ottoblotto profile image

      ottoblotto 7 years ago

      Totally well done, just like all your other lenses!!!

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Awesome idea!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Great topic, great lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      actscoprint 7 years ago

      It is amazing how many people have issues when it comes to designing a yearbook. Your step by step guide should save a lot of hair for many people

      ActsCo Printing

    • profile image

      Joan4 8 years ago

      Homeschooling moms will love this! Great idea! Squidangel blessed!

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      What a great idea! Good, easy-to-follow instructions.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This is a fabulous idea! I know from experience how time-consuming the yearbook editor job can be. This is a super alternative!