School Pictures


I don’t know if they were easier to corral back then or not.

If you read this post then you know that I like to take “school” pictures of the kids every year. Of course I like to take pictures of the kids all the time, but I try every year to get a nice, close-up, and somewhat formal picture of each of the kids.

The first four weeks of this school year have been great so far, but they have also been somewhat hectic. The kids are in quite a few activities, so I haven’t had that much time to think about the pictures or to take them. Last Friday the kids and I went out to the nature preserve to collect a sample of creek water for a microscope activity that the twins were working on. I grabbed my camera at the last-minute thinking that I would take a few pictures of the twins for our weekly update. When I started taking pictures I realized it was a beautiful day out, and here we were in the nature preserve, and I decided right then and there that I would snap some school photos.


Decca walking down to the creek happy for the time being.

I should also mention that I had our dog with us. Our very adorable, energetic, and strong (and by strong I mean that he can pull me anywhere he wants to go) dog with us. So there I am in the nature preserve with three kids, one who is starting to get very hot and impatient, and one dog who is looking around for coyotes, bobcats, or other dogs to antagonize. These are the circumstances I found myself in when I decide to take these school photos.

What was I thinking?


Autry’s “official” school picture

I took Autry’s photo first and I was very happy with how it came out. Good thing too as Decca was starting to complain about the heat and how he wanted to go home NOW. Up next was Decca and he stood still for about five seconds before he collapsed on the ground from heat exhaustion, refusing to get up. Tru starts to tell (or was it yell?) his younger brother to get off the ground. Kingsley starts pulling me one way or the other. He is on a scent. Autry gets frustrated.


Decca’s “official” photo

I can see this is not quite going the way I expected, but I only have one photo left. Can I do it in the chaos I find myself in? I would like to tell you that yes I could take the picture, and that it was amazing. Alas, that was not the case. I had time to take the quickest shot of Tru, and it did not turn out at all.

I actually thought the picture wasn’t too bad, but Tru hated it. And since he is now a teen he did not hold back in telling me exactly how much he detested the photo.  I suggested we do a retake like they do in schools. Only our retake would happen the same day just a few hours later.


Tru’s “official” photo

Tru and I headed back out to the nature preserve with Kingsley and shot some new pictures. We did some with just him and then we decided at the last-minute to take some with Kingsley.  Kingsley brought all his charm and personality to the photos and it shows.


I love back to school pictures. I may not always have the best plan to take them, and I am often lacking the time and perfect condition in which to take them in, but I usually end up loving the pictures. What more could I ask for?

School Pictures Over the Years

Twins at the beginning of their homeschool journey, 2003.

The twins at the beginning of their homeschool journey, 2003.

I knew I wanted to homeschool my kids from day one, and the twins started their first year of homeschool at 4. At that time there were not too many choices for curriculum, but I was lucky enough to stumble onto Tanglewood Homeschooling back in the day when she sold complete packages. I bought her first grade package and remember being so excited to receive it in the mail. It came with Story of the World which I had never heard of before, and I sat down with the kids our first day of school and began reading the book. To my amazement the kids were hooked from the very first page, and as they say, the rest was history.


2004 – I took a picture of all three of them collecting pill bugs. I think this sums up their year fairly well.

Over the years I have tried to make a point of taking pictures of the kids at the beginning of each year to celebrate our new year. Some years I put a good deal of effort into their pictures, and some years I just took a quick shot and called it a day. I was thinking about the pictures I will take this school year, this year of high school and fifth grade, and I thought about how old the kids seem. In my maudlin moment I decided to look back at our pictures through the years, and I am so grateful that I have all these pics to remember our homeschool years.

The year they discovered Harry Potter.

2005 – The year they discovered Harry Potter.

I wanted to share these pictures, as it helps me feel good about our homeschool journey. Looking through them I am confident about the next years to come. I am not only confident, but I look forward to them. In a few days I hope to post this year’s photos to add to our collection. We may not have the typical school pictures that so many do, but we have are own “school” pics, and I am grateful for that.

2006 – This year I decided to take more formal pics.


2006 – We incorporated are favorite homeschool book into our school pic.


Decca's first workbook

Decca’s first workbook

2007 – Outdoor pics at the lake in Woodbridge


3rd grade – Time for an outdoor pic



Decca’s school pic at 4

2008 – I call this year the year of the chair.  😉


4th Grade for the twins



2009 – I thought it was such a big deal to have two kids in double digits (it was!), and I couldn’t believe Decca was six.




This was also the year that we went to Disneyland for three nights for the Not Back to School Days. It was the best way to start a school year.

At Disneyland celebrating Not Back to School Days

At Disneyland celebrating Not Back to School Days

2010 brought another year. This time I had two sixth graders and a second grader. The twins started changing and began to look a little older. I decided to take a group photo this year.


2011 – Autry started at OCHSA, but we still managed to get to Disneyland in September. We had fun with our school pictures this year.




2012 – Back to more formal outdoor pictures

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