Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My blogging story - Blog Hop #1

I'm taking part in my first blog hop ... "Australian Mums Encouraging Mums".   

I'm excited about the topics for the 4 weeks of the blog hop.  
I hope you enjoy reading this, and follow the link above to read other great blogs.  
If you have a homeschooling blog, why not join in?  

Blog Hop Topic #1 
"Why did you start blogging, and why do you keep blogging?"

Why did I start blogging?

I started my first blog, "Chrysalis Island" in 2009.  That was the year we decided to homeschool our children, who were 4 and 5 years old.  I had returned to being a stay-at-home Mum home after a few years of teaching while my husband was a (quite brilliant) stay-at-home Dad.  We had various reasons for deciding to homeschool and I found many blogs which helped me immensely in the early years.  It was from reading those blogs that I got the idea to record our own journey.

I write as a way to work out my thoughts.  I think best when I do it with a pen and paper, or the modern equivalent.  With homeschooling, there was a LOT to process ... so much freedom, so many choices and such a lot at stake ... and it was so different from my experience as a school and uni student and teacher.  Writing about what we were learning and experiencing helped me deschool myself and understand my children better.  It was also a handy way to record some of my decisions, in case one day I looked back and thought "What on earth was I thinking?!"

Blogs I have found inspiring and helpful ...

I LOVE reading other people's homeschooling blogs ... it's like getting a chance to be a fly on the wall, but not as creepy!  Many of the best resources and ideas I have found came from blogs.

Navigating By Joy
A Peaceful Day
Aussie Pumpkin Patch
Dove's Rest (now writing at A Walk in the Wildflowers)
Homeschooling Downunder
Eclectic Homeschool
Kez's Blog
Funschooling (now Quark Academy)
Satori Smiles

There are many other blogs I have enjoyed reading, and a couple of brilliant ones which are no longer online, but those are some of my regularly visited favourites.

Why do I keep blogging?

I keep blogging because I love to write, and for all the reasons I started in the first place.  When we started the local home ed community was pretty small, and I wasn't using Facebook home ed support groups.   I have more connections now, but I still love to figure things out by writing about them.  I also hope it might interest or encourage other homeschooling parents.

I use blogging as an aid to my memory.  I am inclined to forget more than I remember, and I want to remember the little things.  I have not written on my blog much in the last two years, but I am SO glad I wrote all of the posts I did.  Looking at what I wrote in 2009 brings me so much joy.  So much has NOT changed since then, which is a good thing ... my children are still the same at heart, just taller, blossoming versions of their beautiful selves.

Why does my blog have ... gaps?

I do tend to go missing in action for long periods of time.  There are many reasons ... I am an over thinker, and can get myself tangled up at times ... if I'm lucky it ends with a lightbulb moment.  Once it's processed, sometimes I want to share about it, sometimes I don't know how.   We've had long battles with health, physical and mental, and I'm a pretty private person, especially when it comes to what I share online.  This means that when life gets complicated I get quiet.

My blog then and now ...

In the earlier days I often tried to define our homeschooling style and wrote more about what we actually did.  I never shared much about particular resources we used, because we used a lot of different books and methods and if something wasn't working we changed it ... if I listed everything then didn't like something I would feel bad about recommending it, and if anyone (other than our inspector) saw the whole list of what we drew from they might think we did everything in each one and be totally overwhelmed and discouraged.  Not my aim (and did I mention I am an over thinker?)  Over time I have also become more cautious about privacy, and I use other methods to share what we do with a selected audience and sometimes that left me wondering what TO share on here.

In the end I always come back to:
-  just telling it like it is
-  speaking from the heart
-  sounding slightly too serious
-  wanting to be understood
-  hoping to encourage and inspire

Conversations are good for problem solving and sharing tid bits, but I like blogging as a method of deep communication about what I think will be helpful ... either a story of what we have struggled with and how we overcame it, links to make something easier to understand, or just collections of ideas.

What I've learnt because I blog ...

I have learnt/ learned that I am obsessive about proof-reading every little thing I share online ... and even though I re-read all of my posts an embarrassing number of times before publishing, mistakes still slip through.  Also, I love getting comments ;)

What do I do other than blog?

I read a lot.  Young adult and children's fiction, home ed guides, the Bible, Australian outback romance, historical fiction ... in fact ANY words which happen to be in front of me, except the ones I definitely don't want to read.  I am a word addict.

I paint & sketch.
I count my blessings ... there's a lot to be thankful for!
I go for 'walk and talks' with my children.
I enjoy long conversations with my family and friends (preferably only one or two at a time).
I am teaching myself to play the ukulele.
I set goals and reflect on my progress each month.
I get an opportunity to stay home alone once in a blue moon, which I love to do and sometimes crave, but usually I decide to join in with a trip to the beach instead.

I research, anything and everything.  Always learning is one of my mottos.  Some of my pet topics at present are Antarctica, Hashimotos Thyroiditis in children, minimalism & simplicity, prayer & fasting and paleo cooking.

I write constantly ... several journals for all moods, personal letters, home ed plans and records, encouragement and advice on online home ed groups.  I have a whole shelf full of partly-written books, plots and ideas which I might revisit when the time is right.  I have other blogs too, such as "GLOW" which is somewhat like a public journal, and a way to inspire and encourage others.

What are some things about you that you've never shared on your blog?

Time for the secrets to come out!!

In an interview for a job at a boarding school I was asked how qualified I was to coach rugby league (or some kind of football, ha ha) and I said "Does 12 years of ballet count?"

My children were both born prematurely, one predictably by caesarean 5.5 weeks early after a complicated pregnancy, one the other way 7.5 weeks early for no known reason.  Both were perfectly fine and beautifully cared for in NICU nurseries.

And ... I have travelled to Greece, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.  All were amazing, beautiful places.  The people are what made each trip extra special.  I still want to see many parts of Australia, Fiji and maybe New Zealand, but I am equally happy at home or in a library.

Links to your top blog posts

Like Renelle, I will simply say thanks for visiting my blog!
Please have a look around and let me know what you'd like to read more about.

Kind thoughts, 
Vanessa

7 comments:

  1. Great to read your story Butterfly! You have given me a few bright ideas in the past and I agree blogging is a cathartic experience. Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Thanks Michelle, and thanks for hosting the blog hop! It's a fun writing exercise. I've enjoyed reading other people's blogs, and I'm looking forward to the next few topics.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your blogging story - it was a great read and I look forward to visiting your blog again. I too started for much the same reasons - to process all that was going on in my learning curve as I grew into homeschooling.

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    Replies
    1. I read your blog too, Belinda, and saw that we have that in common ... writing is such a good way to make sense of everything. Thanks for visiting!

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  3. Hi! This is the first time I've come across your blog. It was nice reading your story :) Blessings, Peta

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    1. Thanks for visiting Peta :)
      I had a little look at your blog too, and look forward to taking time to have a proper read when I am more awake.

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