Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Picaboo Yearbooks preserving homeschool memories one year at a time... Schoolhouse Review Crew Review 2013 #hsmommas #homeschool #homeschoolyearbooks #memories

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     One of the treasured memories of school for me was my yearbook at the end of every school year.  My kids enjoyed that too, but still get an opportunity to purchase one through our co-op. I always feel like something is missing from our co-op yearbook though. Maybe a more personal touch. So I was so excited to be chosen to make a homeschool 20 Page Softcover Yearbook just for our family with the help of Picaboo Yearbooks.

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      Now you may be wondering what the difference is between a Picaboo Yearbook and those other photo story books? Well the soft or hardcover book (your choice for a small price difference) are intended for a yearbook so their style is that of a traditional yearbook. These books are not solely intended for homeschoolers so there are some features that I did not find useful such as some of the page categories or tabs. I did love just about everything else about them though.

   The process is quite simple though, create your account so that every time you take a break you can simply pick up where you left off. You pick the size book you want, your choices are 8 1/2 x 11 or 9 x 12, soft or hardcover, there is a $10 up charge for the hardcover and a small fee for each additional page over 20. For my book I chose an 8 1/2 x 11 softcover with 20 pages so the price was $8.49. Now schools that use their service or maybe your co-op also gets free shipping with a 50 book order. There is also a free e-yearbook with every school purchase, it is available 48 hrs after you submit your order. Shipping runs $8.99 so for under $20 you have a fabulous book of memories.

    After you have decided how big your book is going to be you then have to choose a title and design the cover. You simply upload your photos and away you go.You have to pick the sections of your book as well. Such as classes, or you can do students like I did and put each student on a page and then write a bio, I did my boys age, their height and favorite food, hobbies and anything else that I felt that was unique about them this year.

  One of the sections I created was field trips, and I also made one about our trip down South in the Fall. I also did extra curricular activities, such as our co-op and listed the classes they each took this year. I also was sure to include hobbies that we count towards school, such as Alyx's Automotive work he does with our friend Eric, and Taylor's Archery. You can put as many photos as you could possibly fit or simply just one. You can add a little text or a whole page of text. This book is completely customized by you so the possibilities are endless. There are layout choices and positioning of the photos, you pick the background colors to help make your photos "POP" off the page. You can also pick the text, this can be the same text throughout the whole book or you can make it different with every page. I tried to match the background to the a major color in the boys clothes for each page to really help make a statement. I also made the fonts different on each page, a traditional font for serious things like the pages that show the boys hard at work and a more fun font for fieldtrips and their bios. I like creativity and to me this process was all about creativity and individual style. No two people's books would ever turn out the same.

     Once you have designed all of the pages and the cover and tweaked your layout and proofread your journaling you are all ready to submit your order for processing. This was the most exciting part for me, to look over my finished project and relish in all the hard work we had accomplished over this past school year. You really do not fathom how much you accomplish until it is laid out in front of you to simply flip through the year. So all in all it took me about 6-7 hours to complete, but in contrast to my scrapbooking days 20 pages in 6 hrs is a small sacrifice for a lifetime of memories. I enjoyed working on the book so the time to slip by without me noticing it. I tend to think best late at night or early in the morning when the house is dark and quiet. Call me crazy but it is what works for our family.

   I have to say the hardest part of the whole process is the 3 week turnaround time. This is the time it takes for them to publish the masterpiece that you created. If you are lucky it will come a little sooner than that.

   We have enjoyed the book so much that we have decided to make one for every year of our homeschool experience. I am going to go back and start with our first year of homeschooling and move forward. This is something for my kids to cherish for many years to come and to share with their kids. Another nice thing is with your account created though Picaboo you can go back and order more books and all you have to do is choose your already created book that is saved in your account, I plan on doing this so both boys have a copy and maybe order some for family gifts like my Mom. All I have to do it order and they will be on their way in a few short weeks.

   If you like the idea of a scrapbook but simply do not have the time like me to do that anymore, or you are short on funds to buy the latest tool or supplies then this is perfect for you. If you are a person who is not particularly creative this can be for you too. You create the book that fits your style, traditional or eclectic it is all up to you and how you want it to turn out. I tend to be a little more artsy and like to let me creativity flow but this can be for the person who just wants to savor their memories and make every page look like the one before, there is no right or wrong.

   So be sure to gather your photo, you can pluck them from facebook with ease, from your hard drive, or a disk or your memory card, anywhere online that you use to store your photos. You can get started right away and in a few weeks have your Picaboo Yearbook to cherish forever,

  Be sure to click on the banner below and read all of the crew reviews for Picaboo Yearbooks. You will quickly see that no two books were created the same way and no two turned out the same in the end. Then create your Free Picaboo account and get started on your journey of a year of memories with your homeschool's very own Yearbook. What are you waiting for?

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