Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Magazine Subscriptions

At one time I had about eight different magazines coming to my house each month, in addition to my weekly Newsweek. I had a few which I personally subscribed to, and a few which were gifts. Well to say it got overwhelming is an understatement. So when they all expired I did not renew any of them, and I've been subscription-free for about eight months now.

The problem is that I really do miss some of them. I find that I am attracted to non-fiction writing, and magazines are a good way to learn about a lot of things. So I've been borrowing magazines from the library the last few times we've gone. This way I don't have the stress of a whole pile to get through, and have to "get rid of them" on due date whether I've read them or not, which is kind of liberating.

I thought I'd take some time to blog about a few of my favorites.

Life Learning Magazine
is definitely high on my list. From their website:

Let Life Learning help you discover how to employ self-directed, life-based learning in your own life and/or that of your child.

Read all about how other people just like you and your children have learned without being taught...what helps and what hinders, and what they have achieved in their lives as a result. Laugh, cry and identify with parents who are helping themselves and their children learn from the real world...and learning a lot about themselves along the way.

Think about how we are limited by a society that believes in coercive education...and how we can transcend those limits in our daily lives. Find support and reassurance for interest-based, learner-directed education and non-coercive parenting.

I'm bummed that my local library does not carry this magazine, and am thinking of donating one to them. All of the homeschooling magazines they offer are Christian based, which is pretty annoying.

One of the cool things about this magazine is that the radical vs. self-directed debate happens within its pages. The editors are radicals but the letters to the editors are filled with people who question it. It makes for interesting reading, and has certainly helped me define myself as an unschooler.

is another one of my favorites, and another one that my library doesn't carry. From the Ode website:

Ode is an independent magazine about the people and ideas that are changing the world.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see beyond the war, poverty, exploitation and pollution that the mainstream media use to fill our view of the world. But there is more to life. There are other stories to report. Stories of countless initiatives being launched around the globe by people devoted to justice, respect and equality. Stories that bridge the gap between thinking and doing, between rage and hope, and the painful gap between the rich and poor – and thus build peace and sustainability. That is the news that Ode promises to deliver. By reading Ode you connect to a network of positive change and inspiration. Ode points the way to knowing better, doing better and feeling better.

Ode publishes ‘the stories that are different from the ones we are brainwashed to believe’ (Arundhati Roy). Ode challenges us and invites us to change. We realise that change starts with information. We can only make a choice to change things for the better when we learn how it can be done. Similarly, we can only change our behaviour when we understand the harmful effects of what we do. Ode teaches and inspires us, helps us see how every one of us can contribute to a more just and sustainable world.

It was really nice to read about some of the good stuff happening in the world, and when I have more time in my life I will definitely get back to that one.

Simple Scrapbooks
was one I enjoyed quite a bit. I got into scrapbooking when I bought an empty scrapbook at Disney World in 2004, and caught the bug big-time. I wanted a magazine which would help me learn about techniques and tips, but everything out there really focused on the embellishments. I commented about this to a scrapbook store owner while visiting my mom in Maine, and she suggested Simple Scrapbooks, because the focus was on the pictures.

I can't find any sort of "About Us" info on their site to paste here, but they do tend to write things with the beginner in mind.

The problem was that they too, finally succombed to the one-picture-on-a-page mentality, and lost the philosphy of scrapping every day moments. They do tend to use less embellishments than other magazines, but still the focus has become the "art" rather than preserving mountains of memories.

Mothering Magazine
which is the bi-monthly bible of attachment parenting. They are the folks who gave me the courage to not vaccinate my kids. From their website:

Mothering celebrates the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and fosters awareness of the immense importance and value of parenthood and family life in the development of the full human potential. As a readers' magazine, we recognize parents as the experts and wish to provide truly helpful information upon which parents can base informed choices.

Mothering is like no other publication. We are an original. Born in 1976 out of the need for the natural family community to learn about raising healthy children, Mothering was the birthplace of the natural family lifestyle.

Read in more than 65 countries, Mothering is the only independently owned, family living magazine in the world. We address contemporary health, personal, environmental, medical, and lifestyle issues in an upbeat, intelligent, compassionate, and courageous way.

Each issue contains philosophical inspiration and practical advice about family living. Topics are as diverse as circumcision, vaccinations, organic foods, childhood illnesses, home birth, ear infections, parenting teens, web site information, midwifery, and homeopathy.

Mothering is a family. We have an independent editorial spirit unmatched in the industry and a readership that is unmatched in responsiveness. Readers who read Mothering share many of the same values. Nowhere else will you find such proactive, passionate, and highly educated readers. In the pages of Mothering you will find an environment of credibility, trust, and authority.

Not much more can be said about this one. I picked up two past issues from the library today, and will blog about a story I read regarding kids playing with guns, soon.