What’s a homeschool blog for?

When my blog disappeared into thin air one day, I was obviously a bit upset. I had posted almost daily for over a year, and I had a neat post all lined up and nowhere to put it. It wasn’t quite the end of the world, but I did wonder what had happened. Had my six-year old somehow accidentally clicked her way through several screens and buttons to delete my blog? It seemed a bit unlikely – she’s known how to operate BrainPop for ages. She screams whenever things go wrong. And it’s quite a lot of screens and buttons. Did I have a secret enemy? Kind of an exciting idea, eh! Some ruthless hacker who cares that much about how I educate aforementioned six-year-old! Or did Blogger mess something up? Possible, possible, … and they didn’t answer my emails begging for help. Hey! maybe I have a secret enemy at Blogger!

After 24 hours of withdrawal symptoms, I discovered one important reason why I have a homeschool blog. I started it to keep records of what we were doing. Actually, it had replaced a previous, private and monthly website, because it was simpler and easier to update. The day after my blog was deleted, I received our convocation for the yearly homeschool inspection. Note that I didn’t know when this would be because it could have been anytime between December and June.

Suddenly, I needed all those blog posts for real! Luckily, I had the photos on my hard drive, and Mike received all my posts as emails, and never deletes anything, so I can get them. It just isn’t as easy as clicking on the Maths label, and copying down everything we did. Now I’ve remembered just how important the record part of my site is to me. I am going to be much more proactive about keeping those records for now on.

When I first started my blog I used it as a place to think aloud. Like most homeschooling parents, I care a lot about what I’m doing, but I’m often in experimental mode. Not specifically experimenting on my child, but I’ll try out various ideas for size, and maybe implement 1% of them. I did that quite a bit in the early days. Then it turned out that a few people discovered my blog and stopped by fairly often. Ooops! I got a bit of stage fright! Did I really want to ramble on about some wild idea that I might not be committed to, and have people associate me with it? Errr… probably not. I really wanted to present the ideas I had fully explored and was committed to. If anyone criticised me, I would at least feel on firm ground. But in retrospect, the blog loses some of its value for me if I can’t try out ideas in it. I’m going to have to think of a way of doing that whilst letting people know whether I really mean things or whether they are thought experiments.

With a few people stopping by, with there being a few blogs I liked to read and sometimes comment on, I inadvertently started to develop a tiny public presence. I suppose I asked for it. Especially when I took over the Evolved Homeschoolers Webring, which had mysteriously disappeared, kind of like my blog. I fully admit that I’m not nearly as proactive as my predecessor. I’m really just a placeholder for something that I felt needed a place. We tend to take evolution for granted in Europe. Outdoors education is another matter. It’s something I can feel militant about, what with kids in France spending most of their lives locked up in institutions. But I didn’t really know I had a peer group. One day I stumbled across the Learning in the Great Outdoors blog carnival, and was surprised to discover I was a contributor! Some nice person must have submitted one of my posts on my behalf. I was pretty excited about the idea of writing posts on purpose for this! Actually, I was planning one on astronomy with younger kids when my original blog disappeared. Now there’s an idea that’s been fully explored in our family!

I suppose homeschool blogs vary. Some give out a clear direction, others are a bit vague and multi-purpose. Mine is probably going to be one of the latter even in its new, better protected incarnation.

8 thoughts on “What’s a homeschool blog for?

  1. Wow! First comment! Well… I did not have the pleasure of reading your old blog but I will read this one. Welcome back!

  2. Sounds like a hacking. If you have adobe acrobat you can download your entire blog. It doesn't seperate all the pages into neat little singles but you can copy/paste all your text. Blogger should create a system where a blog can be built offline and loade says:

    Sounds like a hacking. If you have adobe acrobat you can download your entire blog. It doesn’t seperate all the pages into neat little singles but you can copy/paste all your text. Blogger should create a system where a blog can be built offline and loaded up to the net, like regular websites work. Don’t be surpised if blogger.com never replies. I’ve read tons of horror stories just like yours where victims of hacking cried into the darkness while “customer service” cut them off into the abyss of millions. Just back up every post to either a text note (which is the least data) or to word (where you can preserve all your formatting [as long as you c&p from your actual blog – and not from the post entry. I’ve had issues with formatting when I’ve tried moving posts from one blog to another. Glitches that refuse to release my formatting and I end up with very bizzare and whacked out looking posts where one line of text is microscopic and then down the next line it’s in 70 pt hot pink. I’ve found the adobe trick useful for preserving the overal spirit of my blogs. It also copies text in their original color. And you can set the program to download a PDF of your entire site. that might take ahile, but once it’s done, you’re set. If you have your blogger set to archive once monthly then you do it once monthly, and so on. In the end, there’s no easy way to rebuild years worth of thoughts. So now I’m rambling, I know. I learned all these tricks and tip the hard way, after losing a whole photoblog. I wrote blogger. No reply. A few months later…the missing blog was just there again, as though it was friend showing up to say “sorry, I’m late for supper” Very weird feeling, like I was being toyed with.

  3. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! You lost your entire blog??! I’m horrified. Like you, I started my blog as a record of what I’m thinking, planning, trying in terms of homeschooling. Why online instead of a private journal? I was hoping to get advice, to click around and find ideas. Maybe someone would read my flailing attempts at homeschooling and rescue me. Even though my blog is very young, I’m going to start backing up! I don’t have all my posts as Word docs. So your blog never reappeared? Just gone for good? My condolences…

  4. Glad to hear that I’m not the only one figuring it out as I go along!

    Homeschooling is a learning journey, just like life itself.

    Just thinking aloud, Sandra

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