Isn’t it incredible how we can find answers to almost any question our minds can dream up, just by typing a few words into google? I’m even more in awe that the answers mostly come from ordinary, unpaid people, who devote their spare time to creating beautiful, informative webpages.
I know some people blog as a business, but even if they make a few dollars from affiliate advertising, I suspect that most homeschool bloggers aren’t in it for the money.
Why then, I’ve often wondered, do they blog?
Peeking into the blogosphere
When we made the leap of faith to homeschooling in 2010, I barely knew what a blog was. Ravenous for information about how children learn at home, I devoured every book I could find on the subject. I savoured every page of the Homeschooling-Ideas website. I even had Home Education Magazine, back when it existed in paper form, shipped from the USA.
But I didn’t know about the abundant source of inspiration, support and practical wisdom provided continuously by real life parents sharing their homeschooling experiences on their blogs.
In retrospect, it was like I was content looking at the posters pinned to the outside of a door, without having any inkling that the door was the entrance to the best library/science lab/art studio/playroom I’d ever known. Until, one day, I happened to lean on the door – and glimpsed the treasures within.
One of the first blogs I discovered was Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.
Each Friday I would eagerly visit Kris’s Weekly-Wrap Up and add dozens of blogs to my online treasure trove (aka Google Reader).
I will always be grateful to those wise, kind bloggers who, without even knowing of my existence, lovingly held my hand through that first wobbly year after I took my children out of school. (I know they didn’t know I existed because back then I wouldn’t have dared leave a comment, even if I’d known how.)
Joining the great conversation
It wasn’t until I discovered that a real-life homeschooling friend blogged that it occurred to me that real people (even British people!) had blogs too. With the help of my lovely tecky husband I created Navigating By Joy.
For two years I wrote solely for the pleasure of writing, with no thought that anyone might be reading my words. Here’s my very first (very short) post.
After a while, Google found my blog and for the first time I experienced the thrill of making a contribution to strangers. (Google thinks everyone who wants to build a model Celtic Roundhouse should visit this ‘expert’, LOL.)
Then in January 2013 I decided it was time to connect two of my favourite hobbies: reading homeschool blogs and writing my own.
I scanned Problogger for some tips about creating better posts. I figured out how to join link-ups (here’s the first post I linked up). And finally I worked up the courage to show my appreciation for my favourite bloggers by leaving comments.
Recently a couple of other creative pursuits have been competing with blogging for my time. I’m also finding that being an unschooling mentor to my kids uses more creative energy than teaching them a curriculum.
So I’ve been posting less often, but I’m not going away.
I love being part of this homeschool blogging community. There are few things I enjoy more than linking up to one of my favourite blog hops, and then spending a happy evening visiting all my online friends and seeing what they’ve been up to.
Towards an educational tipping point
On a loftier note, I like making my own small contribution to what developmental psychologist Peter Gray calls the educational tipping point.
The goal of the Educational Tipping Point project is to encourage a critical mass of people to opt out of coercive schooling. The ultimate aim is to bring about a peaceful educational revolution following which everyone is free to choose a path of educational self-determination.
Gray’s Free to Learn is the best book I’ve ever read about how children learn, and I wouldn’t have come across it had it not been for a comment I left at Learning with Boys. (Did I mention how much I love the blogging network?)
Before homeschooling, I worked as a cognitive hypnotherapist. One day I’d like to use my coaching and therapy skills to empower more people to home educate, and to help people deal with challenges that arise along the journey.
In the meantime, I’ll carry on posting here about what we do, because when I experience wonderful things, sharing just feels like the natural thing to do.
27 thoughts on “Why do I blog?”
Love this post! I’m so glad you choose to blog.
Thank you, Carol 🙂
Thank you for sharing this, and sharing of yourself, your experiences, your insights into homeschooling, and various fascinating projects! The blogging world is all the richer for it 🙂
Ahh you are so sweet! I find it so nerve-wracking working on a post, unsure how it’s going to be received – then it’s just so lovely having kind people stop by with encouragement. Definitely worth the effort!
Well this post made me decide to be brave and post my first comment. We have just completed our first year of home schooling after moving to the UK and while we are still finding our way and style, I am a complete convert and feel empowered by the freedom. I have signed up to many blogs and quietly read them without leaving comments. Over the last year I have time and time again found great comfort particularly in your blog and taken away some fantastic resources and ideas – poetry morning tea is one of my kids (7 and 4) favourite parts of the week! Now both my daughter and I are going to start our own blogs as a record for us to look back on our adventures and to share with our family and friends on the other side of the world. Thanks for unknowingly supporting me in my first year of homeschooling.
Angela – you’ve made my day! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to hear that anything I’ve shared here has contributed in any way. I do hope you come back and let me know the name of your blogs if you ever feel ready to share them; I’d love to read about your homeschool journey! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, Lucinda, and learning more about what motivates you to blog. I’m so glad you do blog and are so willing to share your resources and inspiring ideas. I’ve gone back to re-read your earliest posts and am finding it very interesting to see the development in your homeschooling approach over the years. Keep up the good work! 🙂
Thank you, Hwee, and likewise – I’m so glad you blog too! I find it strange looking back on some of those old posts. We’ve changed so much over the years. But I think many homeschoolers go through a similar journey, so perhaps there is some value in still having them up! Thank you for all your encouragement, it is always very much appreciated. 🙂
This was so much fun to read! Thank you for sharing your journey and thank you for blogging. I really appreciate and enjoy your (blog) friendship and wisdom.
Ahh, thank you so much, Phyllis – for always being as kind and encouraging here as you are inspiring on your own blog 🙂
I’ll agree with everyone else, this was a lot of fun to read, and I really enjoyed seeing why you blog.
It really is a big thrill when someone says they were inspired by your blog.
Thank you Ticia – and for being the first blog I linked up to!
I first started blogging as a way to share our journey towards college. We were pleased to recieve more than one college acceptance, and I wanted to share with others any tips or how to’s that might help others aiming towards college. Then, when I started linking up, also to Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, my first blog hop as well, I found that sharing our day to day experiences really helped me personally…..as my husband and I try to adjust to our “baby” going to college next year. Writing and recieving a comment or two has really been a wondrous support to us! Thanks for this great post! I also look forward to helping families, too as they start out with homeschooling…
Thank you so much for your encouragement, Betsy! I really appreciate it. I know what you mean about how reasons for blogging evolve. I get so much more out of this than I’d ever anticipated when I started out. Your blog looks like a wonderful resource for homeschooling mums whose kids are approaching or in high school. I’d like to think that by the time we get to your stage there will be even more generous women blogging about their experiences of homeschooling teens.
I really enjoyed this, Lucinda. I love the idea of combining the skills you learnt as a cognitive therapist with those you’ve learnt as a home school mum and helping others. I think you’d be brilliant at it!
Thanks for the inspiration and the encouragement, Claire 🙂 Maybe you can send me clients one day!
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Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
Maybe you could space it out better?
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I’m a little late to your post, but I’m so glad you blog! I suspect my daughter has dysgraphia and while waiting to get a formal evaluation (or wondering if the expense is worth it now that we are starting to find things that are working), I stumbled upon your blog. I’m SO thankful for all of your postings on this subject and love reading your posts! Thank you! Thank you!
Amber, Thank you so much for your lovely comment – it really brightened up my day. 🙂
While all the things I’ve shared on this blog have been worth doing, I admit my son (now 10) still doesn’t love writing. We plan to have him assessed next year so that he’ll be allowed to use a keyboard in the exams he’ll sit when he’s 16. Because he still struggles to write, he’s been working really hard learning to touch-type with Nessy Fingers, which I hope will serve him well. He also still does handwritten copywork several times a week just to make sure he can write legibly for forms, cards etc.
Thank you again for your comment! Have a wonderful day!