Enrich your homeschool by creating a magazine that reflects your family’s interests.
Learn about writing, editing, and publishing.
Children have different talents and gifts. Why not utilize those talents and gifts by making a family magazine?
This may seem like an overwhelming task, but it needn’t be. Just follow a few basic steps and your magazine will become a pleasurable accomplishment.
Discuss the different parts of a magazine.
Take some time letting your children leaf through various magazines taking notice of what they find interesting. (If you do not have access to interesting magazines through family and friends, then plan a trip to your local library. A large selection is available for viewing and for checkout. It would be advantageous to have your first lessons completed there.)
Then continue by pointing out pages with specific purposes. Included in these should be the copyright page, contents pages, editorial pages, features pages, product pages, etc. Any discussion should also include the type of and purpose for advertising articles and advertising posts.
Children will probably notice that some magazines appeal to a wide variety of readers (mass magazines) and some appeal only to a select few (class magazines).
Discuss the job descriptions of those who are responsible for each step in the process of development.
From editors, illustrators, reporters, printers, to photographers, the list of people who do the work of producing a magazine is varied.
Responsibilities involve layout, design, news departments, sports departments, editorials, photos, images, production, marketing, etc. It truly takes a team to produce a successful magazine.
Discuss the idea of producing a family magazine.
Discuss the idea of producing your own magazine. This could be a family magazine or group magazine. Get the children excited about producing their own work.
If you feel your family is too small to do this, engage the assistance of other homeschooling families or your local homeschool support group.
Enjoy the process.
Don’t let the process bog down your family. If you decide to just do a few pages within a single week or if you make it a year long process by collecting material accomplished during the year, the important thing is to give children the knowledge of and opportunity in developing their individual gifts and talents. Make it an adventure they will remember as they continue their educational goals.
Set guidelines and give job descriptions.
Some children love to write stories, but others love to tell them. Some like to draw or doodle while others have fun painting or crafting.
Some like to tell riddles and read comic strips, while others would rather grab the camera and catch family members in fun.
Some children like the outdoors (so what critters are in the area?) and others like hanging out with Mom in the kitchen (so what’s their favorite recipe?).
Some like to play sports (so how do you play that game?) while others seem to know all the sports statistics (batting averages, anyone?).
Some are great at playing musical instruments, but others like to listen to the radio, know all the top hits, and can tell you where their favorite artists will be next week.
Utilize those individual characteristics to make a magazine that will reflect the children’s talents, interests, and gifts and not just your own.
Yes, specific guidelines and deadlines should be set, but let the children do the work as much as possible.
Let each child do what they find interesting.
Some will enjoy writing about their topics of interests. Some will hate writing altogether, but may love doing the illustrations or creating graphs for a sibling’s articles.
As much as possible, let each child do what they find interesting. This may take some insight on your part.
And when it comes to publishing the material, everyone will probably want to know how to use the copy machine. Even if you must do this at a local printer, ask the manager if your children can watch the process.
Enjoy creating your magazine and just think about all the areas of publishing to which your family has been exposed.
And if you decide to let the children ‘sell’ the magazine to family and friends, you may discover that you have a successful entrepreneur under your wings.