To say our children's precious school years have been disrupted would be an understatement.
From the little ones who clung to us at the school gates and faked tummy aches to get out of class, to the teens who shrug nothing more than ‘it was OK’ when you ask how school went, they have all missed their friends, teachers, and group learning experiences immeasurably.
From September, with the hope that regular schooling is back and (hopefully) here to stay, the time your child or teenager has left at school will be even more important, and possibly even more fondly remembered.
For those who have reached an education milestone during this time of social-distancing and online learning, the end of the school year may have felt a little underwhelming. An opportunity missed. Even a little unfair, perhaps.
Whether they were Year 6s who missed out on their end of school assemblies due to their class bubble isolating, or the Year 11s who missed out on signing their friends’ shirts and their school prom cancelled, all around this generation of children are missing out on the little things which in fact turn out to be the big things when you look back.
You can be forgiven for feeling sorry for them. Sure, on the grand scheme of things there are bigger fish to fry than attending a school prom during a pandemic. Nevertheless our young people have made a lot of sacrifices, as have many other groups too.
So if you’re a school leaver, parent or guardian who’s racking their brains on how to make up for the missed opportunity and wants to make the end of this school year feel special, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s easy to forget
As adults, we know how quickly life moves. We get busy. We spend less and less time thinking about our younger years. Memories fade.
But have you ever been shown a picture by an old friend or classmate, and had memories you thought were gone forever come roaring back to life?
Mementos are so important because they tell us the story of who we are.
Many of us in our 40s and 50s may have had school photos, and perhaps a signed yearbook or two, but we had no way of personalising our very own bound books to preserve our memories.
Capturing your child’s school experienced is a true gift. And it’s something Memory Books makes easy.
4 reasons to have an end-of-school-year photobook made
1. Schools are under pressure. If your school is the type that arranged a yearbook before, it might not have been on the agenda this year. Or, with everyone playing catch-up, your child might not get the same thing they were given pre-2020 as there have been far fewer opportunities to take photos and create memories together.
This is where you can step in. Using your parent/guardian point of view - from sneaky photos of Microsoft Teams learning to insights from homeschooling with siblings - you could create a Class of 2021 Yearbook that shows just how resilient and tough these kids have been during such unprecedented times.
2. Make up for a lost year. As mentioned, the past year and a half has provided very little opportunity for making memories. It can’t be changed, and that’s okay - we just have to find ways to make new memories even better, and hold onto them a little tighter as we move forward.
For some families, getting through lockdowns and simply survivinghas been enough. So try not to be hard on yourself if some days homeschool was off and Netflix was on because you had to work from home yourself.
And don’t be hard on yourself if your infant didn’t sit making Pinterest worthy crafts and baking cupcakes. Instead, if you don’t have a lot of photos, you could choose a Memory Book template where you can write notes to your child, saying what you admire about them and the things you’ll remember most from this year.
3. A gift for life. Cakes get eaten, gadgets break, and kids grow out of clothes, books, and toys. But creating a photobook is a gift for life. If you choose to collaborate with several other friends from your child’s peer group, you can imagine your child poring over their photobook well into their 20s and 30s, laughing with their friends about their expressions and hairstyles, and wondering what the featured classmates are up to now.
4. Why not share the joy? You might choose to make a photobook just for your own child or children. You might like to get together with parents of their friends and create something special for a small group.
Or, like the mums below, you might choose to make something for the whole class. Thanks to the wonders of digital print, you can order as few or as many books as you like.
A touching photobook case study
Two insightful mums, Samantha and Claire, were moved by this very impulse when their childrens’ school Ockbrook School announced its closure.
June 8th was an extremely sad day for staff, pupils, and friends of Ockenden School. Following the pandemic, the co-ed and boarding school’s financial struggles reached a point of no return.
But Samantha and Claire found a way to immortalise the happy memories their children had shared there. They put together a touching and inclusive memory book, bursting with photos, memories, and quotes from students of The Grange (Years 3 to 6). Every child is pictured and named, and got the chance to write a personalised thank you to their teachers. Their aim was to celebrate the joy the school provided, rather than mourn its sad closure.
And the result is a touching keepsake that will be treasured forever by the parents, and no doubt the children too, as they grow up and maybe one day show their own families.
If you want to find out more, do email us.
Start creating yours today
The fact you’ve read this far shows how much you care. Creating a Memory Book to celebrate the ups and downs of the Class of 2021 is a way to capture this crazy year and treasure it for years to come.
When things settle back down, our children will have been at school during a time that will go down in the history books. With their own End of Yearbook from Memory Books, they get to keep a little piece of history with them for the rest of their lives.