Blogging, like scrapbooking, gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you've done. Hindsight is often 20:20 and when you write a weekly report, or a book review or a post about your summer vacation it allows you to think deeply and carefully about what you've done, what you haven't done and what you hope to get done.
In the same vein, blogging helps one express their reflection in varied ways. I wrote a book review, very tongue in cheek, a bit too cavalier, and the author commented. This author is a world class, best seller. How on earth did she find my little review? But she did, and it was not that kind, even if it was funny. I was focused too much on getting a laugh and not enough on the fact that there was a person who had put their heart and soul into something. I apologized and changed the review but it caused me to reflect, once again, the power of words, and the power of kindness.
2- Visual Memory
Writing, and therefore blogging, about a book, movie or curriculum forces me to think about the content in more robust and dynamic ways . Rather than a simple descriptive re-telling of a book, movie or curriculum, I want my blog to examine themes, content, quality and value. My readers might not agree with me, but I want to at least add to the discussion and prompt people to think.
My original goal of being part of a homeshooling community beyond where I live has been met and exceeded by far. I have met homeschoolers and bloggers on every continent who have the same victories, struggles, hopes and dreams as me.
I have participated in amazing blogging challenges and communities (stay tuned for the 5th annual Virtual Curriculum Fair-taking place every Monday this January) that have broadened any opportunity I could have found in my small corner of the world.
I have been able to chat with curriculum writers and suppliers and have the privilege of reviewing some world class products, all because I blog.
4- Create Personal Momentum
When I write a weekly report, if forces me to realize what we've done- what we haven't done, what we could have done. I see the holes in our schedule, the places where I am far too draconian and pitfalls to be avoided. I'm challenged by blog challenges, by weekly reports, by Christmas decoration link-ups. I see places and opportunities, I rub shoulders with others doing more, and I am encouraged to go beyond what I think I can do. There is a synergy that comes from blogging.
Is it that important that I blog about our Christmas decorations? Not really. What is important is that we came together as a family, we laughed, sang Christmas carols, talked about memories and favorite traditions, shared moments together. I'm often encouraged by others, and hope that my blog/our life can encourage others to live life together, instead of in front of a screen, that families are challenged to talk about their faith, the books they've read and that education becomes an intentional transmission of culture instead of a haphazard one.
If you've homeschooled for any length of time, perhaps you've discovered that it can be a lonely path. And yet, the world wide web allows us rub shoulders with others traveling the same narrow path. In other words, even homeschoolers have peers.
Sometimes this will garner you criticism, trolls or snarky comments. Learning to deal with troublemakers is all part of the show and a skill set unto itself.
But more often than not, you will discover your tribe on-line and it is seriously gratifying when that happens. The friends I have made, the amazing, touching, wonderful comments that this blog has given someone hope, caused them to laugh or call their sister have made my day. Comments that folks are praying for us, are encouraged by our testimony, that they've been challenged to re-think their expectations, or even just their math curriculum encourage our entire family.
6- Raise the Bar
Hitting the "publish" button is immediate. Spell check is a part of my life- though it is not fool proof, grammatical construction is really a fantastic tool and synonym finder is my friend. Having the potential of a world wide audience has raised the bar, as it should.
If you are a closet artist, like myself, blogging is a fantastic and cost effective form of expression. Photography, writing, graphic design, vlogging and more- there is plenty of room to grow and expand. There are plenty of free tools on-line, making it actually cost effective for anyone with access to a computer and a creative turn of mind.
If you blog, what are some of your reasons for doing so? If not, jump in, the water's just fine!
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