Monday, 15 March 2010


Ok, now that's got your attention...

I'm writing a magazine article for the UK home education group, thenuk (magazine is scheduled to restart in September) and I need your help. [yeah, I'm a lazy cow, you didn't think I was actually going to write it all by myself did you?]

Anyway the article is going to be on 'blogging', specifically home educating people and their blogs. Why they blog, how they blog blah di blah blah, you get the gist.

I would like to know your views about blogging, particularly home ed blogging, BUT other comments welcome too.

So, feel free to comment on some or all of the below, in no particular order. Give me some nice juicy stuff to quote (yeah!). If I mention names, it'll only be usernames (e.g. Big Mamma Frog), but if you wish to be totally anon please say so and I'll give you a pseudonym. And if you don't mind having your blog address emblazoned across the article in full flashing lights as a demonstration of a masterpiece, then let me know. Send a cheque to... (ha ha!)

So here goes...some thoughts please on:

Why do you keep a blog? Why not a diary or other method? What do you use your blog for?
How long have you been keeping a blog?
Who contributes to your blog - do your children post entries too?
Do you find it easy to keep? How regularly do you post? What time of day do you generally post?
Do you belong to any blog circles? If so, which ones would you recommend.
What advice would you give to a beginner blogger? Which blog provider would you suggest and why?
Do you include photos and videos on your blog. Do you take these specifically for your blog?
What features do you think are essential on a home ed blog? E.g. list of other blogs, links to relevant sites, search facility,etc etc.
Do you think that blogging has been a positive experience? Why?
What about privacy and privacy settings - do you reveal your location and children’s names etc? Is your blog open to the public? Do your relatives have access to the blog - why?
Do you allow/welcome comments on your site?
What improvements would you like to make to your site?
Do you read other people’s home education blogs? Which ones would you recommend and why?
Do you have contact with the LA, would you let them see your blog? Do you use Information from your blog to help e.g. write a report to your LA?
What's the best thing about blogging?

Please write comments below. Or if you feel an essay coming on, let me know and I can give you my email address.


Carolyn said...

Ha!!! Will email you or pop round for a chat!!!! Do you have a dictaphone?!!

globeonmytable said...

Definitely feel an essay coming on! Thank goodness you asked, I've wanted to talk about this for a while. Maybe bring it onto our local HE list?

Big mamma frog said...

thanks guys!
I'm fascinated by the whole HE blog community (and blog communities in general).
Do you think I should bring it to the local list? I could ask for offlist replies so that I don't get a slapped wrist from the mod for being offtopic.

Carolyn said...

Yes, why not! I'm sure there are lots of people that would like to contribute...might even bring a few lurkers out of the wood work!!!

MadameSmokinGun said...

I always mean my blog to be about wonderful HE stuff and be terribly life-affirming but it usually ends up being about how inept I am at just about everything - and my language seems to deteriorate with each post.

You've also reminded me that I meant to unearth more HE blogs in general - but I do tend to get sidetracked by simply reading the more entertaining ones - about any old thing.

Trouble is I get jealous when I read about highly achieving families; bored reading the politically flag-waving ones (sorry to admit that) unless they are in easy-to-read-for-morons language; and feel totally inadequate when anyone mentions children that show interest in anything other than Spongebob and violence......... So that kind of cuts out pretty much anyone else.....

I just want to know that I am not the only useless harpie with brain-dead sproglets pretending to be blissfully autonomous when in actual fact I am simply avoiding the school run at all costs.

Do I want the LA to read my blog? Fuck no!!!!!!

Big mamma frog said...

You don't want the LA to read your blog, MSG? Now you do surprise me...

Of course you are always welcome to use me as an appropriately low benchmark of incompetent parenting and home educating. Happy to be of service.

MadameSmokinGun said...

Oooops ......... what I ACTUALLY meant you seem to understand my PAIN so well! Obviously I bow down to your superior self-depreciating high achieving!

Can I come back to play now?

MadameSmokinGun said...

PS me again - if you still read comments from 'old' posts - am willing to provide essay (with language reined-in) if you'd like! I'm actually wondering if I should cut the pretence on my usual blog and just start another more 'sensible' home ed-y one under another name?

As Mr GPants cleverly said to me this evening - I like to make rods for my own back.

Or I may just try and play nice on the old one and see how long it holds out this time.

Big mamma frog said...

yes MSG feel free to give me an essay (with or without the flaps) - I'd love to know your views. I could probably write an article just ranting about my own views of blogging, but don't suppose that would be very balanced, would it?

Don't think it matters if you play Mrs Nice or Mrs Nasty on your blog posts. I think little bits of you will leak out into the post whatever you write. Bet you wont be able to keep it under lock and key for long :)

[Err..just realised what I wrote in that last paragraph...I don't mean bits of you will end up in the Royal Mail]

For what it's worth, I think your writing is so devilishly ticklingly fab you deserve a column in a Sunday paper. But then again, I don't suppose that would do much for the cause of home education would it {g}.

by the way, after reading my blog, a friend of mine suggested I should write a book about home education. So I said if you think that's good, then go see this (and referred her to your post on golf pants). I haven't heard from her since. I wonder what that means..?

MadameSmokinGun said...

Oops and blushing all in one go! Not worthy!!!

There is something rather liberating about the old blog business tho' - ie it's more than just a diary 'cos you are hoping that someone 'out there' may read it but it's also nicely anonymous. Having said that I also know that bigging up our achievements - 'cos I could, 'cos I'm anonymous - defeats the whole object somehow. It's a confessional, a therapy and a 'reaching out' in one - and best of all it WORKS! Reading other people's blogs of them doing their thing - getting the lows and highs (and hystericals) makes me feel better about my lunacies. And despite some of my meanderings I do SOMETIMES try to be readable (totally UNlike my diary). So I will add that it is also a pleasurable dicipline! Now THAT sounds like something you could do in PVC golf pants........ off again.......