I spent yesterday afternoon, designing our new family magazine.
We all agreed on the theme and I chose some pictures, of our our art and family photos, to go with it. Gradually, I'll replace these pictures with photos of the children's own work which link to their posts and articles.
I've used Blogger with just a standard layout, so that I can adjust the details in the template designer. I've tried to keep it simple to make the posts stand out when the children read it, and, also, so that the pictures down the side will work well as contents menus.
I've used labels across the top, instead of pages, so that we can click on to a topic and bring up all the latest posts - but, I'm having second thoughts about this bit. I'm thinking of changing it to pages so that each topic has a contents page which links to the individual posts (as in this blog). That would probably make the blog easier to navigate and more useful to use as a resource for learning.
The pictures above show the science and music pages, so far. The science page has links to science experiment videos and an explanation of the chemistry behind soap-making. We'll add photos and articles of the children's own science experiments, too.
The music page has biographies of composers and YouTube videos of some performances of classical music and opera. It also has a link to some online guitar lessons that I thought would interest our 14 year old.
Our 8 year old is learning Latin chants so I've included them in the Languages section for her to memorise.
We have a poetry section where I'll include poems by our favourite poets and, also, poems by less familiar poets which relate to our latest interests.
In our family section, we'll have our own photos and diary posts to keep and share. Can you tell that I was a bit distracted, the day this photo was taken? Oops!
The Ad Section is a place for creative writing. We'll also have a place for their own short stories and poems.
It's a real works-in-progress, at the moment, but we have lots of ideas and it's fun doing it together. We're using the ideas list, that I wrote here, as inspiration for what we can include. I think that the readings, craft and the research that we do will also lead to new ideas. We're all listed as authors on the blog, so we'll all contribute to what's posted.
There's a bit more work to do but the children have begun to use the 'magazine', already, and the discussions in the comments section have started. They all appear to be interacting with it quite happily and it seems to be working well, so far. The creative side of it is certainly motivating our learning.
Now, on to the next idea :-)