I wrote this for one of my early editor’s letters, and when I reread it recently, I was struck by how true it still rings for me and for the work we do here at home/school/life. It’s scary to stand up and say, “This is what I believe.” There’s a vulnerability and a risk of rejection in it. But this is what we believe, and I’m okay standing up and saying it.
One of the things you have to do when you have a magazine is to get the word out that your magazine exists. So in between deciding on what topics we should cover in the magazine, reading columns, and editing pages, we’ve been reaching out to homeschool groups, going to conferences, and generally trying to tap fellow homeschoolers on the shoulder to say, “Pardon me, I think you might be interested in this cool homeschooling magazine.”
People have a lot of questions about the magazine — how much does it cost? What do we cover? Why don’t we have a print edition? But one question we seem to run into over and over again is “What’s your magazine’s mission? What do you believe?” That’s a big question, but here are some of our answers.
We believe that homeschooling is a grand adventure that we get to take together as a family.
We believe that you know your kid better than anybody and that you should trust your gut, no matter how many people are offering helpful advice to steer you in a different direction.
We believe that kids are naturally curious and the key to successful homeschooling is helping them discover the things that they are curious about.
We believe that homeschoolers can change the world.
We believe that, sure, scientific knowledge can always change, but that accepted current scientific theories — like the theory of evolution or the big bang theory — reflect our most accurate understanding of the world around us.
We believe that homeschoolers can go to Ivy League colleges or start their own businesses or design Minecraft mods all day—and all those things are equally cool.
We believe that trying to shove your beliefs and ideas down other people’s throats is never okay. Judge-y pants are itchy pants.
We believe that it’s totally normal to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.
We believe that there’s a real need for a homeschool magazine that focuses on, well, actual homeschooling.
We believe that at the end of the day — and at the end of the year and at the end of high school — most of us just want to feel like we’ve given our kids the tools they need to do what they feel passionate about pursuing.
We believe it’s never too late to learn something new.
We believe you can homeschool just fine with or without a curriculum. (But isn’t it great that there are so many terrific options for secular homeschool curricula now?)
We believe that some days are better than others, and you should never make any drastic changes on a bad day.
We believe that asking good questions can be just as important as finding answers.
We believe that Joss Whedon is a genius and that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical is probably the single greatest episode of television ever produced. (OK, that last one may be just me.)