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Monday, August 8, 2011

Becky Higgins: Personal Yearbook

When I find something that I find is truly inspirational, educational, or worth sharing, I can’t help but tell others about it. Today, I discovered a new initiative by Becky Higgins called Personal Yearbook that really is worthwhile for school aged children and their parents.

Here are the details:
This is an ongoing project designed for students to complete themselves – no matter if they're in public, private, or home school. This will work with children as young as preschool and can even be used for older kids. The end result is a very basic month-by-month look at their journey and growth in a single school year.

I believe that teaching children to record their personal history is important and should be fun! Highlighting their own handwriting and art and pictures in a format like this can really boost a child's self-esteem. This isn't the type of project that ends up in the garbage. Volunteering to help kids complete this is a great way to get in the classroom with your child and serve your community.

Getting started
  1. Introduce yourself to your child's teacher if they don't already know you. Volunteer to do this Personal Yearbook project with each of the kids in the class on a monthly basis.
  2. Determine ahead of time if you are going to provide all the materials or if you're going to ask for a small donation from the parents to contribute to the project. It could be $2-3 per student, depending on how fancy-schmancy you want to get. I recommend keeping it simple and un-cluttered.
  3. Together with the teacher, create a plan of each month's topic/theme/activity so that the "big picture" feels good to both of you. For example, you could focus on a big-deal activity each month (first day of school, holiday performance, Valentines exchange party). Or you could focus on routine activities that paint a picture of everyday life for the students (library, cafeteria, recess).
  4. Gather all supplies based on how many students are in the class.
What you need
  • Time to pop into your child's class twice a month.
  • Camera
  • 3-prong folder for each child
  • White cardstock for printing the pages (title page + 2 pages per month of school)
  • clear page protectors to hold 8.5" x 11" cardstock pages
  • Adhesive (most kids will already have glue sticks at school)
  • Pen or pencil (if the kids don't already have this at school there's a problem)
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils for drawing art (again, they should have this)
  • Variety of patterned paper (optional)

Title Page

This should be done in the first month of the school year so as to get the child's signature. They'll write their signature again at the end of the year on that same page. In the younger grades, there is often a big improvement in the then-and-now for handwriting. As for the 4" x 6" photo, that can be whatever you want. A fun headshot you take or the official school portrait would be a natural fit for a title page.

Most Important

Have fun with this project. Enjoy getting to know your child's classmates. Find joy in serving. Help the kids feel what you feel about personal history and personal expression through art and writing.

Becky even has a download to get you started on your very own personal yearbook.

Have a wonderful time creating memories with your children or grandchildren!
Creativity Bug ~ Sue


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