My latest post at The Heart of the Matter Should You Start a Homeschooling Blog? generated some thoughtful comments that I want to expound on.
Kelli from Adventures in Child Rearing commented
One of the things that I have felt a pull and a leading from the Lord about is the fact that I continually publish the “good stuff.” The point of the blog was to encourage others to get out and enjoy adventure with their family and learn together. But if I’m only blogging the good fun stuff, I am cheating my readers. They need to hear that it ain’t all pretty! Life is hard, but God can bless us if we trust Him!
You are so right, Kelli. Who wants to read a “perfect” blog written by a “perfect” mom who writes perfectly? That kind of blog is intimidating. You may bookmark her ideas and pin her photos, but you would be terrified to actually sit down over a cup of coffee with that blogger because she’s too “perfect.” You wonder how she could ever relate to the “fend for yourself” dinner your family ate that night, the gunk building up in the shower, and the mediocre homeschool lessons you’ve had this week.
News flash. That “perfect” homeschool mom is actually not perfect. You do know that, right? (And if she is perfect, then she is probably very prideful.)
However, the “perfect” blogging extreme should not be corrected by a total swing the other way. For two main reasons, we homeschool bloggers should avoid being too negative.
Public Opinion and Legal Issues
I worry when moms share too much, especially when they live in states where there’s a lot of supervision of homeschoolers. Will an education official clamp down on a family after reading their blog posts admiting they did only “life skills” and no math or reading for three weeks?
I’ve seen blog posts that outright admit to fudging on their 180 days of school.
- A trip to the vet is science.
- The grocery store covers the math lesson.
- Music is done via audio CD in the car.
I’m not saying that those activities aren’t educational. I’m just wondering if a blog post that shares “insider secrets to homeschool documentation” is a smart move.
Maybe your state has very homeschool friendly laws. That’s great. But how do our bad day blog posts contribute towards the unfounded fears that we are just letting the children be raised by wolves instead of diligently teaching them? (Even if you are an unschooler, you have made a deliberate choice to educate in that way. It’s not mere laziness or ignorance.)
Do we perpetuate stereotypes with our blog posts – that homeschoolers sleep late, don’t have due dates, and have no personal discipline? We all have bad days where a lot of school just doesn’t happen, but do we need to blog about them for opponents to use as ammunition against us?
The Whiny Blog
I have a huge fear of complaining on my own blog. I personally hate whiny blogs. (Whiny people are not too fun either.) We all whine at times, but it’s annoying to always hear only negative things. Since I don’t want to become that person on my own blog, I focus on the positive.
We all have bad days. We all get discouraged, take a mental health day, yell at the kids, and serve cereal for dinner. But does it really encourage someone else to read about it?
If through the bad day you had an insight that can minister to others, then by all means share it. But if you’re just venting your frustrations or throwing a pity party, and most of your posts are like that, what kind of community are you creating?
I hope that my readers know that I do show only the good things. There’s plenty of ugly in my life that just doesn’t need to be on this blog. It’s not edifying. It’s not beneficial to anyone. Not to me. Not to you.
So we homeschool bloggers have a fine line to walk. We want to be real about the challenges of homeschooling (and parenting and homemaking) while we express proficiency to outsiders and encouragement to those who need it.
If you are a homeschool blogger, how do you ride this line between being too rosy and being too negative?