Picaboo Yearbooks is a totally cool, innovative, on-line program that allows schools, teams, clubs and even (gasp) homeschooling families to create amazing, professional quality year-books for an incredibly reasonable price.
I wanted this review, and I wanted it bad. Why? I used to be a scrap-booking wild woman, along with my Mom, mil, Daughter's and Sisters. Our family had a whole bookshelf dedicated to our scrapbooks that included family history, trips, etc. that my kids would go through regularly. I had scrapbooks my Mom made for us and with my older Daughters (my mom is deceased). All of them were lost in our house fire 3 years ago. I grieved, big time, over those lost albums, and I've been too busy since to really get back in to it. But Feeche graduated just a few weeks ago and I wanted to make a scrapbook for him for graduation. Feeche's high school years have been consumed with things related to the house fire- moving and moving and moving again, construction, sorting stuff, acquiring new stuff, etc. I wanted something tangible to commemorate some of the happy, fun things that he's done (like the 9 Plays he performed in, TeenPact, Campaigning, Challenge, Ballroom Dancing, etc.etc.). And I did, with Picaboo!
This is an on-line program that you log into to get started with. The program is fairly simple once you get the hang of it. I won't lie, there is a bit of a learning curve, so watch the Tutorials! It's not that you'll mess things up, it's that you'll MISS all of the very cool things you can do to personalize and decorate your book.
It's this easy:
1) upload pictures
2) choose a page lay-out from 1-5+ picture per page- easily modified to add or delete pictures from
3) insert pictures, positioning them as you like
4) insert text, choosing the font and size of text- position the text box as you like
5) decorate pages and covers.
6) Order and wait for the happy day when your Yearbook arrives.
Book vs. Yearbook
The big difference between a book and a yearbook is that several people can work on a yearbook at the same time. The program allows the yearbook coordinator to oversee the entire project, while section"managers" have access to specific areas of the yearbook. Once a section is complete, the coordinator can "close" that section, making it ready to up-load.
What does that mean for the homeschooler? Well, "Year Book" would be a great class to add to any co-op, allowing the kids to create a yearbook, with the help of an older co-ordinator. The price is amazing, and definitly less expensive than a scarpbook might be, once you add in pages, paper, stickers, etc.
In addition, you can add 4 free personalized pages in each student's yearbook, even adding QR Codes that allow you to add videos to your pages. Anyone can contribute pictures, allowing a broader range of images to choose from.
Also, a fun feature on the yearbook site is the Potrait Manager. I made a page like this, with a whole series of fun and zany pictures and captions and love how it turned out! If you used this for a co-op you could have a page per class.
Picaboo commits to a 3 week turn-around from the time of upload to time of delivery. We were thrilled to receive ours in less than 2 weeks. And we were thrilled with the finished product! It is lightweight, but very well-constructed, the pages are thick and archival quality and the picture clarity is superb. In addition, the back-grounds and wrap around cover were totally appropriate for a book dedicated to a nature loving male. Our cover is glossy (you can choose matte or glossy) and customized.
We'll be making more Picaboo books in the future. Not only is this a perfect idea for a co-op or class-day, but for any kind of club or camp. Check out the Picaboo idea page! In addition, it's a fun way to make a memory book for reunions, birthdays, weddings, etc. And folks can order from the store-front on thier own. Meaning (drum roll, please) you don't need someone to collect the money and distribute the yearbooks (unless you choose to), and also, family and friends from across the country can order a yearbook, too! And, obviously, it is the perfect way for homeschooling families to create memories of thier rich and vibrant homeschooling life.
The ONLY thing I did not absolutly love about the product, the service and the company was missing out on all of the great fun of sitting down with my scrapbooking pals, talking about pictures and memories. Barring that, Picaboo Yearbooks are a 100% winner, in my (year)book!