Saturday, May 22, 2010

An Idea of Mine

(I get a LOT of those)

For several years I’ve toyed with an idea, I’ve known what I wanted, but the how has been the big question.

So what have I wanted? A homeschool magazine. A good one. Sure there are several out there already, and some of them are good for certain people, but I want one that is good for everyone! Not so religious that it reads like a church sermon, but not so secular that it leaves you rarely inspired.  But how exactly do you do that? How do you get a good bit of info in there? How do you advertise a magazine that is neither secular nor religious?

And in entered Countryside. Countryside is a magazine that I adore. Every time I visit my Aunt and Grandmother at the family farm I borrow a new stack of back issues from my Aunt. Countryside is unlike any other magazine I’ve ever read. How? It’s written by the people who read it. It doesn’t have tons of paid writers, nor set subjects every month (besides certain categories.) In any single issue I’ve read new uses for baking soda, a new canning recipe, how to care for an animal of some sort, tips for homesteading, and inspirational articles too. Countryside is mostly for homesteaders and old fashioned small farmer types, but even with my 1/20 of an acre I can truly utilize the magazine. People write in to search for a certain type of corn seed, or even someone to come help on their farm. Most of the magazine is letters and things submitted by readers! There are more traditional articles, but they too are written by  variety of people on a WIDE variety of subjects.

How do the two combine? I’d like my magazine for homeschoolers to be like Countryside is for homesteaders. Written by us, for us.  So maybe one month there is an article about how someone discovered the Charlotte Mason method, and one about how someone turned a shed in their backyard into a homeschool project and classroom.  Maybe there is an inspirational story about how someone who thought they could never homeschool based on disabilities (theirs or their children's) are now successfully homeschooling.

Get the picture?

Now you tell me, what do YOU think? And please, tell your friends to tell me what THEY think too. The more input I get the more likely I am to move forward!


Professional Prose said...

I started a regional parenting magazine in 2001 and sold it last year. If you have any questions about the nuts and bolts of magazine creation, I'd be happy to answer them! (I believe my uncle serves on the RE committee at your church.)

Martianne said...

I love ecclectic magazines like this that are real and written by real people. (I had to laugh at the dr's office th eother day when I was reading an article about what every child should and will eat in a big name mag. In the teen section, under one of the snacks, it said 8 tortilla chips and 1/2 cup of salsa or something like that. Who eats just 8 tortilla chips????) So, not only would I be interested in reading it, but I'd love to write for it, too. I have been involved with a number or smaller publications (mostly during my years as an ESL teacher in Japan) and am just now getting into blogging as I miss writing so much!

I would think it would be great to have general categories or column names, but to leave them loose so folks could write in about lots of things. I used to do this with a special interest publication I wrote for and edited for foreign English teachers in Japan and it worked great. Would love to talk more about it - or type as the case may be. Stay in touch!

Brenna said...

Sounds like a great idea to me!

Ann... said...

I think it's a great idea. No sugar coating it, it would be a huge undertaking, but the results could really be something special for many homeschoolers.
I agree with your assessment of the current hs magazine offerings.
Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous idea! I look forward to reading this!