I was very puzzled when I first began homeschooling about how to keep everything together for that year…I mean if I kept EVERYTHING, I’d need a 45 gallon bucket! However, with awards, paraphernalia from field trips, pictures, and of course, the work, something had to be done.
So, instead of having several places for each of those items, I brainstormed a while and decided to create a “yearbook” for each child. It has been a hundred times easier than trying to sort this to one place and that to another.
Here’s what I do:
I also buy a box of clear sleeves in bulk (available at any office store). I think they’re around $10 for 100.
I take a picture of my kids on the first day of school and that goes on the inside front cover with the date we started.
The first page of the yearbook is an “All About Me” fill in the blank type of activity…again, it’s great to see that their favorite color last year, may not be the same for this year, or maybe their favorite TV shows, food, etc. has changed, too!
From that point, I put all of the kids work in a tray daily. Then, sometime over the next few weeks (you could do this part daily, weekly, bi-weekly—whatever is easiest for you), I decide what I want to keep –usually on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I put the pages that I keep inside the clear sleeves and in the yearbook. I do not put one page per sleeve (your binder would get very full very quickly), I actually put several in one sleeve—leaving my favorites visible through the front and back of the sleeves.
If one of my kids receives an award or certificate, it goes in the yearbook (in a sleeve all by itself). The ribbons from field day and the science fair go in as well.
Any pictures from special projects, special days and field trips, I print out and put at the top of a page. I have Connor write his favorite part of the experience and add it to the yearbook. This year, I will add a section in the back for friends pictures. We have these peppered throughout with our playdate/field trip pics currently, but I think it’ll be great to have a picture of their closest friends and a list of the reasons why they enjoy being their friend.
It’s great having work, awards, memories, etc. all together! The best part about this project is that it is SUPER easy to keep up current on, as well as to keep it organized. It naturally goes in chronological order, and it is a really fun way for the kids to see how far they’ve come. When I pull out Connor’s yearbook from K4, he can’t believe how much his handwriting has changed and how much “smarter” he is now that he’s in 2nd grade!
The yearbooks are all on a shelf together. With matching labels on the spines of each notebook, they look nice all lined up together. My kids like pulling them out when relatives visit to show them what all we’ve been up to throughout the school year.
I’m sure with all of the creative writers/readers of this blog, there will be even more fabulous ideas to add to this project to make it your own. Please share any ideas that you have! We’d love to hear them!
Happy memory making!
This post originally appeared on The Homeschool Classroom in August 2008.
Tiffani can also be found writing at Bears and Belles