18 Feb 2013

Vanity blogging

Hello everyone.

Our beautiful daughter was part of the team that won the Junior Girls Basketball Grand Final last night. We are very proud.

The other day a dear friend described the kind of blogging I do here 'vanity blogging'. I'd never thought of it like that before, and I've been thinking quite a lot about it this week. It is quite a confronting thought actually.

Now obviously a post like this is a bit boastful, I'll admit. But it's not me showing off about me, it's me skiting about my daughter's success, and she really loves it when people congratulate her on a job well done. I figure that I'm doing it for her. And the team, of course.

So what about other posts? My friend who mentions vanity blogging writes erudite academic philosophical posts. I love them, and I love her blog, and I love her, and I admire her wisdom greatly. Occasionally I write that type of post too. Only rarely, because I'm just not that sort of clever person. Sometimes I write about Charlotte Mason's philosophy of education, only I don't do it nearly as well as my friend. I don't really like telling other people what they should do. I don't mind explaining how I implement Miss Mason's philosophy in my home, but goodness - you're a grown up - who am I to tell you what to do in yours? (Not that my friend does this either, by the way.)

I think my forte is living a Charlotte Mason lifestyle. I am passionate about this type of education, I am well read about my subject, and I want to help others to live it it in their homes too. I love literature, I love science, I love geography, I love languages - both English and foreign, I love the performing arts, I love raising my daughter to glorify God and to enjoy him, I love the homeschooling life. I first started A Peaceful Day because I thought I had something to say about living a Charlotte Mason lifestyle here in Australia. I hoped I could help others Australianise predominantly American curricula to make them work for us here in the Antipodes. Mostly I wanted other Aussies to use Ambleside Online, because I believe it helps us better than any other curriculum to implement a type of education that is as close as possible as that that Miss Mason implemented in her own schools and correspondence lessons. That was my aim.

To this end I post about the books we read, the traditions we celebrate, the meals we cook, the holidays we take. I tell you about the Australian books that, in my opinion at least, measure up to the exacting standards Miss Mason had for books in her English schools. I blog about new books. Isn't it wonderful that living books are still being written!

On the way I tell you about some of my interests too, so that you know me as a person. A liberal education of the type that Miss Mason advocates allows us have to have varying interests as wide and diverse as wabi sabi aesthetics, South East Asian textiles, human genetics, gardening, Asian cookery, Reformed theology and travel in countries far and wide. I talk to you about these things because they interest me. They might not interest you, but at least it gives you an idea of the person behind the screen as it were. I love knowing more about the folks who write the blogs I read. I love knowing about the friends who read the blog I write as well. Maybe you like to know about me. I don't know, but that's why I write about myself.

For what it's worth, I don't write about my life because I have an overinflated opinion of myself. I do not assume you want to know all about me. Actually, if you do, you'll be rather disappointed. There are many parts if my life that are not very peaceful. They're not Charlotte Masonesque in the slightest. Those bits rarely get an airing in cyberspace, though. I don't need to air my dirty washing. I don't need you to know when I yell at my daughter and when I'm angry with my husband and when my best friend does something silly. Or when I do. They happen, but I don't need to write them down. I don't need to remember them forever, and I don't need you to either.

So is this blog mere vanity? Sometimes, I guess it is. If you'll look at my sidebar I tell you I've been nominated a few times for Homeschool Blog Awards. I'm pleased about that, and I'm really grateful to the lovely ones who nominated me and voted for me, but I'm under no illusion that my blog is in the same league as the ones who actually win that award. I am incredibly gratified if people follow me on Google Friend Connect or on our Facebook Page, and especially if you feel lead to leave me a comment. That really delights me because it means that someone is actually reading what I write.

Is that vanity? Maybe, but sort of not really because I don't write A Peaceful Day for me. I am not a journal keeper. I write it for you, and if nobody likes what I'm saying then I'd rather stop and spend more time with my family.

Have I succeeded in my original aim? Not yet. There are not hundreds of people using Ambleside Online's wonderful curriculum because of me. I do hope, however, that there are many who are implementing Mason's methods and who see how it looks in my home.

If that's what a vanity blog is then I guess A Peaceful Day is one. It's not why I write it though. I hope you know that.

Now. Back to Jemimah. Her team won the basketball. Without their best player. She's the one on crutches above. And with their coach in hospital. It was a close game, but a good one. And they won. My daughter won. And I, for one, am very delighted. And if that is what vanity is, well so be it. I'm not often thought of as vain, I don't think, but maybe I am after all. I'm certainly very proud of my daughter.



  1. I love knowing the *you* behind the headlines, so to speak. I don't think it's vanity at all. How else can we really get to know each other in cyber~space? I've never met you ~ yet. It is a pleasure worth anticipating because I suspect we shall have a great deal to talk about ~ but I know that from what you write here day by day & what you share of your life. You are one of my *on~line treasures*. I am grateful for every one of them. ♥

  2. Congrats to Jemimah!! Well done:)

    I'd call your blog a 'slice of life' blog, they are my favourite sorts of blogs, the ones I consistently read. Slice of life blogs are a mixture, children posts ( and I certainly hope they contain terrific wins like these:) your interests, whether these be books or craft, cooking etc, your educational journey and your thoughts, obviously I'm attracted to your thoughts and certainly your writing style.

    So no I don't see these as vanity posts at all. I see this as a slice of life, a life lived joyfully:) with ups and downs, wins and losses. Love your blog!!:):){{}}

  3. I have always supposed vanity to refer to one's looks or physical appearance. Are you sure this is indeed a vanity blog? Perhaps I missed a dissertation on your gorgeous cheekbones or how lucky you are to have naturally slender genes.

    So lovely that Jemimah smiles even when she's blocking the opposition!

  4. Y'know, I have a thing about my cheekbones...or lack thereof. Where do you put blusher when your cheeks have no apples? Nice to see you here, your chookiness. xx

  5. Ditto what Erin said. She said just what I wanted to say. "Slice of life" - I like that!

    Way to go, Jemimah and team!!

  6. I sometimes wonder why I write a blog and think it might be a bit silly sometimes! I also never know where I fit as I don't home school, my children are grown up and I work full time . I like you blog and never thought it was a vanity blog in any way. It's very refreshing as you don't lecture others on how things "should" be. Keep up the good work. And we'll done to your daughter:)))

  7. Hi Jeanne! If the general consensus is that "slice of life" blogs could also be termed vanity blogs, then I must add my two cents: those are the best ones! I love that I've made new friends (whether we meet in person in this life is a trifling detail); connected with people around the globe; learned a LOT along the way; and bettered my life in all possible ways by reading so-called vanity blogs.

  8. Hi Jeanne.
    Congrats to Jemimah! What a precious smile.

    I enjoy your blog. It is not vain to me and I think one can safely say it is not a vanity blog.

    It is not what you blog about, but how you write about it. One can write about academic topics and have a vain or prideful attitude, another can blog about something ordinary or not academic, and do it with a generous heart.

    Whatever you write or blog about, you do it with passion, wits, and love.

    Keep writing!

  9. I look at blogging the way I look at other media. If you don't like it, don't read/watch it. I don't look at blogging as vain, I think they are a wonderful way to record life events. Whether you do it as a journal or not, you are, in fact, journaling. Those life moments, such as the flood, are a great reminder of where you have been and how far you have come in life. Personally, I prefer the posts about your life, your family, your gardening and crafts. I don't have children so the homeschooling posts don't really pertain to me. I have never, ever thought you as vain. Ever.

    Congrats to Jemimah! She will love looking back over your blog in years to come, just as I love going through my parent's scrapbook.

    Cindy Bee

  10. Good job, Jemimah!

    That same "vanity blogging" words stopped me for a moment when I read them, too. But then I just moved right on. I think you are perfectly fulfilling the purpose you have for your blog; you are THE Ambleside Online Australian blogger. Getting to know you through what you write makes it all the better!

  11. Good work, Jemimah!

    And I enjoy your blog for what it is--a snapshot of someone's life. I find your ideas helpful and inspiring and have used many of them in my own homeschool. I love your blog. I may never get to travel to Southeast Asia or Japan or learn to speak fabulous foreign languages, but it's lovely to hear about your adventures doing these things instead.

  12. I am experimenting myself with writing more about CM, but that's just because I was getting tired of posting about what we had for supper. Great basketball shots, great blog...keep doing what you're doing!

  13. Keep going! You know I love your blog.
    One thing that I find annoying is blogs in which the author gives no info. about themself. It is frustrating to read something for years and not know anything about the writer.
    It is so good to see a CM lifestyle incarnated. To see an idea in the flesh is necessary for many.
    By the way some people write books and charge money for what you are doing for nothing. So actually you should be thanked and appreciated - not critised.
    You showed me a way to do AO for my family.

  14. Sorry, spelling error!
    'criticised' not 'critised'
    Shame on me, a spelling fanatic too

  15. Vanity, vanity, all is vanity!!! So says King Solomon in his days of depression. I love this post as I felt as though I was sitting with you in your lounge room, I could hear your voice in my head. WELL DONE JEMIMAH, what a wonderful experience, we are all very proud of you too! You know what I think about your blog and you and your life. I LOVE IT!!!!

  16. Thanks, Louise. It is important to note that my friend was not criticising me. She just referred to the type of blogging I do as Vanity Blogging. That's all. It just made me question what I do.

  17. Vanity! Pfffft! What you are is an excellent hostess. I'm visiting your blog and you are gracious enough to let me in and chitchat about AO, MEP and your Australian way of life. Because of your blog I am in year two of mep and finishing up year one of AO. I have learned so much from your shared experience! Jemimah gives me hope that if I continue with the CM approach my results will be similar to yours.

    I think your hope of helping other Australian families may have been a little narrow because you helped this mom all the way over here in Texas.

    So thank you for the hospitality, it's what keeps me coming back!

  18. I think bloggers have their own niche and, for that reason, attract different readers. I enjoy reading your blog because you write about living out a Charlotte Mason lifestyle in Australian. How cool is that mate?

  19. Gosh Jeanne you post so much helpful info, your living a homeschooling lifestyle I think your allowed to be proud of your daughter's achievements, it completes the wonderful effort you put in and its a joy to read.


  20. "Slice of life"--yes, that's your blog. And those are some BIG differences in size on that bball court!

  21. I enjoy your personal touch, Jeanne. I think you're pretty honest also & I don't consider it vanity to delight in what our children are doing.

  22. I have only recently come across your blog. We're not CM homeschoolers, but I enjoy reading about your days, your daughter, your travels.

    "Vanity" is defined as "excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements". I wouldn't define how you blog (or my blog or many of the others I read and enjoy) as "excessive" - despite the fact they may all be labelled as "vanity blogs".

    There's a place for blogs like ours - we get to connect in a pretty real way! We don't have to change the world or write purrttyyy words. We just have to share ourselves (and hopefully not excessively).

  23. Oh Jeanne ! I'm so sorry I've been absent from blog land for a while and only saw this today:( well done Jemimah ! You are not a vanity blogger IMHO but a very well rounded and extremely generous blogger! Ditto to what Louise said....people write books and charge money for what you do so freely here:)

  24. I think you have a great press. I wonder if your friend does not quite know what "vanity blogger" means. I myself don't know what she means.

    Vanity press is when people self-publish. But blogs are all self-published, and what's more they are free. So anyway, I am wondering if she was thinking of vanity press?

  25. Sorry, great "blog". Not "press."


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