Welcome to 2015! This past year I felt as if my blog took a slow turn when we returned to the US after living abroad. Our lives were not as exciting, not as interesting, and my motivation for blogging kind of left. Settling down here in Oklahoma has taken a lot out of us; not that we are having a hard time but that we made friends so quickly and got involved in activities.
I didn’t feel as dedicated to my blog because of the pressure I felt (all my own) to make every post pin-worthy, shareable, and perfect. I had many great ideas to write, and finally I’ve decided that it is better to write a post and not have perfect images than to let my blog sit idle and forgotten in dusty corner of the internet.
But my end of the year stats report showed me that my blog was not forgotten. People were finding it and enjoying the experiences and resources I had to share. So, based on numbers alone, these are my top ten posts of 2014:
1. Apps to learn Korean
10 Great Apps That Teach Hangul is by far the most popular on my blog. It is at the top of the stats list every single day. My guess is that it is because it is information on a topic that just doesn’t have a lot of coverage. Korean is not a major language most of the popular software companies offer. But there are many people out there wanting to learn Korea.
2. Myths about living in South Korea
The second most visited page on my blog. Myths About Being Stationed In Korea gets a lot of hits from soldiers and their family members who either just found out they are headed overseas or who want to get stationed overseas.
It also gets a lot of strange search engine hits like “how to find a Korean girlfriend” and “where to not get stationed in the Army”. But I’m glad that my post is at least throwing some truth out there where rumors abound. Korea is a safe, wonderful place to be stationed with your family. If you have the chance, go. Remain positive. Make the most of your experience. Don’t be one of THOSE people.
3. Not every homeschooler has to be an entrepreneur
Early in 2014 it seemed that the unschooling and homeschooling world had gone crazy with hackschooling, entrepreneurship, and stories about uber-successful kids that had PhD’s before they were out of diapers.
When I wrote Why does every homeschooler have to be an entrepreneur? – I was simply responding to the idea that our idea of success might not be the same as our child’s definition. That our kids don’t have to be prodigies. They can simply be themselves.
This post went viral, and I got a lot of good feedback. Lots of other moms felt the same pressure, saw the same scramble. It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of “what if” and our expectations for “success”.
Don’t let that fear rule you. It gets especially dangerous in the older grades when the idea of college and a job come into play.
If you think that there is some strategy, curriculum, or philosophy that will guarantee your kids “turn out right”, have success in their endeavors, or make it into the best colleges – I’m going to burst your bubble.
Every family dynamic is different. Evey situation is different. Every kid is different.
4. A lapbook for Charlotte’s Web
We love making literature and history lapbooks, and you can look forward to a new one here in a few weeks! We are creating our own lapbook for you to download and use – based on one of our favorite books.
5. Military expat essentials for Korea
Again, people are in need of good information about living in Korea. Military Expat Essentials is geared towards soldiers and their families who are stationed in the Land of the Morning Calm.
6. Using Pinterest to strew
People love using Pinterest because it is easy to visually organize your ideas and interests. This leads naturally to unschooling, and especially for strewing ideas for your kiddos!
Strewing Through Pinterest explains how I use Pinterest to create interesting boards for my kids. And I list several boards that you can follow to get ideas for sharing.
7. Homemade lacing cards
This is an old post that I need to update, but making your own lacing cards is easy with some cardboard, workbook or magazine images, and some Mod Podge!
When the girls were younger they loved lacing up their cards in the car and at church.
8. How to record unschooling learning for middle school
This is probably one of my favorite posts. Delight Directed 7th Grade came from getting constant questions about how we would unschool in the upper grades, how to create a transcript for graduating high school, and how we would help a child who wanted to pursue college without using a packaged curriculum.
I learned a long time ago that your homeschooling journey does not remain stagnant, your family is ever-evolving and so what works one year might need to be updated and changed the next. I plan to make an update post about how Raven is doing in 8th grade and how we are planning on entering the dreaded high school years next year.
But this post is a good reference point for resources and ideas on doing a relaxed, delight-directed middle school.
9. Resources for game design and programming
This is a new post, so I was very pleased to see it listed on my top stats!
Over 100 resources for kids who want to be game designers and programmers, this list includes everything from free software, ebooks on programming, the history of video games, game theory, and much more.
Even if your kids don’t plan on designing video games for a living, these resources help build computer skills, critical thinking, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge!
10. Using Evernote to plan and record homeschool
Informational posts always make great content because people search how to do things all the time. In this post, I not only tell you but I show you via video how I use Evernote to make up a weekly learning list and share it with my kiddos.
After each activity is checked off, that list can also serve as my homeschool record. I can print it off and put it in my record binder, copy and paste it into a document to save, or just keep it online for easy access across all my devices. Genius.
These are the most visited posts on my blog this past year. Looking at what I’ve accomplished gives me motivation to continue sharing our homeschool journey. People are out there, they are finding my blog useful.
I’m going to focus on having more fun sharing our journey and not worry so much about having perfect posts. I’m going to write more and procrastinate less. I’m excited to see what 2015 brings, and to share it with you!