Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Help I Wish I'd Had...

I wonder if you realize how lucky you are.

Back in the day, I’d have given my eye teeth to have somewhere to go and learn about other homeschoolers. After all, there weren’t all that many of us around yet, and the homeschoolers I knew didn’t usually have much in common with me other than the fact that we were all weird enough to enjoy being with our kids.

I recall that one used Christian Liberty Academy Satellite School, a few used Bob Jones and pretty much everyone else used A Beka, including me. But it wasn’t long before I began to see my children becoming bored, and I started reading up on different ways to homeschool.

Also, I learned about homeschool advocates like John Taylor Gatto, whom no one else seemed to have heard of, and I wished I knew others with whom I could talk about these things. And of course, at that time I was the only homeschooler I knew with a disabled child that I hoped to eventually homeschool. How I wish I’d had access to other parents homeschooling their kids with Ds back then.

I would have loved being able to visit the blogs of other homeschooling parents! The beauty of the blogosphere is that you choose whether you want to be “the fly on the wall” of someone else’s homeschooling life, become close friends with them, or end up somewhere in the middle.

That’s why I tell new and prospective homeschooling parents to visit each week’s Carnival of Homeschooling. It’s a great way to get to know others who homeschool their kids. I’ve "met" many awesome homeschooling moms because of their blogs, or because they’ve come to mine.

This week’s Labor Day edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling is hosted by Carol Topp. Last week’s edition was hosted by a terrific homeschool mom named Renae. If you have a blog, you can submit one of your posts each week just by going here.

If you ever want to know where upcoming carnivals will be held, or where a past carnival was posted, just visit the Cates. They started the Carnival of Homeschooling nearly three years ago, and we all owe them an enormous debt of gratitude. It’s because of their work that parents who homeschool today have such a wonderful source of homeschool friendship and information, right at their fingertips!

Speaking of blogs, I’ve been asked what happened to my old blog. I’m sorry to say it’s been taken down by Homeschool Blogger. Of course, it’s their right to do as they please with their bandwidth, but I wish they'd left my old blog up because recent readers found many of the posts useful. I stopped blogging at HSB in December 2006 because of all the technical difficulties I was encountering there. However, the good news is that I did save the posts, and I hope to use some of them in an upcoming book and/or ebook. :)


Renae said...

Thank you very much for mentioning the carnival. I'm terrific, huh? That's so kind of you.

But I'm wondering about the origin of the word. Terrifying comes to mind. Yes, I was terrified to homeschool, but I hope I don't scare anyone off. ;)

Janet said...

I think you are SO right! We have SO many advantages that former home schoolers didn't have. I am SO grateful for that!!!

Henry Cate said...

Thank you for the kind words. It is a bit of work keeping the carnival going, but most of the work is done by the several dozen bloggers who take turns hosting.

Barbara Frank said...

Renae, I don't know the origin of terrific, but in your case, I define it as wonderful, and I'm sure you don't scare people off :)

Janet, you can appreciate every advantage with a lovely large family like you have. I don't know how you do it but it's obvious you're doing a great job!

Henry, you and your wife were the catalysts, and we are grateful.

Kristi Holl said...

Yes, times have certainly changed! In the beginning, my best friend home schooled her four kids and was threatened with jail time. I had a teaching degree, so to keep her out of jail, I agreed to oversee her lesson plans. What a change 25 years has made! She would have given her eye teeth to have had home schooling blogs or associations. She was truly a pioneer.

Barbara Frank said...

Wow, Kristi, she was blessed to have a friend like you! We all owe a debt of gratitude to the people you so correctly describe as pioneers of homeschooling.