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.

Magazine Update: Free Monthly Newsletter

home / school / life magazine is offering a free, monthly newsletter, and I hope you will sign up.

This will be the place where we can really engage with YOU, our readers. As I said before, I want home / school / life to be more than a magazine – I want it to be a community. So I want to learn what our readers have to say, and I want them to learn from each other! I hope you will consider contributing to some of these things we’ll have in our monthly newsletter, and maybe we’ll be inspired to cook up new ways for you to be part of our community in the future too!

Student Spotlight ~

We’re all doing this for our kids, right? So let’s celebrate our kids by sharing their work! Please send in a photo of your child’s project, artwork, or their participation in a class, field trip, your homeschool day, or whatever it is you’re proud about! Include a caption, child’s first name, age and the state or country.

Recipe Swap ~

I know all of you are much better cooks than I am! Please share your favorite recipe with us! (Please be aware of copyright if it’s not an original recipe. We may not be able to share a recipe that is not yours unless we get permission. Let us know – we may be able to help.)

Homeschooling Tip ~

We have all learned something from our homeschooling journey. Let’s share that with each other! We’re aiming to collect 101 quick homeschooling tips! The challenge will be to tell it in three sentences or less! Once we collect 101 of them, we will post them all on our website! (Hurry because we won’t publish tips that are too much alike.)

We’re happy to include any blog URLs with your contributions too!

I hope you’ll participate. There is no deadline. Just send me what you’ve got, and I’ll put them in a queue. We will be sending a newsletter once a month, so depending on how many are in the queue, your contribution may take awhile to appear. I’ll be sure to let you know when it does!

Of course, we’ll also use the newsletter to make important announcements and share interesting links, and I love inspirational quotes, so I’m going to include one of those in each newsletter too.

Click here to E-mail Your Contributions 

(For the subject line, please specify “Student Spotlight,” “Recipe” or “Homeschool Tip.”)

Click Here to Subscribe to the Newsletter.

(Your information will not be used for anything other than this newsletter!)

home / school / life magazine has launched!

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I’m very excited to announce that subscribers to home / school / life magazine received the very first issue in their inboxes today! So if you subscribed, be sure to check your e-mail!

If you haven’t subscribed, you can view sample pages by clicking here.

Did you subscribe? Please tell me what you think about the magazine!

Quick Magazine Update

I’m excited to tell you that the premiere of home / school / life magazine should be out sometime next week! I’ve had an awesome time collaborating on this beautiful magazine (it’s beautiful because Amy, editor-in-chief, is soooo talented at page layout!). I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading something, whether in print or online, it’s gotta look nice or I skip to something else.

Today is the last day we’re offering a discounted rate on the digital subscriptions ($12; reg. $15). If you’re trying to decide, we’ve posted the Table of Contents on the website. (We will be posting information about print subscriptions soon. Unfortunately, that has been delayed because we’re waiting on some things to happen first.) If you buy a digital subscription and later decide you’d like a print subscription instead, we will gladly make the switch for you and apply what you’ve already paid toward your print subscription!

You can also read about our regular departments and their descriptions here.  If you have any questions at all, please ask me!

Winner of the Give-Away


I’m sure those of you who entered my drawing for a free, one-year digital subscription of home / school / life magazine was wondering when I was going to get around to posting the winner! I’m sorry I didn’t specify a date. Honestly, I’m so busy I wasn’t sure when I’d get to it! But it’s been over a week, and I had a little time this morning to write all your names down on a slip of paper and put them in a basket. I asked my four-year-old to pick out one of the slips of paper, and as you can see, Amy G. is the winner! Congratulations, Amy!

If you didn’t win, or if you didn’t get a chance to enter the drawing, I think you’ll be happy to know that digital subscriptions to the magazine are reasonably priced, and we are having a special discount right now, if you subscribe before April 1st. Click here to read all the details.

A print version will be offered too, but we’re still working out the details on that!

We will be offering bloggers a chance to get a free subscription to the magazine by posting information on their blogs (and doing a give-away, if they want) until April 1st as well. So just e-mail me if you are interested in that! And I’d like to thank all of those who have offered to do this. I’m pleasantly surprised by how many have offered, and I appreciate it so much!

Now, if you still aren’t sure you want to invest in a subscription, I’m happy to point you to *this page* that will give you more details about what will appear in our magazine. I wouldn’t be working for this magazine, if I didn’t think it was going to be a great resource for you! I hope you’ll check it out.

Offering free, digital subscriptions to home / school / life magazine

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As I announced before, I accepted a job as senior editor of home / school / life magazine.  home / school / life magazine is going to be a high-quality print magazine, but we will also offer digital subscriptions. And I’ve been given permission to give away some digital subscriptions! Please read on to find out more.

I have been working on several items for the magazine, and I’m privy to some of the other pieces that will appear in our premiere issue this spring. I can sincerely say that I think it will be a great magazine for homeschoolers and even non-homeschooling parents who want to be involved in their children’s educations. We are touching on all the things that homeschoolers need and want and a little bit more. There will be regular departments and columnists that will continue to bring informed advice and inspiration in future issues. It’s really exciting to see this come together.

Just to give one example of a section in the magazine which I’m very excited about, and which I’ll be in charge of, is “Career Path.” In each issue, we’re going to interview someone in a professional field and find out what kind of education and experience they needed to get their job. We’re doing this so that our homeschooled children will be informed when they decide they might be interested in XYZ career.  I want them to know what academic subjects they may need to focus on, and I want them to know what kinds of volunteer or other job experience might be required. I also want them to know what kind of salary they can expect. Will it be worth it to them to pay all that money into a higher degree, if the starting salary is only $35,000, and there’s not much career growth in that field? Alternatively, your children may find out about careers that they were not aware of! I hope these interviews will help parents and students better plan their education so that they won’t have any surprises as they enter the work force as young adults.

I would buy the magazine for this section alone, but that’s just me! The magazine will also be full of project ideas, unit studies, book and media recommendations, and other resources. We have four regular columnists who will write about curriculum, books, art and science. In another section, we’ll look at one subject and offer four different ways of approaching it, and there will be regular articles pertaining to the early grades, middle and high school years. We’re also going to offer a Homeschooler’s Toolbox and highlight one educational philosophy in each issue. So as you continue to read home / school / life magazine, you’ll become an expert on all things homeschool!

And this is just a part of the magazine! I haven’t mentioned yet that we will include three feature articles in each issue. (And yes, we’ll be accepting queries from freelance writers, and yes, we will pay for any article we accept.)

Right now we would like to get the word out about our magazine to as many homeschoolers as we can. If you have a homeschooling or parenting blog, and you wouldn’t mind writing about home / school / life on your blog, we would like to offer you a free, digital one-year subscription to the magazine. Not only that, we’ll also give you another free, digital one-year subscription that you can give away on your blog to one of your readers. This offer will be available for a limited time.

Below is a flier I made about the magazine that you can share with your readers, if you decide to do this.  Let me know if you would like to share this on your blog, and I’ll send it to you. You can e-mail me at shelli (at) homeschoollifemag (dot) com or leave  a comment. Thank you for considering this!

(Note: The drawing for a free subscription is closed and the winner will be announced soon. Bloggers may still earn a free digital subscription by sharing our magazine on their blogs!)

HSL flier jpeg

Introducing… home / school / life magazine

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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.