I came across this blog post lamenting the demise of the traditional printed yearbook, and it reminded me of the arguments I get all the time from parents on the yearbooks I edit.

I have done books for 2 different elementary schools (with some mom help) and 1 middle school (with student help). We work hard to keep the cost of the book very low, and use Photoshop Elements (you can teach a 12 year old in about 20 minutes!) to lay out the candids pages.  They are awesome, award winning books (if I say so myself )

But every year some mom says to me, “I’m a scrapbooker, I don’t need to buy a yearbook. I make sure to attend every school event and scrap a page about it, so the scrapbook will do!”

To which I respond, “Did you include the kid who sat in the back of the room and annoyed the teacher? The girl who threw up in music class? How about the teacher from another class who always brought their teacher coffee every morning? Those are the kind of memories a yearbook provides. Your scrapbook might be your child’s individual memories, but the yearbook is their community memory.”

To me, to leave out a yearbook (especially a well-done yearbook) is to leave out a huge part of your child’s life! They spend almost as many hours at school in a day as they do at home, why would you leave all that out?

If your child’s yearbook is overpriced and ugly – do something about it! As a digiscrapper, you already know everything you need to know.  (And you will have a very grateful principal!)

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  1. […] last year? I feel rather strongly that you should – if you want to know why, it's on my blog here. What do you think, if you scrap do you even need a yearbook? __________________ Jenn […]

  2. Teresa C says:

    I agree! I purchase a yearbook for both of my children, as well as one for myself! lol…there are kids/events in there that my kids will have their own memories of, other than the pics that I scrap! Thanks for this article!

  3. Stefanie says:

    I am totally behind you on the yearbook issue, Jenn! I think they are awesome, and what a great opportunity for kids to be on the yearbook staff and learn all of the ins & outs of publishing their own book. I was on mine, and I’m still proud of the pages I designed, over 40 years later!
    My husband & I are in charge of our high school archives (the school we both attended), and we have yearbooks going back to 1917. What treasures they are! It’s so fun to see the faces and styles and activities, and even the way the school changed. I hope they regain their popularity as on-demand printing gets more efficient and cost effective.

  4. Chris says:

    I wish we had a year book in England when I was at school. Everyone I ever knew has just about gone from my memory, and only a couple of teachers stay in my mind, but not their faces or spelling of their names. Right now, this moment, I would love to have a book to look over the total year and student body, so some of these memories would come flooding back! I’d hate to see this very American tradition get lost, the same way many others have.

    Scrapboooks are so different and, just as you said, the parents can’t possibly know all the other members of the school that their children know.

    Jenn, your illustrations above are super!

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