find me elsewhere

If you read home/school/life magazine (which you really should), you’ll know that I made a resolution that 2016 will be my year of citizen science projects! Today I posted my first project on the home/school/life blog. I hope you’ll check it out!

Citizen Science Project #1: Lab in the Wild


And here’s a couple of other posts I’ve written for the home/school/life blog recently. Enjoy!

The Most Helpful Math Games I’ve Found

Stuff We Like :: 1.29.16

Find me elsewhere today

Dawn Smith, of the wonderful Mud Puddles to Meteors nature blog, asked me if I would share some of my photographs of our recent ice storm in Georgia. You can find that post by clicking here. Though the ice storm did a lot of damage, we were lucky enough to experience the wondrous side of the ice storm.

Also, I have written another Mindful Homeschooling post on the home / school / life blog. Click here for that.

Happy New Year

near Amicalola Falls, Georgia-6

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying a bright new year! I had hoped to be writing some mid-year updates in this space by now, but life has thrown some bumps at us. As soon as things settle down, I’ll catch up here. Meanwhile, I hope your homeschool life is flourishing. You can always reach me by e-mail.

a few small things

I think the last few months have surely been the busiest of my life. Fortunately, I love everything I’m doing, or I would be a little more batty than I am right now.

First, I’m happy to tell you that the fall issue of home / school / life magazine was released yesterday, and I think it’s excellent. Of course, I’m biased, but I’ve heard from a few other people who aren’t biased, and they think so too, and that makes me happy. I wish I could take credit for the wonderfulness of this issue, but my editor-in-chief did most of the magic with two fabulous articles — one is about the 10 best cities in the U.S. to homeschool in. She set certain criteria, did tons of research, compiled it together and scrutinized the data to come up with this list. Though we’re not planning to move, I now have some town envy for sure! She also wrote a great piece about asking yourself important questions that will be helpful to you as you enter and navigate this homeschool journey. I’m pulling out my journal one night with that one!

I also love all the columns in this issue, especially Amy Hood’s tips on visiting an art museum with kids and Patricia Zaballos’ letter to her beginning-to-homeschool self. She sure knows how to comfort the frazzled homeschooling mom!

As for me, I wrote an article about how to become a better family photographer. If you’re a novice behind the lens, you may enjoy it! And something about writing this feature stirred up photography in my life (before-hand I had pretty much put it to rest for awhile) because suddenly I found myself with three photography clients. What fun it was to take photographs beyond the family snapshots I had been taking! You can see my work on my photography website.

And this brings me to my next piece of news: I started a Facebook page for my photography. It will probably remain mostly personal work, which is what I intended my photo website to be, but I also wanted a way to connect more easily with my clients and share their photos. If you are interested, I’d love for you to follow me there.

Between all this busy-ness, I have not neglected my homeschooling duties, and my eight-year-old has been delving into some new interests. I already told you about our adventures with tardigrades. We also recently had the opportunity to visit a Makers Faire near Atlanta, and I wanted to go to that because I knew there would be a lot of robotics groups there showing off their latest creations. That’s because my eight-year-old has been interested in robots lately! I wish it were easier to support this interest faster, but since good robotics kits aren’t cheap, he’s going to have to wait a little while for his wish to come true on this one. Anyway, I’ll be sure to write about an easy scribble bot we assembled with a kit from the faire, and I also have a surprise continuation of a project that I thought was finished: growing mushrooms. You can read about part 1 here, and I’ll fill you in on part 2 soon. (Of course, if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you already know all this.)

I’ve been trying to support my five-year-old a little more with his drawing interest by displaying his work and also creating a corner in his room with art supplies and space to work! I’ll write about that, eventually.

Meanwhile, I’m getting ready for out-of-town guests. (I told you I’ve been busy, right?) So if you don’t hear from me for awhile, that’s why.

I hope you are having a wonderful fall season! Please write me and tell me what you’ve been up to.

Just a few magazine updates

HSL-SU14This is an exciting week for me because the second issue of home / school / life  magazine will come out! That’s the Summer 2014 issue, and I think it will be just as good as the first one, if not better. I have written a few pieces for it, although the one I heart the most is the feature about homeschooling through a financial crisis. Deciding to homeschool can be a real strain on a family’s financial life because it usually means that one parent isn’t working. (I’ve written about the financial strain in my own house, and that post is still current.) The families that I interviewed, however, reveal a different story. They have each kept homeschooling a priority despite financial troubles. It gave me much to think about, and I hope that it helps you, if you’re dealing with a similar situation.

On July 1st I’ll also be sending out home / school / life’s free monthly newsletter. This has been a lot of fun for me to work on because I’ve been able to connect more with other homeschoolers who share their homeschooling tips, Student Spotlight photos, and favorite recipes. I’m also excited because we’re going to start giving away a free digital subscription to home / school / life magazine in our newsletter every other month to one of our newsletter subscribers. (Current magazine subscribers will receive an extra year for free.) If you haven’t signed up for this, you have nothing to lose, so why don’t you?! Sign up here.

Now that the summer issue is almost out, I’m going to be brainstorming for ideas on how to utilize the magazine’s social media some more. Our blog has been quiet because we’re all so busy working on the magazine, but we have plans to change that too.  I’m excited to try my hand at writing some meditations for homeschooling parents because inspiring people makes me happy. And I can always use the boost too! When I start posting those, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Oh, and FYI, home / school / life is also looking for a Tech Columnist who can keep homeschoolers up-to-date on all things tech. If you or anyone you know is interested, see the full job description.

As for Mama of Letters, I have plenty of ideas I would like to write about. It’s just a matter of finding the time to write it! I’m working on our end-of-year review, which entails a big slideshow. It’s fun, but it’s a lot of work. (I rarely put family photos into any kind of memory book or slideshow, so I’m making myself do this!) Since the magazine issue is wrapping up, I should be able to find some time in the next couple of weeks.

All is good, though. I love working for the magazine. I love spending leisurely summer days with my kids. I’m busy in a good way. I hope your summer is going well too. Please write me a note, if you’re willing. I love connecting with you.

Introducing… home / school / life magazine

Layout 1

I’m interrupting my regularly scheduled program (ha) to introduce you to a new venture that I think you’re going to love.  home / school / life is a new, savvy, beautiful magazine for homeschoolers or anyone who wants to supplement their child’s school education with home education. It’s going to be unlike anything else out there.

And I am its senior editor.

It’s a long story, but last week I was approached about possibly taking on this role. It came as a big surprise, and I take it as a huge compliment that my (now) boss would want me to do this. I have been freelancing for Amy Sharony for her other magazine, Atlanta Homeschool, so I know she has many years experience in the magazine industry, and she produces an excellent product. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

I look forward to helping home / school / life magazine be the best publication of its kind. We will strive to make it not just a magazine but a place where you can come to ask questions, find useful information, and share your own story. I hope that we can create a friendly community of people who share that one, important commonality: we love our children and want them to have the best education possible.

It will be available in print to those who wish to subscribe, and there will also be a digital edition available online for a nominal fee. There will be a ton of free stuff available on its website too. The first issue will be available this spring.

What does this mean for Mama of Letters? Right now it is hard to tell how much time the magazine will take, but I hope to continue writing my newspaper column and working on my blog. However, I will probably have to cut back on the column and the amount of writing I do here.  My storytelling e-book project may have to wait awhile. I’m not giving anything up, but I will continue to do what I have always done: take it one step at a time.

This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I’m excited that by collaborating with Amy and the other awesome people she has rounded up to make this an excellent magazine, we will be producing incredibly useful information for you that I could not possibly have done on my own in the same amount of time!

So I hope you will bookmark the website (there’s not much there yet), like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Pinterest, send us your ideas and questions, and keep an eye out for that first issue! Thank you!

My e-mail for home / school / life will be shelli (at) homeschoollifemag (dot) com but you can still reach me at shellipabis (at) gmail (dot) com too.

Find Me Elsewhere Today

Just a short post today to tell you that I’m happily sharing more of my photography on the Mud Puddles to Meteors blog today. I’m flattered that they want to share my work! These are some of my favorite images from our trip to Amelia Island, Florida a couple of years ago. We were celebrating my in-laws 50th anniversary. Check that out by clicking here.

And, the Massachusetts State Science & Engineering Fair found my post about the seven-year-old’s first science fair project, and they asked me if they could feature it on their blog as an example of how to get kids involved in science! Way to go, seven-year-old!! Check it out by clicking here.