I was hoping to get a yearbook team together for our local homeschool group, but lack of time, knowledge, and no helpers resulted in no group yearbook. And then behold – a second chance. I love serendipity! Through The Old Schoolhouse review crew I was able to review Picaboo Yearbooks by making an 8.5″ x 11″ twenty paged soft covered book.
I was amazed how easy it is to make a yearbook, Homeschools, clubs, private/public schools, this is a all encompassing company for any type of yearbook.
As I only had twenty pages and a limited time frame, I chose to do a Davis homeschool high school year book. It took my family of five about two weeks to put together our personalized yearbook, focusing on our 2012-2013 high school year.
After watching the introductory video, I launched the project, and our team went to work. As senior editor, I invited my sons and husband to join the team. Picaboo sent them an email, and once they accepted they could get to work.
For the review we were given twenty pages and a soft cover, which would cost less than twenty dollars: $8.49+ 8.99 shipping, plus a free e-yearbook. Each boy had three pages allotted, and I reserved pages for friend photos, vacations and field trips, prom, teachers, and a page for miscellaneous. There were countless themes, and backgrounds to choose from. It was easy to go crazy trying to pick just the right one, but once I started dragging and sizing photos, our style flowed in place. Mr. HomeschoolBuzz and I did find the initial navigating process choppy. As a usability engineer, he looks for ease of use – can a person start at the launch page, and actually use the program and create their yearbook without confusion or frustration? Yes and no. We never got frustrated, but we did get confused and wandered a bit. I didn’t find a way to change the number of pages I first assigned, we had some problems proofing the text, and it took a few tries to understand the initial layout of pages. Why not reference the user manual you may ask? It’s the same reason we don’t ask for directions. We are a do-it-yourself kind of family. Instructions on how to build is always the last thing we consider.
As you can see from the smiling faces, the boys loved the final product.
Things I would have done differently: Put in an introductory page with table of contents, add more text/captions, and include poems and other photos of the boy’s art projects. Also, I would have preferred if they did more of the work and took over the project. Only my graduating senior took the time to thoughtfully add the highlights of his year. Considering we only ordered one copy, he’s getting it.
If you are vacillating between hard or soft cover, I recommend paying the extra for the hard cover. Our soft cover got a few dents and creases after the first handling.
This was a fabulous family project, we had fun, learned about editing, layout, aesthetics, transitioning, and proved we make a good team. Would I choose Picaboo again next year for our 2014 Davis High – you bet.