Blog Conferences and Homeschool
Are you tired of hearing about Relevant? And just how does a blog conference relate to homeschooling? How do homeschool and blogging fit together? Those are really great questions. Did you know that there were so many homeschool mom bloggers at Relevant that there weren't enough prizes for them when Jenn did her Homeschool Meet and Greet?
Rumor had it that there were over 70 women there who were homeschooling (out of the 200 attendees). That's a huge amount! Wouldn't it be grand if there were that large of a ratio of homeschoolers out there in mainstream America - 40 percent of American kids?! How great for the kids if their moms were able to be home with them - and to feel empowered and capable of nurturing and educating their kids from diapers all the way to decimals - and beyond.
Homeschooling provides a way for you to do a lot of things with your kids that wouldn't be possible in traditional schooling methods - freedom to travel (hello Relevant!), to field trip, to explore, to GO. There's a lot to learn OUT THERE.
Like for instance: Chocolate World (hello field trip!). Who knew all those wonderful mysteries about where the dark stuff comes from... or that you could make your own chocolate bar and design the wrapper?
Keeping a Record, Connecting with Others
One of the many things that makes blogging so attractive to homeschool moms is the journal aspect - the passion of sharing the journey that you are on with your kids. It is like a huge "school project" this blogging thing. A timeline of sorts. Living history. And of course, the homeschool kids can write their own chapters - on their own homeschool blogs. Writing is one of the best skills you can give them - so they can communicate well and shape the world.
Sharing the journey also means connecting with others - encouraging them on their own path, helping those who are struggling, answering questions... being a tiny part of the bigger picture: an online teacher's lounge for homeschool moms.
Blogging Income and Perks
Another great thing about a blog for a homeschool mom is that it can be a source of income (which might equal more field trips - or books). Granted, for most of us, it isn't a large source of income... but a little extra mad money, Amazon book money, or grocery money is worth it if you would have been spending the time "digital scrapbooking" or checking email anyway, right?
And what "funner" way to make money than blogging? Blog conferences are helpful in showing bloggers how to take their website and build on it so that the income streams are possible - and more profitable. Life after Yahoo Email groups for some of us extends to blog posting the best of our ideas - and sharing with an even larger community online. No harm in making a little money for the effort you put in to your online space.
Then there is the 'swag' or free stuff you can get blogging. Usually, the free things come in the form of the type of niche your blog falls in to: homeschoolers usually get educational materials (ie: curriculums/books/etc). If you are smart, you won't let your review box get as full as mine did this past year. [I'm in the learning to say no stage.] I'll be digging out far in to 2012. Note to those waiting on my reviews: I'm on it!
Free stuff is fun - and blog conferences are a way to get in on the goodies - even if your blog is small. Companies want an honest review - because word of mouth is the best kind of advertising. Free stuff WITHOUT deadlines for reviews (like the swag from conferences) is even BETTER.
Life and Learning = Worth Writing About
So... let's recap. Here it is in a nutshell: blogging and homeschooling are great together.
The Relevant Conference was a wonderful source of encouragement that spoke right to my Christian homeschool mama's heart. You don't have to let go of your passions when you take on homeschooling - you can find a way to merge them in to a mixed media masterpiece. Think... art, photography, digital scrap, writing, video, education, field trips, travel, learning - a big blog smorgasborg!
Everything fits in to this thing we call life (and life for us is learning) and that's worth blogging about.
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