I love Picaboo Yearbooks. I know, traditionally, yearbooks are associated with public school – but why shouldn’t homeschoolers have yearbooks too?!
There’s something special about creating a lasting, full-colour book to preserve the memories of your school year. My boys love to look at the books we have and remember all the fun that we’ve had in our family and homeschool. In fact, they love it so much, I’m thinking of working backwards and making some yearbooks for the years that we haven’t printed yet.
And don’t be confined by the “school yearbook” mentality either! Think outside the box. Here are some other great things to use the yearbook for:
- Cheerleading/Gymnastics Club
- Homeschooling Co-op or Group
- Field trip Journal
- A Graduation present that showcases top memories from their school days
- Art Portfolio (so you don’t have to keep every art project on their fridge)
- Memory Book for Grandparents
- Family Tree or a Family Reunion
I love that these are easy to make, easy to order, easy on the wallet, and look terrific when done. Plus, you can either design them all by yourself, or you can invite and manage a yearbook design team to work on it with you. This means that if you are doing a family yearbook – your kids can each contribute to the pages, or if you are doing one as a co-op – you can get each member to be involved in the creative process.
When the books are all complete, you can set up a personalized store that allows everyone to order their own copies. That means that it doesn’t matter where in the world people live, instead of one co-ordinator having to handle distribution. It also means that there is another chance to personalize their books – as they can tack on some personal pages of their own (4 are included for free!) before they order their copy.
- a large font collection
- a series of tutorials and other support resources
- page layouts
- embellishments like stickers and photo corners
- editing options for photos
- a bird’s eye view to see the whole design in one place laid out
- a preview where you can flip through your book
- an easy upload system
- and more.
The steps involved to create your own book are simple too:
1. Create an account.
2. Start a new book.
3. Plan out what pages you want to have in your book and create sections with the appropriate number of pages each will have.
4. Design your cover.
5. Find and upload the photos you want to include.
6. Figure out what page layout will work best with your photos and planned text.
7. Pick out the right background and get designing.
8. Continue until everything is complete!
9. Proofread and edit as necessary.
10. Order your book!
Yes, it’s time consuming work. But the end result is worth it.
If I could make the program even better, I’d try to find a way to make the zooming in option easier to use and manage. As the page you are working on is quite tiny while you are setting the layout up, it can be very hard to see the text you are typing. Yes, they have a page zooming feature, but I find it frustrating at times, and the text magnification feature just seemed to get in my way. That’s honestly my only complaint. It feels too small while editing.
This was my 3rd yearbook I’ve designed with Picaboo Yearbooks. I’ve even reviewed them before when I did my 2013 yearbook.
I usually just get a softcover 20 page book – but this time I was excited to try out the hardcover book as well. It’s going to make a great gift for my parents who love these memory books, too! The hardcover book looks and feels really nice – making it seem more “official” than the paperback version. No front covers to curl! Plus, you can add text to the spine which will help make it easy to read when on a book shelf. I think the hard cover would be essential if you have a particularly page-dense book.
Cost-wise, these books are actually very thrifty. A 8½ x 11, 20 page soft cover book is only $9.49USD+shipping (which is around $11US). That means you get a complete year of memories for less than $25. Buying scrapbooking supplies would cost way more!
Every time I’ve ordered, too, the shipping time has been incredible. Although the expected turn around is 3 weeks, it’s never been anywhere near that long.
The big thing these yearbooks remind me every year? I need to make more intentional photos of my kids doing things, and of each of them – instead of just the one that stays the closest to me. It also encourages me at the end of a year reflection when I feel like we didn’t really do all that much to look back and see that we actually DID a lot of learning!
If you’d like to see what some of the Canadian Homeschool Blogging Team thought about these yearbooks, check the links below.