Do you remember the day you got your yearbooks at school? I can remember being excited to see it. See what pictures of my friends were there. Seeing if I had made the yearbook in any candid shots. It was exciting! I was not homeschooled and therefore the annual yearbook was something that I always had.
Though I take a LOT of pictures throughout our homeschool year, I do not always do a great job at printing them out and putting them into albums. When I first heard about Picaboo Yearbooks, I remember thinking it sounded like a great idea but how would my little homeschool of one child and a toddler/preschooler make up a yearbook. Having the opportunity to do a review of Picaboo Yearbooks was very enlightening – and fun!
I was given the chance to make one, 20-page, soft-covered yearbook online and received it in the mail to see the finished product. This product would have cost $8.49 for the 20-page soft-covered plus shipping. Each additional page is $0.22. Shipping is $8.99 for this product, but that means you get a custom, 20-page soft-cover yearbook for your homeschool for under $20 — I think that’s a pretty good deal.
What is Picaboo Yearbooks?
Picaboo Yearbooks is a company that provides quality yearbooks, both print and online, to public and private institutions striving to make it affordable for every school — now even homeschools!!! How exciting!
With no minimum order, no deadlines, and easy to use online photo software, making a yearbook is easy and affordable for everyone! Check out this video about Picaboo.
How does it work?
With Picaboo, you simply start an account and get started making your yearbook. You start with choosing your yearbook name and going through some particulars about you and your school. This is fun and, don’t worry, you can change it later if you don’t like it.
After you put in some of your pertinent information and choose whether there will be others that can edit your work (this is pretty neat and obviously made for bigger schools assigning editing roles, but might work great if you and your husband are working on it or if you decide to do a yearbook for your co-op or other homeschool group, then you can each take turns editing sections and proofreading.)
Then you get started with naming the sections of your book, how many pages you want in each section, and uploading the pictures to the sections. You can name your sections of the yearbook anything you want. This does NOT appear in the book so its for your organizational purposes. I liked this but forgot that it didn’t transfer onto the pages and didn’t do a section header in my book. I will definitely do this next time.
Once you have the sections, which can be edited at any time, you are ready to get started. You can add and subtract sections during your process and you can determine how many pages you want in each section. Then start uploading pictures.
It took me a little while to get the hang of where to put the photos and how to move them around from page to page. For instance, if I uploaded a picture to one section and then wanted to move it to another section, it took me a few tries but, I must say, after working in the program for a little white, I got much handier at maneuvering through the program and editing sections, pages, and photos. Once I did get the hang of it, I thought it was quite simple to work within the program to customize the book. I like the preview pages in full screen and the easy drop and drag of the sections.
You have a nice view of the section, can change the theme, background, and even add stickers and clipart when editing your section. The program makes it very easy. Once you have used a picture, a green check mark appears on the picture so you know what you have and have not used. You don’t have to use all the pictures you upload but you can. There is even a wizard of sorts that will re-arrange your page to fit the number of pictures you have if you want help.
Captions and picture labels are easy to do and you can do them on the picture or around the picture. I liked that you could shadow them into the pictures. There were so many fun editing choices and, I must compliment, the red eye reducer function was actually one of the easiest that I have used. That was a nice surprise!
The finished product
Once you have finished uploading your pictures, designing your yearbook, and have everything you want, you can preview it. That was nice. Getting to see what the pages will look like was helpful. You can flip through the book like any online book to see how the entire finished product looks.
Once you have determined the section is good, you mark it ready for review and this is where others can review it or you do. When you are all finished with your editing in that section, you LOCK the section. It will not print until you LOCK every section. The program will tell you if you forgot this step when you order.
Then you place your order for how many, any extras, etc and it tells you the price, you pay and give it your address and it tells you you will have your book in about a week. We were actually STUNNED how fast ours arrived and the whole family was excited to see it!
I was pretty impressed with the quality, especially considering how fast it arrived and how easy it really was to make. The kids love it, the husband thought it was great, and I, of course, was critical of what I didn’t do and what I want to do next time. But, that’s me! I found all kinds of things I will do differently next time but that’s because there are so many options. It really can be a fun thing to make.
Making this also made me decide that I will organize my pictures throughout the year a little better, which will save me time when putting together my yearbook at the end of the year. That’s actually a good thing!
So, overall, we love our Picaboo yearbook. I loved that I can use any background (see the front cover is one of our pictures of the kids as the background but you can use anything), that you can have various layouts throughout the book, label as much or as little as you want, and even customize the back cover.
We know we will do one next year and it will probably be more than 20 pages and I think we’ll try hardcover next year, though only because you can write on the spine of the hardcover and you cannot write on the spine of the softcover. I think this will help us with bookshelf display if we go with the hardcover. But the softcover we received is great. Very good quality, excellent picture quality, and it seems to be very durable. I look forward to continuing to share it with our friends and may even explore putting one together for our Classical Conversations group next year!!!
Be sure to check out Picaboo’s website and Facebook page and see what they have to offer. If you haven’t found a good way to keep those homeschooling memories, you may find that Picaboo is a great fit for you and your family!