The following is a post by contributing writer Michelle of Raising Cajuns.
A lot of what we do as homeschoolers doesn’t happen on a sheet of paper and doesn’t fit in a three-ring binder. My kids like to look back and see a record of the places we went and the things they did, so I take lots of pictures of our field trips, games, and projects to document their full learning experience. Technology gives us so many ways to record the fun things we do throughout the year, but it’s easy to forget or become overwhelmed by all those digital photos sitting on our cameras, phones, and computers.
There are many options for compiling photos, but I like to keep things simple and print one or two collage sheets for each child at the end of each school year. You can make an end of the year collage in three easy steps:
Create – Most photo programs now have a built-in option to create a collage. I use Picasa, and I make a new album with the photos I want to use and turn those into a collage. If you can’t make one on your computer, you can upload your photos to a printing company (like Walgreen’s or Snapfish) and use their online software to create one. You have tons of options for layouts and colors, so have fun!
Print – Check for coupon codes first. I get offers several times a year for a free 8×10 or a free collage. If it’s a free 8×10, make the collage on your computer first, save it as a .jpg, then print that using your free code. Or you can print from your computer if you have a nice printer. If you have a free collage code, you’ll need to upload to the site and use their collage creator in order to use the coupon. If you don’t have a code, or if you need to print more than one, they will cost you about $5 each, depending on the site and method you choose.
File – Once you have your collage, you’ll want to keep it safe so your kids can look back on it and remember all the fun things they did. You can slip the collage in a sheet protector to store in a three-ring binder with the rest of your year’s work, or you can punch holes right in the collage to include it in a spiral-bound portfolio. You could also start a new binder or book just for the collages you create each year.
I always say that next year I’ll get organized and set up an album ahead of time, so I can drop in the photos for that year’s collage as I upload them. This would save a lot of work searching through folders at the end of the year, but I haven’t been this organized yet.
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