Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom
Four years ago, the lovely Tsh Oxenreider emailed to ask if I would consider a job as editor of a new site called Simple Homeschool. Thrilled, excited, and nervous, I answered “yes!” and came on board when this blog launched in February 2010.
Whenever we start a new role–take motherhood or homeschooling for example–we don’t really have a clue about what we’re doing or how to do it best. We feel out of our league, on the edge of our learning curve.
As this blog began, I took comfort in a quote I’d once heard: “Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first.”
Sometimes the only way to get better is just to jump in.
So I did–with an awesome team of contributors by my side. Looking back, I’d say it took a year to find our groove and even longer for this blog to discover its own unique personality.
Like a child who has emerged from infancy and toddlerhood, this space now stands proudly as a four-year-old, eager and confident. Which is why it makes sense to spell out a bit more about this blog–what it is, what it isn’t, who it’s for, and where I see it going as it journeys from a preschooler into a wide-eyed eager kindergartner over the next couple of years.
What makes Simple Homeschool different
Tons of homeschooling blogs reside on the Internet, and when I say Simple Homeschool is different, I don’t at all mean different – better, only different – unique.
Many sites shine on Pinterest — with writers who invest hours to create practical worksheets and printables for you to use in your home. A few (out of so many good ones!) to check out: Confessions of a Homeschooler, 1+1+1=1, and Free Homeschool Deals.
But if you asked me to make worksheets for you guys I would poke my eyes out with forks and hate my life.
Life is just better, and we have more to offer, when we work within our strengths as much as possible, so I developed this blog based on what I feel I most need in my homeschooling journey.
Judging from the countless emails I’ve received from you guys, it’s what you need as well:
inspiration, confidence, and freedom
And that’s the mission of Simple Homeschool:
To deliver regular doses of homeschooling inspiration, confidence, and freedom to parents worldwide.
Come to this space for a quick pep talk and a few ideas to carry you through your day. At this blog you won’t find more to do, but less. You won’t find another activity to add to your list, but hopefully a few to remove.
I want you to leave here thinking “Maybe homeschooling isn’t as hard as I thought. Maybe I really can do this. Maybe I am the best teacher for my kids. Maybe I don’t need an expert to tell me what to do.”
What does this mean moving forward?
1. On matters of community
You have stories, expertise, and interests to share with us. We need to hear what you have to say. So I’d like to feature your voices more regularly. If you’re a writer/blogger, head here for details.
I love writing, but I also love offering others a chance to write, share and inspire. I couldn’t run this blog without the contributors who offer their awesome words here regularly.
One place our community is currently growing by leaps and bounds is the Simple Homeschool Facebook page. As someone who has mixed feelings about social media and joined it kicking and screaming, I have to say that this space has become one of my favorite places to hang out and interact with you all during the day.
2. On matters of advertising
One change that happened in the middle of this year is that I began selling my own ads for the blog. The biggest surprise of all is to find that I absolutely love doing so! I enjoy partnering with companies who have poured their energy and passion into developing products to help homeschoolers.
I love playing matchmaker and introducing you to resources that might make a difference in your home. I don’t see my job as selling you anything, but as a chance to connect you with others doing awesome work in the world.
3. On matters of faith
I am a Christian and my faith as a follower of Jesus Christ permeates my every decision and daily activities. It influences what I write, why, and how.
But Simple Homeschool is not a “Christian blog.” And sometimes I get emails/comments asking about this.
- Sometimes other Christians want to know why I don’t write exclusively about matters of faith.
- Sometimes those who don’t share my faith want to know why I mention faith at all.
I write about my faith in the same way I write about my kids, my husband, my work, my home, and our learning. Because it is a vital part of my life.
But whether you share my faith or not, you are welcome here! This blog isn’t exclusive; this blog is for you.
4. On matters of philosophy
“Is Simple Homeschool an unschooling blog?”
Our family leans heavily toward the informal, interest-led learning side of the educational spectrum. Because that works for us, I write about it often.
But I’m also one of those who gets weirded out and boxed in by labels and categories. When I slip on a formal unschooling shirt looking for the perfect fit, the collar feels too tight around the neck and the label itches my back.
The reality is that our family has pulled from several philosophies over the years: unschooling, Waldorf, leadership education, and Charlotte Mason–to name a few.
This blog is about freedom, but not necessarily the freedom of unschooling.
It’s about the freedom to be you. To learn in unique ways that empower your family to more fully be who you were created to be. It’s about giving you a dose of confidence and faith in yourself that you can be your own expert.
- If being a classical homeschooler brings freedom and joy to you and your kids, then do it. This blog is for you.
- If you have a kid who loves workbooks, then crank out the worksheets, baby. This blog is for you.
- If the idea of delaying academics resonates with you (like it did for me), then step up to the plate, take a deep breath, and own it. This blog is for you.
- If you believe it’s right to send your kids to school, then send them and come here for learning inspiration after hours. This blog is for you.
So no, this blog is not an unschooling blog.
It’s a blog about learning for life, in ways that last long-term. It’s a blog about schooling with joy and peace, not fear or worry, as your constant companions.
Whoever and wherever you are, if you long to be intentional about your kids’ education, this blog is for you.
Thank you for making this place a space worth visiting online! I hope you’ll stick around for the next few years of the journey.
Ways to connect:
- Subscribe via email to this blog, and posts will be sent to your inbox a few times a week. (You’ll also get my ebook, Secrets of a Successful Homeschool Mom, free!)
- Find out more about the contributors who share their inspiring words here.
- Connect with me on Facebook.
I’d love to hear from you today: Out of all the places you could spend time online, what brings you to Simple Homeschool? What do you enjoy here and what would you like to see more of?