This is Amy Sorensen, and I have a hard and fast rule about scrapbooking in the summer: I don’t get started on any vacation, summer activities, picnic, hiking or other warm-weather layouts until I’ve made a school summary layout for each of my kids. I journal about the major points of their school year: big projects, memorable experiences, unique activities. I try to get down some little details too, like where their locker was or how they got back and forth to school. Also favorites: teacher, class, friend, lunch item. I wish I could remember those stories from my own school years, but most of the details have blurred together for me. (Although I do have some pretty good stories from junior high, one involving my math teacher sighing and saying, “Amy, are you ever going to be on time?”) Since I can’t remember mine, I make sure to get down my kids'. Since I have teenagers, sometimes it’s a little bit rough to get them to cough up any stories, but with a little prying (not to mention some texting and Snapchatting) I’ve managed to get the details. Or at least the ones they’re willing to tell me!
If I follow my rule and make the layouts first thing after school gets out, the stories are still fresh. It just requires a photo on the last day of school (again…with teenagers this takes a little bit of finagling, and this year I had literally one photo to scrapbook with…but it is worth the stress!) and some time spent talking with your kids about their year.
Here are the school summaries I made this year.
I only have one kid left in grade school:
I realized after I wrote the summary list of 4th-grade details that I still had a little story to tell, so I added a paragraph of text that tells what happened on the last day. A few hours after I finished this layout, I remembered a whole bunch of other stuff I wanted to add to the detail list, like what he learned in art and some funny things he said throughout the school year. I just wrote them down on the back of the layout!
For my 15-year-old's school summary page, I also needed a list and a paragraph. So I surrounded three sides of the last-day-of-school photo with text:
I will be so sad when I run out of the script alphabet stickers I used to spell "the end." They are some old ones from Webster's Pages, and I bought two sets of every color, but I use them a lot, and they're almost gone.
My 17-year-old's layout was harder to make, because seriously: eleventh grade was rough. He mostly refused to give me any details because he wanted to forget junior year entirely. (Which made me pause to think: should I even commemorate the year? But I decided to anyway, in the hopes that the memories of the hard parts will make more sense when he is older.) Writing the journaling was tough, because it didn't feel authentic to leave out the more complicated, hard stories from the year, but I also didn't want it to be entirely negative. In the end I started with the hard stuff, transitioned to the better stuff, and then wrote about what I hope he really learned, with an eye for the Jake who might read it in the future:
Yep, same picture. I told you...teenagers are hard to photograph sometimes!
If you want more ideas for making your own school summary layouts, you can also read this post.
And with that to-do item checked off of my scrapbooking list, I'm moving on to some summer layouts. Happy scrapping!