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your Homeschool Yearbook:
3 Tips to Get it Right


Your homeschool yearbook serves two functions. For one,  it recalls the school year with all of its ups and downs and twists and turns.

Your home yearbook also serves as a family album. Preserving memories of your family going through all of the ups and downs that families goes through.

Don't overlook the importance of documenting your journey together. 

Creating your yearbook doesn't require as much effort as you may think. We've narrowed down a handful of online design and print options for you. And we have a few alternative suggestions for those who are looking to take a different approach.

After you've chosen where and how you will create your yearbook, you will need to determine what will go into your yearbook.

This is the most important step. What do you want to remember from the year?

What events or photos will not be needed? You want to set yourself up for success by focusing on what is vital to the story you want to tell.

For a little inspiration, read how to build a photo essay

Finally, you'll need to make sure that you are taking consistently good photos all year. What's the point of all that work if the pictures are out of focus, overexposed, and lacking proper composition? We'll show you how to ensure that your photos remain picture perfect throughout the year.

Ready?

Let's go through the three most important things to consider when creating your homeschool yearbook.

how will you design your homeschool yearbook?

Do you want to print your homeschool yearbook? Or maybe you want to keep everything online and viewable across lots of different digital platforms. Or both?

You don't have to worry (much) about the techinical apsects of creating a homeschool yearbook. There are a variety of respected book design/print companies to choose from. Many of which offer template designs with drag and drop convenience. 

Here's s short-list of some design/print options:

Picaboo

Blossom

Presto Photo

Shutterfly

If you search for online printing you'll find that there are a lot of companies that offer this service. They provide templates that really do make your life easier.

Consult with a local printer (who would probably love your business) to see what they are capable of doing.

But consider this. Your homeschool yearbook does not in any way need to be an attempt to recreate what others have done. Your family is unique as is your story.

 Maybe you want to personalize every part of your homeschool yearbook by creating everything from scratch using a scrapbook. This can be a great way for the famliy to sit around the table and work together as a team. 

Identify important stories before your school year begins

You want to remain flexible and ready to take a great photo at a moment's notice. And, you also want to come into the year with a plan. What sections will you include in your yearbook?

Consider class subjects, field trips, holidays, sports, and recitals as your classic options. But also think outside of the box and come up with sections that only make sense to your family or co-op. You don't have to create a boring, coporate looking yearbook like grandma has in her closet.

What ever sections you decide on be sure to create a digital folder to store your homeschool yearbook photos. Within that folder create folders for each section in your homeschool yearbook.

THIS IS A MUST. If you are not organizing your photos (at least once a week) you run the risk of spending countless wasted hours trying to find photos.

Try adding photos to each section at least once a week. You may not use all of the photos in each section folder but you will be able to make a better decision if you have all of the same photos together.

Take consistently good Photos

If you don't have a pro photographer in your house consider training someone to be your Chief Photographer. This doesn't mean that person will take every photo but it does mean that at least one person in the group is thinking about photography (at least a little bit) everyday.

Your Chief Photographer will remind everyone to share the photos they took throughout the week. 

Your Chief Photographer can also determine which photos go into the section folders within your homeschool yearbook organizing folder.

The simplest advice we can give to your Chief Photographer (if they are not a pro photographer) is to take pictures with INTENTION.

  • Avoid pointing the camera at a scene and pressing the shutter. This approach will not create consistently good pictures.
  • Take pictures inside with the windows behind you.
  • Take close-up, medium, and wide-shots of each "scene".
  • No matter what kind of camera is being used, there is a right way to use it. Study your camera and know what it is capable of doing (and what it is not capable of doing).
  • Take pictures from different angles. Don't be afraid to stand on a chair for a bird's-eye view or to get on the ground to show a cat's-eye view.
  • It's highly beneficial to edit your homeschool yearbook photos. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, things just don't work out. Editing photos will give you a chance to "fix" bad photos. 
  • You (the teacher/parent) can even teach photography to your students to make sure your entire team is able to take part in creating photos for your homeschool yearbook.

Homeschool yearbook video

If you want to create something that your grandmother's yearbook staff could not have imagined, create a video homeschool yearbook. 

You still want to organize your video on a weekly basis, just like your photos. And you want to take the same appraoch as you do with your Chief Photographer. But for video, you will have a Chief Videographer who keeps track of and edits the video.

Keep in mind that photos can be part of a video yearbook but video cannot be part of a photo yearbook.

Photography rules!



If you Google "free video maker" you'll find some nice online options to easily create videos, much like online printers for physical yearbooks.

We like Animoto as a free video maker. We'ved used it here for years. We've tried some others and, while good, gave us no reason to stop using Animoto.


Got any suggestions or ideas for creating a unique yearbook of your own? Share it with others in the comments below.



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