Last week I had a five days with all three kids enrolled in various day camps, and me at home alone, able to write for uninterrupted hours on end. Such time alone is rare for a homeschooling parent, as I’m sure you can imagine. It has happened precisely three times in my life as a mother–once last summer and twice (gasp!) this summer.
As you can see from the post title, this was a week to be used, ostensibly, for writing. And I did some of that. I revised an essay about traveling with our kids in Spain, for the zillionth time, and sent it out for a third ride on the rejection merry-go-round. I started a new essay on the self-imposed sanity that I’m calling “homeschooling my MFA”. But what I did, mostly, was get this blog up and running.
Which should have been a simple task, if I had simply gone to wordpress.com and chosen one of their hosted, pre-designed blogs. But no-o-o. I had to decide to design and host my own blog, with my own website and my own server. Why? Because I fixate on superficial things like page layout and font colors.
I’m not sure I would have done it if I’d realized that my learning curve would be as steep as a black diamond ski run. I started this project in April, for heaven’s sake. But this book helped. As did my belief that you can learn anything if you’re tenacious enough to dig through help files and support forums.
I learned a bunch of terms that a few months ago would have made as much sense to me as Swedish. I learned how to edit a CSS style sheet with the proper HTML code on my MySQL database so I could upload it via FTP and then drag it to the theme files of my content folder. I’m astounded that that sentence makes sense to me; even more astounded that I was actually able to do it. And that was simply what it took to make my links appear this particular shade of green.
I’m just glad that you and my kids weren’t here last Wednesday to see me swearing and crying when I tried to upgrade to the newest version of WordPress, and found myself in the deep end of the pool with the water far over my head. I lost everything and had to start from scratch. But I’ll know how to upgrade next time!
So I didn’t get a lot of writing done last week, but I got this thing up and running. And I think I learned enough to impress my 16-year-old. Maybe.
It feels so good to teach yourself something. It’s one of the best parts of homeschooling. And it isn’t just for the kids.