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The Family Magazine

Updated on December 29, 2016
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise homeschooled her 4 children and has stories. She provided art lessons for many children in the homeschool community for many years.

My four magazine editors

My children posing outside the Mining and Mineral Museum
My children posing outside the Mining and Mineral Museum | Source

Header

Create your own Header.  The font I used is Hot Tamale Regular.
Create your own Header. The font I used is Hot Tamale Regular. | Source

Editors age

As they got older they continued to create the Family Magazine.
As they got older they continued to create the Family Magazine. | Source

Things to do when there's no TV, or how to teach when the kids don't know they are learning.

One winter day, I announced to the stir-crazy kids that we were going to put out a Family News Magazine. This was met with skeptical stares and eye-rolling. As the Editor-In-Chief, I decided I needed to assign some tasks. I told each of the four that they would cover one feature story and one inside story or two. I needed someone to come up with a title/header for our magazine and some inside artwork. The youngest (age 10) jumped up and volunteered. She is quite the artist. Then I said we needed someone to cover the weather and my son (age 11) volunteered for that. He loves to complain about the weather. I said there needed to be some family news covered: who was getting married, who was expecting a baby, etc., and the number two daughter (age 12) said she would love to write up some social page. She always loves to socialize. Now they are beginning to get excited about this project. Next is the health page with maybe room for recipes. The oldest daughter (age 13) accepted that project. Each of them scurried off to get pen and paper and I was left with peace once again.

They later decided on a sports page giving blow-by-blow reviews of their chess competition or tennis matches. They added an exercise and health page. My number two-daughter did a report on the chickens and the number of eggs they lay in a week. The number one-daughter decided to add quotes from historical characters they were studying in school. Each added a bit of themselves and what they found interesting and important.


Add news about family members

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Add Self-Portraits

My son's self-portrait at age 11.
My son's self-portrait at age 11. | Source

Today's Printing Options

When my family and I created our family magazine, we were lucky to have a computer and dot matrix printer. Today there are all sorts of templates available with Microsoft Word as well as good in-home printers.

I found a great template labeled “School Newsletter” already formatted with 6 pages and full color banners that can be changed to black and white if you prefer for printing cost considerations. Just click into each photo and header to change it to your preference, or drag and drop your own photos into the place holder. The template even has a place for the newsletter to be folded in half and mailed, leaving a place to type in return address and recipient’s address. I have created a little demonstration model.

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Template

I used Handwriting-Dakota for my heading font and left the rest as the default fonts. I also left the default colors in place: green, orange and blue.

If we had this available to use I feel sure my children would have wanted to create their Family Magazine more often than the once a month issue we came out with during their school year. They all became prolific writers and artists and photographers through our efforts to keep in touch with distant family members.

Add the kid's artwork

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Kid's Artwork

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Ongoing Project

This has turned out to be an ongoing family magazine, which the kids charge 25 cents to family and friends for. Naturally no one is getting rich here but the money covers the paper and ink. At first, we created a magazine every two weeks but then settled into one a month. The artistry changed hands a couple of times so that each had opportunity to do some cover art. We kept it black and white for ease of printing and cost. But we could have accommodated some color art. All artwork has to be done in ink, not pencil, or it will not print properly/clearly.

On layout day, we got together with our projects and did some cut-and-paste to fit them all together in a two-column format. In some cases we had to photocopy and reduce the size of artwork to fit in the assigned space. Each of the kids had to type their own articles and as editor, I corrected for grammar and punctuation. After a while, this became a project the extended family and church friends looked forward to receiving. They enjoyed a glimpse into our family through this unique format, and I enjoyed the togetherness of an educational event. It worked great for the winter blues but ended up being carried into the following seasons as an on-going project. One of my girls decided she wanted to become a journalist because of the experience.


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How to Create a News Report

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How to Get Your Little Brother to Stop Talking

It’s the age-old problem. As long as there have been sisters and little brothers, we have wondered how to stop the madness. Here are a few helpful suggestions to try out on your brother.

  1. Two words: duct tape. Just joking.
  2. Give him his Game Boy. Busy hands help.
  3. Give him a peanut butter sandwich. When his mouth is full, he is much quieter.
  4. Tell him you’ll give him 25 cents if he finishes his story and a dollar if he quits now. Then, of course, you have to pay up.
  5. Invite one of your friends over who has a little brother the same age. They can keep each other entertained and you can escape with your friend.
  6. Call one of his friends on the phone and give him the receiver. Now you can politely leave for quieter quarters.
  7. Tell him you saw him sneaking something and if he’s not quiet you’ll have to tell mom about it. Sometimes you have to resort to blackmail.
  8. Play a game of “Who can stay quiet the longest” and offer a prize he may actually want to win. You could get a good hour of peace out of that one but it better be a great prize.
  9. Point out the benefits of reading. If this doesn’t work, offer to read to him from his favorite book if he will give you an hour of quiet afterward.
  10. Challenge him to a game of hide-and-seek but don’t bother to seek right away.
  11. Explain that you used to have a brother just like him but he was so noisy you traded him in for a Playstation.
  12. Start repeating everything he says and he will get so annoyed that he will leave you alone. As long as he isn’t better at that game than you are!
  13. Climb a tree. Your brother may not be able to find you up there for hours. If you don’t tell him where you were hiding, it could be your secret hiding place for years.
  14. Don’t forget that your little brother may be a handy person to have on your side someday, so be kind. Try playing a game with him. He probably only wants a little attention anyway.
  15. Do a craft with him, or give him one to do that he can accomplish on his own. Try the Silhouette Bag Craft.
  16. If all else fails, go to your mom and tell her you are frustrated to the point of taking hostages. She will usually help at that point.

Create a photo header

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I am always ready to learn, but I do not always like being taught.

— Winston Churchill

Creating art is a kid's favorite thing.

Sophia is hard at work drawing a masterpiece.
Sophia is hard at work drawing a masterpiece. | Source

Be careful of personal information

We created our magazine for print, but today it would be just as easy to create a digital version on a private web site. Using tools like Adobe InDesign, a family could create a “flip book” digital version that would look like a real magazine. The problem here is that you would want your magazine to be semi-private and only accessible for family and friends who have the direct access code. There are too many predators and trolls out there to make children’s photos, information and creations available to just anyone. I appreciated the print version because we could hand them to the people we wanted to have them. Our magazine did not contain any photos of the children for this very reason. They often included just enough information about weather and school projects that it would be interesting without being negligent.

It is a sad commentary of our society that we need to be aware of such things but it is the world we live in. Be careful of personal information.


Our children are living messages we send to a time and place we will never see.

— Unknown Author

I'd love to hear about your children's project?

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Although... a few times we went to a printer so we could make the newsletter bigger and utilize a double page spread.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Zeross4: Thank you. It was fun. My kids loved it. We just printed it at home on our HP printer, no need for big printing bills.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 

      4 years ago from Kentucky

      This sounds like such a fun idea, loved it!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @TerriCarr: Or journalists, or major magazine illustrator... the possibilities or endless! Thanks for liking my lens.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 

      4 years ago

      Fantastic idea to create a family magazine. Great way to get your kids in the groove of creating things for the world to see. They will become good 'shippers' (a la Seth Godin) later in life.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Yes, and the whole extended family got a hoot out of it too. Thanks for liking my lens.

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 

      4 years ago

      Fun idea -- and what great keepsakes.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Virginia Allain: I agree. I just did that with some of my kids magazines. They were so cute in what they thought was "news" like the gopher the dog drug into the house and the cold the cat had. Kids are fun.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      My sister made a family newsletter for us after we were grown up and out on our own. It is fun to get it out once in a while to read over again.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @jennabeezer: Yes. I love Mad Libs too. Great extra idea. Thanks.

    • profile image

      jennabeezer 

      4 years ago

      We've always enjoyed Mad Libs while in the car on vacation. Thanks for sharing your favorite games - some very good ideas here!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Charito1962: Thank you for liking my lens. I loved playing games with the kids and I still like playing them with my grandkids today.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Merrci: I know what you mean. I love online games. But there are times, (like on long walks or trips) where online games just don't work. And I found these games gave my kids something to do together, like communicate. Even in high school my kids liked to play the ABC games with foreign exchange students to help them speak English. Great, huh?

    • Flora Crew profile image

      Flora Crew 

      4 years ago from Evanston, Illinois

      You are very creative, and this is a great lens. I used to give my nephews educational toys or books for Christmas presents.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      What a great way to teach kids to use their time well - and stay away from TV! Thanks for sharing. - Ms. Charito from the Philippines

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      4 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Such terrific ideas. The family magazine would be so much fun for kids. To do the writing and be in the paper! Love it. And a big yes for educational games of any kind. It is nice to see some offline (she says as she starts a game of Word with friends). Great lens.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Flora Crew: Thank you Flo. I love books but sometimes it takes a little coercing to get the kids to like them too. I did that through reading to them for a long time and also we played a lot of games. Thanks for liking my lens.

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