Elementary School Yearbooks: Keepsake or Money Waster?

girl in school photo

Photo by AnaBaumgartner

I'd never heard of elementary school yearbooks until a few moms started talking about them in the CafeMom Newcomer's Club. My kids' school doesn't publish yearbooks, nor did I have them when I was growing up. I wish my school had.

My mom threw out most of those class pictures that you always got with your personal portraits, so I have very few photos of my childhood friends and teachers.

I'd love to look at myself playing dodgeball or eating sloppy joes in the cafeteria -- pictures of myself when I was a cute little girl, before I became the awkward teen with glasses and braces and made the grave mistake of getting a Victoria Principal perm. Not a pretty combination, nope it wasn't.


Some moms think elementary school yearbooks are a waste of money. They feel the class pictures are enough for little kids (and lucky for those kids their mom doesn't throw all their childhood memories in the trash.) As one says, "I have yearbooks from 5th to 12th grade and haven't looked at them since I was 19 or 20."

Others who do buy the books and who have two elementary age kids were wondering if they should buy one book for each kid, or if one covers both. I just can't imagine that my son's friends would sign something so memorable and personal that would warrant a double purchase, especially at upward of $40 each.

"I'm glad I beat you at x Box."

"Soccer rules."

"I spit on your coat when you weren't looking."

"Your friend, Jake."

But maybe those are the very sentiments that will have my kids rolling on the floor when they flip through the pages twenty years later.

Do you buy the elementary school yearbook? Do you buy one for each child?


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