But out in public, at a picnic table with other kids and parents, this conversation might have a different resonance. Maybe N. feels pressure to perform, to come up with the right answer when all those people are listening. It might well look to the other parents like we are showing off, trotting out our trained monkey, trying to prove how successful our homeschooling is.
Tim pointed out that in blogging about our homeschooling experiences, we are vulnerable to the same problem of distortion. So far, the tone of my writing for this blog has been just about equal parts boasting about my child’s awesomeness and self-righteous statements about the awesomeness of our parenting choices. I don’t really mean it to sound that way, but it does, in part because of some choices I’ve made about what to write about and what not to write about, and in part because I am taking private moments public, where they lose some of their context.
So, if I am concerned about privacy, performance anxiety, and boasting, why am I blogging? I started this blog for the following reasons:
- To document (some of) what we do as we homeschool/unschool
- To articulate our philosophy of education, for ourselves, our friends and family, and whoever else might be interested
- To ponder our child’s progress through various stages of learning
- To connect with other families who homeschool/unschool, from whose blogs I have learned so much
My topic choices are guided by the knowledge that someday my son may read this blog and I don’t want to write something about him that he is someday mortified to discover is out in the public sphere. That may well happen anyway, but I am trying to avoid it.
Despite its pitfalls, I am enjoying blogging so far. I like writing about the many, many things regarding children’s lives and education that I have strong opinions about, even if this makes me sound like a self-righteous braggart. As the non-stay-at-home parent in our family, I feel connected to our homeschooling adventure by blogging. As a scholar who labors for months and years writing things that few people read, I find the feedback on my posts addictively gratifying!