5 Reasons You Should Write a Homeschool Blog

With the Homeschool Blog Awards season in full swing here, it seems appropriate to visit the topic of blogging.  Since you’re reading here, you already know the purpose behind homeschool blogs.  They can entertain, inform, encourage, and inspire.  We’re glad you stop by The Homeschool Post for a healthy dose of all of those things.

But why should you personally start your own blog?  You might feel that the blogosphere is already a very big place and you have nothing to contribute.  It’s true there are many blogs out there, but it’s not true that you don’t have your own personal contribution to make.  I have found new blogs to read and enjoy every year through the HSBA Awards.  Each blogger brings their own unique perspective to the topic of homeschooling.

homeschool blogging @hsbapost @destinyblogger
Here are 5 good reasons why you should start blogging about your homeschool experience (or continue blogging when you feel discouraged):
  1. It’s free!  You have nothing to lose by starting a blog on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, or other free blogging platform.  The design doesn’t have to be fancy.  You can get started immediately, too.
  2. Accountability and record keeping.  For those who live in regulated states, a blog can help keep track of those projects you might forget when filling out your paperwork.  It can provide a timeline of learning and help you assemble a portfolio for review.  If you’re like me and get easily distracted by the urgent to-do lists, it also keeps you accountable to actually finish some projects that get put aside from time to time.
  3. It can become a family keepsake, like a homeschool yearbook.  Having a blog can help you remember to take more pictures, get them uploaded, and put them together in an online/digital yearbook format for your kids.  The archive is automatically kept for you through the years and can be really fun to look back through.  There are also options to actually print your blog in book format if you choose.
  4. Blogging provides a way to actively participate in the online homeschool community, especially for those who don’t have local options available to them.  There are groups on Facebook, blog hops, , carnivals, curriculum reviews, and more to provide interaction with fellow homeschoolers.  We can all learn from each other!
  5. Validation.  Ever feel alone in your homeschool journey?  Overwhelmed by all the pressures and expectations as wife, mom, teacher, housekeeper, cook, and so on?  Blogging about it and reading about on other blogs can help put things in perspective and make you feel less alone.  When someone leaves a blog comment to let you know you struck a chord with them or they like your ideas and are going to try them in their homeschool, it’s often like a virtual hug or high-five.  That’s not something homeschool moms get on a regular basis for doing what we do.

Do any of these reasons resonate with you?  Have you nominated your favorite blogs for the Awards this year?  If you start a blog today, it could be your own name on the list next year!

Still not sure how or where to begin?  There are popular and affordable online courses offered by Blogelina and Momcomm to get you started.  You can also read e-books like Simple Blogging, Blog at Home Mom, and iBlog for tips and tricks.  Blog on, mama!

 

Sara (28 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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GET OUT THE VOTE 2012

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The polls are up and ready! Beware skipping the rules because this year it’s different!

the-rules

  • Read the terms and conditions before you vote.
  • Votes are based on IP and cookies.
  • You may vote once PER DAY (in ALL categories) per device or computer. If you have 10 computers and 4 smart phones, lucky you! If you canvas your neighborhood and ask every neighbor to use their computers, too – more power to ya!
  • Don’t send duplicate votes per day on the same cell phone in different hot spots or from the same computer or laptop. We reserve the right to erase ALL votes from an offending device or computer.
  • You don’t have to vote on everything at once. You can vote for one category and come back later for the rest.
  • If you click on the DOT, it will vote. If you click on the BLOG NAME, you can go to the site.
  • Once you vote, you can’t SEE the rest of the nominees any more (or click to go to their blogs) – so please do your browsing BEFORE you vote. We will list these again after the awards are over for your convenience (either in a post or page), so don’t worry – you’ll get to see them again eventually.
  • The results will be hidden until the winners are announced.
  • Email us at thehomeschoolpost @ gmail . com (remove extra spaces) if you have any questions or problems
  • Please use our graphics for your pages if you were nominated and link them to THIS post! See below for the nominee graphic.

 

LASTLY:
spread-word

Tweet it!  Pin it!  Stumble it!  Digg it!  Blog it!  Tumble it!  Facebook it!  Email it! (Need help? There are buttons provided at the bottom of this post that you can use!)

With the number of categories and nominees involved, there is a definite possibility of human error in the creation of the polls. Especially since two very tired humans (one of which who had just been through a hurricane) stayed up night after night to prepare them for you. Please let us know if any of the links don’t work or the blog names are misspelled, etc. so that we can take care of it as quickly as possible.

ALSO: You are welcome to go to the library or another public place to vote if you are having trouble on your home network.

Relax, have fun, and enjoy the easier half of the awards season! Just click and vote – how hard is that?!

The Polls will open November 4th, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time (PST) and will close on November 16th, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PST).

If you’re a nominee, feel free to grab this button:

For Blogger:

Homeschool Blog Awards Nominee Button
<img src=”http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w108/hsbawards/HSBA%20Ads/125x125nominee.jpg” alt=”The Homeschool Post” width=”125″ height=”125″ />

For WordPress:

Homeschool Blog Awards Nominee Button
<img src=http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w108/hsbawards/HSBA%20Ads/125x125nominee.jpg alt=The Homeschool Post width=125 height=125 />

 

Additional info based upon some of your emailed questions (this section updated as the awards progress)…

Question:
What is the youngest age for a teen blogger?

Answer:
12 (and winners must provide written consent by their parents to accept prizes) For more information, see our Legal Page and our Awards Update Page.

Question:
What constitutes a NEW blog?

Answer:
The blog must have been created DURING or AFTER the last award season. Technically, that means after September 2011.

Question:
Are people able to win in more than one category?

Answer:
No.
If someone wins more than one category, we go in and see how many votes they got in each category and they get to keep the category where their votes were the highest. The runner up takes the other category. We do this so that we can make sure that prizes go to as many bloggers as possible. This is another reason we make the results hidden until the winners are announced. We don’t want anyone to FEEL like a runner up, even if they were one. Nor do we want to see smaller bloggers watching larger bloggers win by huge margins. This is supposed to be fun and enjoyable – not a popularity contest that makes people feel bad.

Question:
Why is my blog or the blog I nominated not showing up on the voting lists?

Answer:
1. Your blog may not have qualified because it might not have met rule requirements/was not matched up properly with the category you were nominated in.

2. It also might have been entered incorrectly in to our Google Doc by the person that nominated you – if we were unable to click through the URL, the blog was left off of the voting polls.

3. It might have also been that your blog was not current (blogs that didn’t have current posts from August 2012 and forward were deleted from the nominations).

4. Were you a homeschool graduate? If you moved on to pursue other adult topics and hardly mention homeschooling any more, chances are you were either moved to the teen category if your blog had plenty of homeschooling posts, or possibly left out entirely if we couldn’t find that you were a homeschooler by browsing.

5. Or, may be your blog really doesn’t mention homeschooling anywhere easy to find. We looked in sidebars, on about pages, and even did searches on blogs that we could find search features easily on. If you mentioned homeschool somewhere, we probably found it.

6. OH, and if you nominated the same blog for every category – or more than one category, we most likely deleted your nomination for that blog. Rules stated that you can’t nominate the SAME blog for more than one category. Trust me, we used to get a LOT of people nominating the same blog in EVERY category. Even when the blog clearly didn’t FIT the category.

In a perfect world, we’d like to say that there weren’t any mistakes in our blog-checking/spreadsheet scouring, but it is also possible that we missed a couple of blogs that SHOULD be on the polls. Send us an email and we’ll look in to your particular case if you desire.

Please make sure that these requirements are met first:
1. Your blog is family friendly (check our Legal Page for a full-fledged definition of what we mean by that)
2. Your blog is current (if you haven’t posted in 2 months, chances are, we didn’t include you)
3. Your blog fits the category it was nominated in (if you are a DAD, you probably aren’t listed in “Best Homeschool Teen Blog”)

Question:
What if my url or blog name is wrong/misspelled?

Answer:
Shoot us an email. That’s an easy fix!

Go-vote

Click each link below to vote for a nominee in that category:

    1. Favorite Homeschool Mom Blog
    2. Best Homeschool Dad Blog
    3. Best Blog Design
    4. Best Photos Blog
    5. Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog
    6. Best Family or Group Blog
    7. Best Encourager
    8. Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog
    9. Best Homemaking or Recipe Blog
    10. Best Teen Blog
    11. Funniest Homeschool Blog
    12. Best Special Needs Homeschool Blog
    13. Best Homeschool Vlogger
    14. Best Homeschool Variety Blog
    15. Best Thrifty Homeschooler Blog
    16. Best SUPER Homeschooler
    17. Best Nitty-Gritty Homeschool Blog
    18. Best NEW Homeschool Blog
    19. Best Homeschool Methods Blog
    20. Best Homeschooling Nature/Field Trip Blog


We left all blogs in that qualified. Sorry if it takes a little time to vote, but we didn’t want to leave anyone out. {1,186 nominees might take a little extra time to check out!}

We can’t wait to see who you chose as the winners of the 2012 Homeschool Blog Awards! Thanks for participating!

the homeschool post team

 

Sprittibee (287 Posts)

Founder of the Homeschool Post | Homeschool enthusiast with two high school teens and two preschooling tots in the Austin, Texas area. Heather has been homeschooling over 11 years and blogging over 8 years. You can also find her - be it a little less formal - at her personal blog, Sprittibee.com


A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***

So You’re Not on Twitter Yet?

Three of my favorite math products, MathRack, The Ultimate Puzzle and Math on the Level  are not on Twitter yet. It occurred to me that perhaps the reason they aren’t is because they don’t know how easy it is to sign up.

If you’re like the MathRack, Ultimate Puzzle or Math on the Level people, with or without a product, and haven’t made it to Twitter either, here’s the super easy guide to getting there.

1. Go to www.twitter.com.

Open up your favorite browser and head to the wonderful world of Twitter. Conveniently, the name of the service is the same as the url.

Head to www.twitter.com, now!

2. Put in your info.

In the box titled “New to Twitter? Sign up,” put in your name, email address, and a password. Your name will be show publicly, but your email address won’t.

If you’re signing up for a company, you might use the company name. As an example, I’ve signed up for a Twitter account for my dog.

3. Pick your handle.

Now you get to pick your Twitter username, or handle. Twitter will pick one for you, but it’s likely not the one you want.

If you want to change it, type over what they’ve given you. Twitter will quickly tell you if the username is available.

You can’t have the same handle as someone else, so you might have to try a few times.

Also, you can change the handle to something else later, so don’t get too hung up on picking the world’s best handle right away.

Here are some basic tips on choosing a Twitter handle:

  1. Keep it short. You only get to tweet 140 characters at a time. If someone wants to mention you and you have the Twitter handle SuperCoolRockinHomeschoolMom, you’ve just eaten up tons of their usable characters.
  2. Avoid fancy characters. Even though you can use the underscore, it’s hard to type. People won’t want to mention you if they have to always do the shift+pinky underscore character. Stick with plain letters.
  3. Don’t use numbers unless they are way obvious. My first twitter handle was @bonster713. The original area code for Houston is 713. But not many people know this. So I’ve ditched that handle. If, however, you are someone like @Loving5Kids, then the number is perfect for you.
  4. Use your name or company name. Various people have different opinions on this. I tweet from @MathFour but keep @BonCrowder as a Twitter account in reserve. That way if I decide to sell MathFour.com someday (highly unlikely, but possible), then I can sell the Twitter account along with it. Plus I’ll still have my regular name as a Twitter account.
  5. Make it easy to remember. If you’re name is Stacae Griegaoer, pick something else. Like CoolSG or MomSG or TheStac. There’s no way anyone outside of your immediate family will remember how to spell Griegaoer. And many folks will have difficulty with Stacae. (No offense if your name really is that.)
  6. Use caps and/or lowers. Twitter handles aren’t case sensitive, so if you’re handle is @mathpsych, use @MathPsych so we can quickly see that you’re about math and psychology.

4. Follow some folks.

When you’re done with your handle and other basic info, you’ll be taken to a Twitter tutorial. It’ll invite you to follow some people.

Put in a username or real name to find someone particular. For example, you can find and follow me:

Or you can find people by searching for common interests:

5. Put in a picture and bio.

You can skip some of the steps, but don’t forget to put in a picture and bio. Many people won’t follow someone if they don’t have a picture and/or bio.

It’s pretty easy – use a recent or fun photo. Or you can use your 4th grade school picture or a picture of your children. You can even use your branding, if you’re registering as a company or blog.

Put in a bit about yourself in the bio. Mention your website and anything else you write on or about. You can include other tweeters (relatives, organizations, blogs) as well as hashtags that you frequently tweet on. (I’ll explain more about hashtags in a later post.)

6. Use the tips.

For a while Twitter will give you little pop up tutorial things. Click on the question mark thing to get an idea of various ways to use Twitter.

7. Have fun!

Now when you log in to Twitter, you’ll see a timeline of what all the people you follow are yapping about.

Read, tweet, and have fun!

And look for more Twitter tips here over the next few months!

 

A Word From Our Sponsors

Homeschool Products from Nest Learning
***ART PROJECTS curriculum –ages 10+ -fulfills high school fine arts credit 10% off + FREE SHIPPING in U.S. Code: STL Offer expires September 30th http://www.seethelightshine.com***