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Friday, October 18, 2013


What's the consensus for yearbooks in the elementary years? Do you purchase them for your kids or not?

When I was growing up yearbooks used to be a thing reserved for high school only. But when I was in 7th grade my middle school produced a yearbook for the first time. That middle school went from grades 4-8; so that first year was also the first time for 4th graders to get a yearbook.

When Kayla started school I balked at getting her a yearbook in Kindergarten. I think I might have said something like, "It's Kindergarten for crying out loud! Why do they need to have a yearbook from their Kindergarten year?"

Then I caved when she was in 1st grade. Caved because I felt guilty. The whole school-memento thing. Just like I buy school pictures every year even though the picture package seems to get smaller but more expensive.

But then I balked again about the premise of yearbooks in elementary school and is it really a big deal to not have one? So I didn't order one in 2nd or 3rd grade.

Except there was a moment in 3rd grade when I felt that guilt again. Kayla was pretending to do something when we were driving some where one day and I asked her about it. She happily explained, "I signing a yearbook!"

Oh crap. The kids are passing around and signing their yearbooks?! Was my kid the only one who didn't have a yearbook?! Did I leave her out of something everyone else was doing?

So now we're back to yearbook time again and now I have 2 kids in school. I still don't particularly feel that it's that important to have a yearbook from the elementary school years, but now there is the cost factor as well. $30. Times 2. $60 on yearbooks? How do parents do it when you have even more than 2 children?

Yes I still have my yearbooks from 7-12th grade, but do I ever really look at them anymore? My high school ones for sure mean more to me than my middle school yearbooks, but they're all just sitting in a box together.

Do I really want to end up having 12 yearbooks for each kid sitting in a box?

I'm leaning towards not ordering the yearbooks while they're in elementary school (save for the 1st grade one Kayla has), but how common is it to not get the yearbook?

It feels like with digital cameras now I'm recording plenty of their childhood and elementary years. And I have their school pictures. Odds are most kids don't make it in the yearbook aside from the school picture; so is there really a reason to get one?

What do other parents do about elementary yearbooks?

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Anonymous said...

We do the last year of elementary school and that is it. They never look back at them and it is a huge waste of money. They might spend an hour or two signing but even that is different than it used to be. There are so many other ways to stay in touch beyond a phone number in a yearbook. If it is that big of a deal at her school, take her out during that time. Use the money to get ice cream together and don't think twice about it. We have three kiddos and were caught by parent guilt a year or two but then realized it was a waste of money. They are 17, 15, and 13 and don't seem to be traumatized and certainly weren't alone in not having them. :)

Stacey Nicole said...

I do not remember getting yearbooks in elementary school (which went to sixth grade where I lived). There may not have even been that option (I graduated in 1995). I do have my 8th grade through 12th grade yearbooks and look at them on occasion. Our oldest is in kindergarten this year and I saw something on the school's website about yearbooks. I couldn't believe they had that option this early on! I highly doubt we will get yearbooks until he is in junior high (same for his brother) UNLESS he mentions that he wants one.

P.S. We will get school photos. That is a given. I take thousands of photos of the kids every year, but there is something about school photos. Thomas has had his "school" photo since he was two and in day care; his brother got his first "school" photo last year, and they love looking at them on their walls and pointing them out to people, so yes, we will do school photos.

Becca said...

Samantha's yearbooks are paperback and only $11.00, so it's an easy "yes" decision. I don't understand elementary schools asking for $30 for yearbooks! We never had them when I was a kid, and I would be really conflicted, as you are, if we had expensive hard-bound versions. Maybe you can make the suggestion of the paper ones. Much, much better, and a more appropriate keepsake for the elementary school years.

Bailey's Leaf said...

Our yearbooks cost $11. I do buy my daughter a yearbook every year, but I only have one child. If I had multiple children, I would only buy one.

I can't tell you the number of times we've pulled the books out and looked at them. We looked kids up in the book. We looked back over the photo collages. They don't just get purchased in our house-- they get used.

I bought my senior yearbook. It was $50 and I didn't have money for it any other year.

You have to do what works best for you. $30 each is ridiculous. If it was priced more in line of the ones that we offer, I could see it be more of a possibility.

Melanie Alcock said...

Our school district yearbooks are only 15 dollars, so it's not as expensive. Still, I have 2 kids in the elementary school (will soon be 3) and since it's the same book for both of them, I've only ever ordered 1 - it's a few days of fun for the kids then ends up on a shelf somewhere... I don't really know whether the kids will ever look back on them but it's nice to have their school pics all together in one book

Anonymous said...

Every year my mom had ordered my and my sister a yearbook.(even though we are twins). They are more expensive in high school though($70) so we had to pay half. Before that elementary and middle school my mom always preordered them and paid the full price. She always got a yearbook every year and we really enjoy them. I have them all lined up on a shelf Kindergarden- 9th grade. I'm in 10th now.

Stephanie said...

Owen's school district does not do yearbooks. They do a class picture that is included in most school picture packages. I purchase the a la carte package (i.e. the cheapest!) but I honestly wouldn't do a yearbook in elementary or possibly even middle school. I have my high school and college ones and I can count on one hand the number of times I've looked at any of them in last 10 years.