My Problem With “Homeschool Blog Awards” Is That They Aren’t

12 11 2007

. . .aren’t really “homeschool” blogging, I mean. Unmodified, that word is a term so broad as to arguably encompass most education blogs and parenting blogs, certainly all “education-by-parent” blogs.

We homeschoolers never could reach consensus on terminology to categorize us neatly, and it’s off-putting to see concrete barriers popping up throughout our community as if we had done.

Last year, I cheerfully nominated unschooled Favorite Daughter’s first blog for one of the “Homeschool Blog Awards” purely because I thought it would be fun for her. I didn’t object to the name. I believed the intent was cross-pollination, inclusive and reasonably value-neutral nominating and judging, not pushing one view of homeschooling or parenting and certainly not linking homeschooling to one religion, one world view, one style of parenting — much less one manner of expressing our deepest human desires including sexuality.

Still I did feel the need to try and define the process my own way. I live in eternal hope, so here’s what I wrote then at Culture Kitchen about the Homeschool Blog Awards.
We now agree it was indeed educational but we also don’t need to repeat the lesson:

There’s no category called “Best Feminist Teen” in the homeschool blog awards, but I wish there were. And I wish there were thousands upon thousands of strong contenders for it, harmonizing with Favorite Daughter’s young voice in the alternative education blog-hersphere.

But I get the uncomfortable feeling she may be pretty much the sole standard bearer for that, writing on such a sharp cutting edge that few will even find her point of view to consider it, much less join her. She just doesn’t fit comfortably into the curriculum-based Christian conversations and patriarchal perspectives that seem to dominate homeschooling both online and off. And doesn’t want to.

Her olive oil essay about purity balls really spoke to many of you non-homeschool types ABOUT homeschool types, but you can well imagine it’s the kind of thing that would hurt her more than help her in building and reaching a homeschool following! So if you find Favorite Daughter’s writing worth a vote to help bring her fresh eyeballs and keep her unique view engaged in the conversation, please take a minute right now (or sometime this week before voting ends) and give her your click here.

And before you do, you might enjoy reading HER appeal for your vote:

As I’m going to assume none of you know, I have been nominated for a prize, although I am not Al Gore, so said prize is neither an Oscar nor a US Presidency (you can’t tell me they didn’t give him the former as compensation for losing the latter.) But like Al Gore, I fully intend to make my bitter, jaded supporters refer to me as President Gore for at least the next year, should I lose. I, PenguinDust – well, really the blog, not me – have been nominated for a Homeschool Blog Award in the category of “Best Teen Blog”.

This is rather a mixed blessing: on the one hand, I like winning things. On the other hand, I’ve striven to make this more than some angsty, high-output, “OMG”-heavy “teen” blog. Indeed, I’ve used the phrase OMG only twice, and that was just now as I was explaining how I’ve refrained from doing so. I’ve strived to make this little corner of the internet a (hopefully) insightful, if rarely updated blog that just happens to be written by a teen. Who just happens to be one of those homeschooled freaks you read about.

On the still third hand that I’ll borrow from a friend, I really like to win things.

So, vote for me. Like, NOW. Here is the link. Please click on it. You will see other nominees, some of whom are pretty good, including Chris, (who currently has more votes than anyone, grrr) and observes “In order for me to win I need to get the most votes.” Chris has an excellent point – so do not vote for these other nominees. I’ve been working on a series of attack ads clearly illustrating how they are all draft-dodgers and flip-floppers (especially Chris) but they aren’t finished, so you’ll just have to take my tenuous word for it.

Just remember, that was then and this is now. Live and learn. This year we aren’t even on speaking terms.

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7 responses

12 11 2007
NanceConfer

So she’s disqualified from this year’s joke six ways from Sunday!

Good for her! 🙂

Nance

12 11 2007
JJ

Btw Nance, she has a solo recital tonight, singing “I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music for her incredibly talented new soprano coach Dr. Carla Connors.

FavD is already 17 although she was interested in musical theatre way back when I can remember wondering if she’d ever be old enough to play the youngest girl Greta (about five I think) — never dreamed she’d really be older than the oldest and singing “down” to it! 🙂

13 11 2007
Lynn

Thanks for reminding me. I’ve been meaning to mention how much I adore your daughter! And, how’d she learn to write – and think – so well?

13 11 2007
JJ

[big grin]
thanks Lynn – why, unschooling of course!

Also, lest I leave the wrong impression for newbies or ps folk reading, she is what we used to call bimodal in school system population analysis. She does what she wants to do really, really well. And what she doesn’t want to do, she doesn’t do at all! And never the twain shall meet!
Thinking and writing fortunately are in the former category.

13 11 2007
JJ

I see comments are open again for those (Helpmeet) Homeschool Blog Awards, but they should’ve stayed closed if the facade of inclusivity still matters to them:

#
SuperAngel, on November 12th, 2007 at 3:14 pm Said:

I just wanted to say that you all are fighting the good fight and to keep it up!!
It is such a priviledge to be able to have this available to everyone. I really feel that it is such a great thing to be able to recongize who we want to in blogland.
Great job Ladies!!
Amanda
[sic]

16 11 2007
Alasandra

SuperAngel is an idiot.

It is such a privilege to be able to have this available to everyone

That’s what the controversy is about it’s not available to everyone, and if they are going to call it the Homeschool Blogs it should be. Now if they want to change the name to the Christian Homeschool Blog Awards, their limiting it to Christian “family friendly” blogs wouldn’t be a problem. But the rest of us are homeschoolers too.

it is such a great thing to be able to be able to recognize who we want to in blogland.

That’s all we are asking for to be able to recognize who we want. Not just the “select” few that pass HBA’s muster.

I did a post on SuperAngel’s whining that she might have to sign up for selective service. Apparently it’s against her rights. While I am opposed to the draft as long as boys have to sign up for selective service girls should have to sign up too.

30 12 2007
The Story of Homeschool Truth: Time We Learned Our Lesson? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] Governance of all by any One Story, be it sacred or secular, theocracy or educracy, subsumes the ind…. There is no other meaning or power to this story, however it’s told: We the diverse and contentious student body of a recently desegregated public high school, couldn’t agree on which band would play what kind of dance music . . . The one thing it turned out our schooling gave us in common then, was learning that lesson the hard way. […]

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