Tuesday, 10 April 2018

6 Years of Blogging: Then & Now...


Six years ago this month I published my first blog post. I'd always enjoyed writing and had been part of a Charlotte Mason Families Newsletter for a few years where families took turns sending out a newsletter to a whole lot of other families around Australia. (Erin at Seven Little Australians was one of the families we 'met' through this newsletter). I was slow to get into blogging, partly because of time restraints but also because I didn't like the idea of writing to an unknown audience. I like good two way conversations & the immediate feedback that facilitates communication and understanding.
However, over the past six years, I've met some of my readers, have had email conversations with others, or have communicated via blog comments, so I feel like I've got to know some of you more.

So what's different now compared to back then?

In April 2012 all our seven children were still living at home.
Our two eldest had finished their degrees and were working fulltime.
One girl was still studying at University.
I was homeschooling the four youngest who were aged 7 to 17 years.

 Back then...



Since then we've had two weddings, an engagement, and the birth of our first grandchild five months ago. We've also had some difficult things to face including the loss of my Dad after a long neurological illness, and a year later, the sudden death of my brother at age 46 years.
Six children have graduated after being home educated from start to finish. 
Four have moved out of home. For the first time in 29 years, the kids at home each have their own bedroom.
My 13 year old is keeping me busy these days...a few more years of home education with her and then maybe I'll start with the grandchildren.

The most popular posts have been the following:

AmblesideOnline Year 1 Review

AmblesideOnline Year 6

Written Work in a Charlotte Mason Education

Starting Out With Home Education

Ten Things to make Time For

Most of my readers are located in the USA followed closely by those in Australia, then the U.K. New Zealand, Canada and in recent years, South Africa.
Apart from home educators, the most frequent comments I receive are from book bloggers, some of the friendliest people out there in the blogging world.
If you haven't visited these blogs, check them out if you'd like to read some great reviews:

Sharon @Gently Mad Sharon is a musician and couples her book reviews with links to some great classical music videos.

Brian @Babbling Books has interesting insights into the characters presented in the books he reads.

Some homeschooling bloggers I like to visit - these two ladies are 'all-rounders' and I've enjoyed watching their growth in writing over the past few years:

Amy @ HearthRidge Reflections - Amy recently had some of her poetry published

Silvia Cachia - Silvia is articulate & thoughtful in two languages!


My husband bought me a new phone for Christmas and now that I have one that works properly, I've been posting regularly on Instagram & have been enjoying the community there.

So I have some questions for my readers:

What type of content would you like to see in future posts?


Homeschooling a large family
Using AmblesideOnline
Book reviews
Charlotte Mason ideas & practice
Home education generally
Parenting
Nature study
Handicrafts
Curriculum suggestions/reviews
Homeschooling teens/highschool
Chatty & random stuff 

Thank you to everyone who continues to read this blog. If you have been following me from the beginning and have never commented, I'd love to hear from you. Much has changed in my own life since 2012 and I imagine it's been the same for you. Let me know if any particular type of posts are helpful to you.

Now...a day in the park with my granddaughter



27 comments:

BecTasmanian said...

AO in Australia please :) and general CM things. Love seeing written work!

Deborah said...

AO in Australia as well. Pretty much anything AO or CM. Would love to see more show and tell of AO in action or the work resulting from it. Nature study. Definitely homeschooling highschool. :) Book reviews are also another high attraction. lol. And yes, love chatty randoms too.

ps. We are currently having our very first week of AO8.

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

Congratulations on your 6 year blogversary. Thank you for the link to your instagram-I have just started following you.

I am in the UK and a few years behind, familywise. We are due to have the first wedding of one of our adult children this summer and I am home educating the younger two aged 9 and 11. We also have two adults and another who is reaching the end of his teens.

I love your Charlotte Mason posts and also the back to the classics. Looking forward to hearing about your life as you come to the end of home educating your own children.

Brian Joseph said...

Happy Anniversary! Thanks for the mention and the good word. I love your blog for a lot of reasons. It is such an interesting mix of subjects for one thing.

Your family looks so nice. Kids really do grow up so fast. To the next 6 years!

Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

I don't think I've ever read anything you've written that hasn't enriched my mind, my heart, or both. :) I enjoy your book reviews. I enjoy seeing what your girl is doing in school. I enjoy peeking into your family that is a few years ahead of mine in years. As a homeschooler of 12 for nearly 18 years now, I am rather experienced, but my younger children are their own selves, and the way we "do school" is ever-changing, so whatever you post about education is interesting to me. I find a sense of peace in your blog posts that does much to slow me down and seek joy in my current circumstance.

Laura Jeanne said...

Hello there...I am not a long-time reader, I just discovered your blog recently - but I have been using AO for about 10 years. All of the topics you mentioned are interesting, but I would especially love to see posts about specific AO years and books, homeschooling teens, and handicrafts. Handicrafts is one thing I just haven't been able to get into our school very regularly...it seems to be hopelessly time consuming.

Amber said...

Congratulations on your 6 year anniversary of your blog! I am glad you have continued to blog when so many have stopped (including myself) and I particularly enjoy your book posts. You’ve pointed me to some great books that I had not encountered, and even your reviews of books have enriched my understanding and view of the world.

Sharon Wilfong said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my blog! Lovely family, adorable baby girl. She's so pretty. You're so lucky you live near your family. I wanted a big family but was only able to have my one son. However, Josh and I are prayerfully considering adopting (as soon as Derek graduates, which is this spring).

As far as your posts go, book reviews are naturally my favorite but I really like all your posts.

Here's to another great six years (or more)!

Silvia said...

It's been six years, Carol? Wow. It's been a delight to read this post. I'm so honored and moved to see my name among those you list as your friends and fellow bloggers.

You ask what we'd like to see here. I used AO for four, five years, until we couldn't follow it no more. Nowadays, we still read and use the AO books, and I keep trying to implement the wonderful CM, but it's much more what we don't do than what we do. As ours is a story of failure, -more than success, and of just trying to survive, but we, nonetheless, keep homeschooling, I always love all you write. Sometimes I read with longing, others what you share encourage me, and it always teaches me something new. I like the variety you offer to us, the readers.

Congratulations, (that little granddaughter is just beautiful. I'm glad you get to enjoy her.)

cleopatra said...

Congratulations! Keeping a blog running for such a long time is no easy feat! So give yourself a pat on the back!

I've so enjoyed reading all your posts, from homeschooling to book reviews and more. So happy to be in your following. Here's to another six years!

Carol said...

Thanks, Bec. I wasn't sure that posting written work helped anyone but I like to see what others are doing too.

Carol said...

Deborah, thanks for your comments. My AO posts are all over the place and I do hope to make it a bit easier to search. Just need to work out the best way to do that :)

Carol said...

SarahElizabeth - good to hear about your family. I feel that the past few years have gone by much more quickly than ever & I think having a spread of ages does that. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding. Our 3rd child, a girl, gets married in September. Good to link up with you on Instagram!

Carol said...

Brian, thanks for being such a friendly fellow blogger!

Carol said...

Anne, I so appreciated your lovely comment & appreciate you dropping in so regularly to to do :)

Carol said...

Laura Jeanne, thanks for taking the time to comment. My daughter keeps herself busy with lots of paper based handicrafts - cardmaking, decoupage etc but I'd like to expand her interests in this area. Her older sisters did a lot of sewing, quilting & dressmaking but she hasn't had any interest in those areas so far so I'm thinking about what I could do with her.

Carol said...

Amber! Thanks for your encouragement & for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.

Carol said...

Hi Sharon, I always dreamed that I'd have a big house & fill it with children. I didn't think I'd have my own & would have to adopt because I didn't think I'd get married. You just never know what life will bring. I've lived away from my own family since I was about 16 & it's been great to have all our own children close by, especially now that there's a grandchild.

Carol said...

Dear Silvia, there's no way that your story is one of failure!! Please don't think that because you're not following a certain method of education that you're giving your girls something less than the best. You're a thinking & praying mother & that's obvious to anyone who has had anything to do with you for any length of time. God bless you, my friend & enjoy this time with your lovely girls. X

Carol said...

Thank you Cleo. It's been a pleasure to get to know you via your blog. All the best with your food blog, too!

Silvia said...

Carol. Thanks for your comment, from the bottom of my heart. I do listen to it, it comes from another thinking and praying mom, YOU. You are an encouragement to all of us who stop by, and I'm sure to many more we don't know about. (I got to thinking today that it may not be a close to AO education we do here, but it's what we can do, the seeds are planted, life is rich, and, as you say, I'm determined to enjoy every single moment, -the challenging times along with the lovely moments.)

I do appreciate every single post you write. (If I lived close to you, I'd be sure to help you with organizing those AO posts, or anything you want, :) If you have any question about blogging or logistics, I'll be glad to help.

Silvia said...

Oh, and I do love the Australian imprint your blog has, -as a reflection of your Australian life.

Eva said...

I don't know how long I have been reading your blog, but it has been several years and I am often edified by it. I like your book reviews particularly. Since I am in the US, I also enjoy when you post pictures of creatures that you have seen on your nature walks, creatures that are different from the ones in my part of the world.

Carol said...

Thanks for the offer, Silvia :)

Carol said...

Hi Eva, so pleased you took the time to comment & to let me know you're a reader here. I get excited when we come across any creatures on our walks so good to know you enjoy that also

Joyfulmum said...

Hi Carol! I don't blog anymore but I do remember you emailing me when you were first starting out! wow that doesn't seem that long ago but amazing how time goes by!
I came here to search for some book ideas for years 9 and 10 for Rebekah. I can help you (I think ha ha) organise your posts so it makes it easier to find. I can message you if you like, or if you need help please message me ;)
While I don't use blogs much anymore I think all your book reviews are great, along with all the real life posts you do about h/sing your lovely last daughter (who looks SO cute in 2012 btw and please tell her that, I'm sure she'll love me for it ha ha).
x
Rosemary

Carol said...

Aw, thanks, Rosemary. I'll message you later in the week. Did you find anything helpful for Rebekah? I used quite a few things for the older ones that I havent written about on the blog so let me know if you are after anything specific. They are all very cute when they're little. It's incredible how much their features can change in just a few years.