Thursday, August 4, 2011

Using Photo Books to Supplement Your Child’s Education {Giveaway}

Do you remember how excited I was at the beginning of the summer when I told you about how I had learned how to create m'ija's first yearbook? It made me super happy because I had been looking for a way to document her progress, as well as something with which to reward her for all of her hard work.

In fact, I was so pleased with the end result, I wrote another article sharing additional tips for creating your own yearbook.

It has occurred to me that these photo books are not only a great way to preserve memories, but they can be a valuable educational tool, as well.

How often do we consider the power of personalization? When you read or watch something that is about you or your family, don’t you pay closer attention? I know I do. If I am watching a movie about someone, I can be sympathetic, but I am less likely to become emotionally involved than if I were watching a home movie about someone I know and love.

So wouldn’t it be great to harness the power of this personalization and apply it to our learning programs?

Imagine, if you will, the 8” x 8” photo book from Shutterfly. Wouldn’t this make a great personalized “text” book? Just imagine the possibilities!

Make an ABC book for your preschooler. Creating your own abecedario using your family photographs would not only become a treasured family heirloom, but it could really make learning the alphabet a much more meaningful experience for your child.

Make a book about colors. Wow. How much fun would this be? You could not only use photographs that you’ve already taken, but you could also involve your child by asking them to create a nice display of household items that are the same color. Then take a picture of it together!

• For older students, consider making a recipe book. Pick one day each week to create the recipe of your choice together. You know, paletas, natilla, alfajores, pan dulce…you get the picture! Be sure to document your progress.

Make a book of your family tree. Ask everyone in your family to send in photos of themselves and put them together in your photo book. Be sure to label your pictures with nicknames and terms of endearment, as well as their full names.

An 8 x 8 photo book is smaller than the one I made for the yearbook, but it also includes 20 pages. If you have never used Shutterfly before, this is a great opportunity to practice creating your own book. You can read my description of Shutterfly's two (free) built-in programs that help you to design your project.

I would encourage you to involve your child. Ask your son to help you choose the photos you'd like to include in the book. Have your daughter pick which layout she likes best for each page. Write the text together. Be creative - make it bilingual!

And don't forget los abuelos! This year, Grandparent's Day is September 11th. If you start right away, you will have plenty of time to create a meaningful album that will start 'Buelita to crying with happiness.

Take a look around Shutterfly's site for ideas. I’ve been prowling around there looking at things, which is dangerous, because now I'm thinking of letting the kids design their own birthday invitations for their birthdays next year. And instead of slaving over our holiday cards in a few months, I think I will simplify and save us the time and effort by having the kids select one of Shutterfly’s templates (Warning: they have 805!). It will be a good lesson in working together.

The Giveaway

I'm excited again, because this time, I have the opportunity to offer one of you, dear amigas, a free 8" x 8" photo book from Shutterfly!

To enter, simply leave a comment below. I would love to know what type of album you would create. Would it be a simple memory book? Or would you get creative and assign it a specific theme?

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Sunday, August 7th. The winner will be chosen using and contacted via email - so be sure to leave a valid email address (or some other way to contact you) in your comment! Open to United States residents only.

And to increase your chances of winning, you can:

1.) Blog about this giveaway and include the link to your post,

2.) Tweet the following: Free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly giveaway on #giveaway

3.) Follow MommyMaestra on Facebook.

4.) Take the anonymous, one-question poll in the sidebar.

Don't forget to let me know by posting a separate comment for each entry!

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: Shutterfly has offered me a free 8 x8 photo book in compensation for writing this post. I have chosen to offer it as a giveaway because I really think my readers will enjoy it (even though I really want to use it myself!). All the ideas and opinions expressed in this article are my own original thoughts.

This giveaway is now closed. Congratualtions to #48 Susan, the winner of the Shutterfly photo book!