Blogging is a growing phenomena on the internet. Wikipedia describes a blog as follows:

A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. –

This edition of Closer Look:Blogging will explore a few of the blogs offered by HEM, blogs offered by other homeschoolers around the country and some resources for those who would like to start their own blog. If you have a blog you would like to share with us, please contact us and we will include it below. Enjoy!

Blog Posts

HEM News & Commentary editor, Valerie Bonham Moon is a prolific blogger whose wisdom and wit draws thousands of visitors to the Newscomm blog each month. Here is one of my favorites:

No homeschooling to write about
OK, so I’m trying to make heads or tails of the forum post an online friend found in which one commenter has confused public-school-at-home with homeschooling and is railing about homeschooling being a scam and a money-pit for taxpayers. After two days the blog post I’m working on still sounds as if it was written by a reactionary buttressing the dikes against the seas of change.

The waters of change are slopping over the top of the dike and I’m tired of being wet. Maybe there is an interesting story I haven’t yet picked up from the news alerts? I save the blog post, refresh the screen, and skip over to my blog reader.

You can bookmark HEM News & Commentary here.

Helen Hegener posted a must read post this month at her HEM Editor’s blog:

Perspective from the Past
A friend and I were discussing homeschooling recently and she mentioned an editorial I wrote many years ago titled “On Jumping Through Hoops,” and said that although it’s still available on the HEM site, I should make it more easily available for new readers, especially as we were headed into the “not-back-to-school” end of summer season. I pooh-poohed the idea at the time, thinking that piece was rather dated and I could write something much better expressing the same sentiment.

Realizing it’s August and the school season is almost upon us, I started a post with that idea in mind this morning, but then I hit a wall, writer’s block, and the ideas I wanted to share just weren’t coming together right. I thought maybe re-reading what I’d written before would jog my writing, so I hunted it up and started skimming, then slowed down and started reading… And then I realized that the piece is still relevant and valuable and says just what I want to say, all these many years later. The question posed at the end, about what homeschooling might be like in ten or fifteen years, can be answered now, eighteen years later.

You can save the HEM Editor Blog to your favorites here.

The HEM Guide to Resources Blog is edited by Mary Nix along with guest editors Susan Ryan, Toni Nierman, Tracy Merritt, Valerie Bonham Moon. This blog offers a variety of resources several times a month. Here are a few posts from the blog:

Cardboard Castles
Cardboard fairy-tale castles made completely out of recycled materials! Complete instructions from the site builder, who says: “Well, ok, we did have to buy some spray paint, brown wrapping tape, and ribbon. Everything else we had around the house. Our castles were fairly large (several photos of their creation are included). You can make your castle as large or as small as you want. Using your imagination, just about anything in your house can be used to make and decorate your castle.”

Cast Iron
Now that we raise chickens, we have a nice abundance of eggs on hand that the kids enjoy. That lead me to re-evaluate the pans I use to cook with.
After some thought, research and conversations with my mother in law, I decided to try cast iron.

My pans were reasonably priced (bought the Lodge Pro Logic), heat pretty evenly. I don’t have to worry if the kids use a metal turning utensil when cooking. I also found the pans were also very reasonably priced when compared to the Teflon pans, which I inevitably had to chuck out after a few months of use once the Teflon started flaking – and yes, I’ve been through both generic and expensive name brands.

“Free” homeschooling curriculum
My newsreader settings include blog entries, and a blog post about free homeschooling curriculum was included in one of the alerts. I was intrigued, because many of us like to refer new homeschooling parents to free information to ease their transition into homeschooling.

Free curriculum that spell out the process and make themselves readily accessible are the kinds I like. There are no gags, gimmicks or enrollment. The instruction information is right there.

Conservation Book Repair
This book repair resource was recently shared on many of the HEM discussion lists. Lynda gave me permission to share it here. Thanks Lynda!

Youngest is in 4-H and one of the mothers decided to do a new project this year, Book Repair. It’s only a two day project and youngest signed up to be Teen Leader. She got this cool “book” and then we found out anyone can get it.

So, for those of you with old books that are falling apart or those who have kids who like to tinker with stuff and fix stuff, you can get the book online. And it is soooo easy to do, the book repair, that is <g>

Enjoy! ~Lynda

HEM Support & Networking Blog offers news and comments by editor Mary Nix and guest editors Natalie Criss, Toni Nierman, Tracy Merritt. You can visit the site here to learn more and read the latest posts.

The HEM Conference Blog provides a listing of conferences, conventions and other events, with contact information and links.

Other Blogs and Resources

  • Closer Look: Blogs
    You will find some HEM blog articles and other blog listed here from this previous Closer Look piece.

A few “how to blog” resources

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