How to Make Your Own Inexpensive Yearbook for a Homeschool Group
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
Section Divider Pages
Who's Who Pages
~ optional ~
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! :-)
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.