ktware

sharing my creativity, one project at a time

Project Life – Back to School

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a weekly Project Life layout and even longer since I’ve actually done one. I haven’t quit, I’ve just been busy with other scrappy type projects. One of those was both of my daughters’ school scrapbooks for the previous school year. Each year, I promise myself that I am going to work on them as we go thru the year and each year June rolls around and I don’t have a damn thing accomplished. I was doing them in an 8.5×11 format, but realized that doing it with pocket page protectors would make my life so much easier. Here are some photos of my youngest daughter and her first grade year:

as you can see, I made the title page before deciding to change the format

as you can see, I made the title page before deciding to change the format

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I found a back to school interview a few years back and print it off each year for the girls to fill out. I like to include a little bit of the activities before school starts as well. We help out at the school each year and start back the week before school when the teachers do. I started doing that because I wanted the girls to understand how hard their teachers work to get things ready for school. Now it’s something the girls look forward to each year.

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The photo in the bottom left hand corner is a photo I have taken every year since my oldest started kindergarten – I always snap a photo of the girls walking in with daddy the first morning.

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I do Becky Higgins’ Personal Yearbook with my girls’ classes (and some others) each year at school – this means that I photograph each student in their class. This usually gives me the opportunity to make my own class photo of the kids on the second day of school, but this teacher takes her own (I love working with a teacher that photographs everything, too!) .  The page on the right is something her teacher did with the students on the first day, too.

I thought the easiest way to do their albums was to make monthly spreads – some months will only have one page or one 2-page layout, others have multiple pages.  It all depends on what was happening that month. With our family album, I usually fill most of the layout with photos or journaling and just a little bit of the “pretty stuff”. I decided to use more filler cards in their albums and make the layouts a little “lighter”( for lack of a better term). My reasoning being that these are elementary school albums and they are only going to remember the fun things here and there – we don’t need to detail every single day. I know *I* don’t want to remember that much detail from my school years 🙂

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the bottom left photo was not from school, but was something that I wanted her to remember

the bottom left photo was not from school, but was something that I wanted her to remember

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Around this time, she was working hard at recess every day to master the monkey bars, so much so that she ended up with bad blisters on her hands. Since it was so important to her, I knew it was something I needed to document for her.

a piece of her writing was chosen to be put on display by the front office

a piece of her writing was chosen to be put on display by the front office

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a few of her art pieces are scattered thru the layouts, the rest are at the end of the album

a few of her art pieces are scattered thru the layouts, the rest are at the end of the album

fall portrait

fall portrait

 

field trip

field trip

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The above layout is not something that was school related, but something special we did over Christmas break from school (spending some time with their grandmother). Another big thing that happened in January was her eye exams that ended in her getting glasses.

due to the way the layouts were done, the photo of her glasses was a layout on top of the exam photos

due to the way the layouts were done, the photo of her glasses was an insert on top of the exam photos

 

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baseball card pages are the perfect size for kids' Valentine cards

baseball card pages are the perfect size for kids’ Valentine cards

 

these were of her Valentine flowers, but also made a good "before" photo for hair cut

these were of her Valentine flowers, but also made a good “before” photo for hair cut

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author visit to the school

author visit to the school

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…. and well, you get the point. I did want to show you what I did with her artwork. I’ve seen a few different people do this and realized this method worked much better than trying to put the actual work in page protectors in the album.

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So, that was a sampling of my younger daughter’s album. My older daughter was in third grade last year. I put her album together in a similiar way with a few differences. The first one being that I did not do the journaling for her – I draw the layout on post-its with notes and then go over what I had in mind when she is in the mood to write:

neon colored Post-Its make them harder to miss :)

neon colored Post-Its make them harder to miss 🙂

The second thing I do differently is that I leave some blank areas and let her choose the journaling cards (for my younger daughter, I pick everything out) or give the option to just be decorative with stickers.

colored cardstock squares and stickers/drawing were all her idea

colored cardstock squares and stickers/drawing were all her idea

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What I’ve posted is just a small fraction of what is in their albums, so now you can see why weekly layouts have been pushed aside for now. And if you’ve made it to this point, then thank you for looking thru all the photos of some stranger’s kids 🙂 Every year since Natalie started kindergarten, I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to do school albums for my girls. This, by far, has been the least effort (with much better results) and was a lot more fun… and it helped me not feel so guilty about all those PL cards that I’ve got! I let each girl pick one of the childhood editions and then we split up a Blush edition (again, letting them choose the cards they like) and then we store them in the Studio Calico PL boxes.

I hope this helps someone out there trying to figure out how best to document school years for your children/yourself. I will be linking up with The Mom Creative this week (finally – I’ve missed quite a few weeks) and hope to get back to posting weekly layouts real soon.

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Author: ktware

I'm a mom to 2 girls and 2 dogs. My husband and I have been together for over 17 years (married for 12 of them). I hate saying that I'm a "stay at home" mom, because I'm really not. I spend most of my time at my daughters' elementary school - volunteering, tutoring and (my favorite) scrapbooking with several different classes. I like photography, scrapbooking and general crafty stuff.

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