Mulberry Magazine is more than a magazine. It's a project that's been a labour of love for u, the creators and husband-and-wife-team. We are Eric and Grace, and here's a bit from Grace about how it all began...
I had the privilege of being homeschooled for a few years growing up and travelled Australia with my family (by far the best years of my childhood!). When I became a mum, I began searching for a homeschooling community, but couldn't find anything Australian that I related to.
I wanted to connect with other like-minded families who were redefining what it looks like to home educate, and find inspiration and hope in the stories of others.
Grace, Eric and Leo
In mid-2015, with a 7-week-old baby (yes, we were a bit crazy!), my husband and I released Issue 1, and were blown away at the response we received. Through this magazine and our social media 'family' (including the #mulberrychildhood Instagram hashtag, which I began on impulse one day!) a beautiful community of homeschoolers is forming, in Australia and wonderfully, all across the world. That hashtag now has more than 11,000 posts.
Thank you to each of you who reach out, contribute and share your inspiring journeys with us every day. xx
In May 2017 we decided to pivot the Mulberry Magazine concept and start a new (but really just an iteration) platform called The Mulberry Journal.
It's free for you to read, and we publish content every week (not as a magazine every 3 months like before!). We felt that this more authentically served the homeschooling parents that we love to interact with. You can read in more depth all about why we stopped making Mulberry Magazine too.
That's the story in a nutshell! Still want to know more?
Keep reading about Grace's personal homeschooling journey below...
My experience being homeschooled
I'm so thankful that my parents chose to go against the grain and homeschool myself and my three siblings. Back in 1997 when we first started, homeschooling was a very out of the ordinary choice with limited resources and support from the community. Without the connecting force of the Internet, like today's homeschoolers have, I'm sure my parents felt alone at times in their decision to home educate us.
I was homeschooled during year 3 and 4, and then again in years 9 and 10, when our family spent a year travelling around Australia in a caravan. Each experience was wonderfully unique and shaped my character and skills in a way I believe mainstream schooling couldn't match.
Discovering my true passion
My experience with home learning always stuck vividly with me and ignited a passion for teaching that drove me to complete a primary teaching degree. But as a first-year-out teacher, the joys of teaching were eclipsed by extremely difficult students in the Western Sydney school I taught in, and a growing disillusionment with the mainstream schooling system in its inability to fully cater for the needs of the individual student and stimulate true creativity.
Recalling my own experience being homeschooled, I decided that my teaching skills would be used in a different way to what I'd first envisaged - in homeschooling my own children one day. I left teaching after six months and began a new career as a journalist to follow my other passion, writing.
The idea for Mulberry Magazine
For a long time I wasn't sure how I'd bring together my passion for education, homeschooling and writing, until I had the idea for this magazine. My incredible husband spurred me on to pursue it (in spite of the fact we had our first baby on the way!), and with the help of some fantastically creative people - many of whom were also homeschooled - the magazine came to life.
This magazine aims to include perspectives from all styles and forms of homeschooling, unschooling and alternative schooling, both faith-based and secular. My desire is to create a publication for homeschoolers, by homeschoolers, that will encourage, inspire and connect these courageous parents who sacrifice their time, salary, personal space, sanity and so much more because they value their children's education so highly.
My team and I hope Mulberry Magazine is all this for you, and more!
Founder and Editor of Mulberry Magazine & Co-Founder of The Mulberry Journal