Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Homeschool Bloggers

Thanks to Maureen over at Trinity Prep School, I thought I'd too do a list of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Homeschool Bloggers". Some of these are similar to Maureen's, but I thought I'd reiterate them, using my own words -- sometimes the more ways you hear the same thing, the more you're likely to remember and DO it!
  1. Have fun -- don't worry about being pithy, or philosophical, or "deep", just write down what has moved you today.
  2. Write daily -- the more you write, the more folks will read what you have to say. It's also a great way to get things "off your chest", thus avoiding ulcers! But, don't give yourself ulcers worrying about writing something daily; just make that the goal.
  3. Write about what you know -- write about your kids, your school day, or a particularly great resource you've found. Anything should be "fodder for the mill". But don't try to tackle something you haven't quite mastered. I made the error of erroneously posting about boycotting Wal-mart due to a misunderstanding of what they were doing.
  4. Use links and trackbacks -- when you mention someone else's post or blog, it's common courtesy to link to their blog and trackback (if they have it). This keeps the community going and active; just what blogs do best. Remember footnotes in school papers? Think of trackbacks and links as giving credit where credit is due.
  5. Make comments on other blogs and answer comments on your own -- sometimes it's hard to answer every comment; but I've found that a great sense of community is built when you respond to someone's comments about your own posts. The give and take of the "blogosphere" is enriched by honest, constructive open dialogue.
  6. Be honest but not vitriolic -- don't let your passions get away from you in your postings or your comments; if you feel strongly about something, write up the post after you've cooled down. It's your blog and you can write what you want -- but you don't want to turn off any readers by being overly emotional or melodramatic.
  7. Vary your posts -- talk about different homeschool matters; I use our day or a current unit study to pin posts to. Homeschool blogs are an excellent way to let other homeschoolers know what works, what doesn't and what should NEVER be attempted. Your homeschool is not the same everyday, why should your posts be?
  8. Create an environment on your blog which reflects YOU -- don't worry about imitating anyone else's blog. I remember how I set up our homeschool -- it's set up to work to each child's strengths. It's, as Elizabeth Foss says, NOT schooling at home, but "real learning in the heart of the home". My blog should reflect this uniqueness too!
  9. Read other homeschooling blogs -- bearing in mind habit #8, read other blogs and see what other homeschoolers are saying and doing. Write up posts that argue or agree with what someone else has done. Build on their posts -- like I'm doing now with Maureen's. But, always keep your posts in light of what YOU do!
  10. Have fun -- Blogs are basically easily edited web-pages. Blogs allow me to vent, argue, applaud or meditate on something going on. Blogs allow me to journal "what we did today". And it's fun! I enjoy writing and blogs help me keep up my writing -- like JohnBoy on the Walton's always writing in his RedChief Tablet. This is not a job, nor is it to take the place of home-educating my children. When it becomes a chore or a burden, I will stop writing my blogs.
Well, those are my 10 habits -- not in any particular order, but meant to help readers (and myself) encapsulate blog-writing.

So, what are your 10 habits?

4 comments:

Daryl Cobranchi said...

I violate about half the rules on a regular basis. BNut, then again, mine is not your "normal" HS blog.

Decatur Area Homeschool Network said...

Mary,

You get BONUS points....it's only 7 Habits! But I had a hard time keeping it seven.

Thanks for bringing up some nuances I hadn't thought about.
Maureen
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/TRINITYPREPSCHOOL/

Mary G said...

OOPS Maureen! See post above....it's amazing how often this happens -- where I type or read something but actually see or understand a completely different thing....

Old age I guess

Dawn said...

Mary, thank you for your thoughtful list. I've only been blogging a short time, so there is still much to learn. :) Your list is a good place to start!