ten years on the wonder farm

July 18, 2018

Wonder Farm is ten years old today! I hope you’ll indulge me in some reminiscing. And then maybe you’ll wish a happy birthday in the comments–I’m giving away books to bribe you!

 

 

 

 

one.

I first hit publish on July 18, 2008. Like everyone, I want to be Soule Mama. I dabble in craft posts–a knitting project here, a cookie post there–but am not very good at it. My photos are ill-framed and blurry, taken with my daughter’s point-and-shoot. I write a couple of posts a week and feel it isn’t enough. My oldest goes to high school in the fall–the first time we aren’t all homeschooling. I record questions my youngest asks at six, like, “Is being an ice cream man a good job?” And, “Do ants have pupils?” And, “How did John McCain fight big tobacco?” A reader named Carrie googles the words waldorf and guilt and finds her way right here. (And will go on to leave over 100 comments over the years and will, nine years later, become my daily writing accountability buddy.) I share how an essay I’d written about a family trip to Spain has been rejected four times, having no idea that ten years later I will still be rewriting that essay. Upon hearing Obama’s election speech I write, “But the fact that we’ll have a president who can speak with eloquence thrills my mind. I’m delighted that we’ve elected a president who seems so, well, presidential,” once again having no idea what is to come. I set out on a Year of Excellent Essayists, studying the craft, recording favorite lines, Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking becoming a favorite book, even though it isn’t a collection of essays. I write a few posts about writing with my kids and discover that people are interested in what I have to say. I think I might write a book about it.

two.

I put our homeschooling style into words that seem to resonate. My photos get better. Through the blog I meet Molly, who becomes a friend in real life. I am proclaimed a Master of Spunkiness. Since these are the days when search terms are not yet hidden from reports, I record some favorite searches that lead people to my blog, like wow she stunning and I don’t like Sandra Dodd and Where is Bon Jovi’s house and Pokemon satin evil little children. My favorite book of essays that fall is Michael Chabon’s Manhood for Amateurs. I write about my boys making a film together, and it seems so long ago now that it feels like a fairy tale. I begin to glimpse what an infomaniac my youngest is, and how destined I am to feel clueless around him. I write about my oldest turning eighteen and coming into his own as a filmmaker.

three.

We leave leave that oldest kid at college in New York City, 3,000 miles from home. Meanwhile, kid #2 goes to high school. To distract myself, I start writing about taking dictation from kids. I write about more search engine terms that lead people to me, including troll mothering and pokemon ate patricia and do goblins attack fairy dishes? I have a dear-to-my-heart essay published about my girl and her dreams of singing, in a magazine now defunct, by a lovely mother-editor who has since passed away. I rant about the five-paragraph essay. Which leads me to spend months researching and writing a feature article about how writing education has become more and more formulaic in the the past fifteen years, only to have the article get roundly rejected. We take our youngest to China and I blog about it, though the post is so photo-heavy it doesn’t seem to load. I suck down Mary Karr’s Lit. I answer the question why homeschool? I write about hosting a history fair and the post manages, in the years since, to get pinned over 3,000 times. I’m still posting, for the most part, once a week.

four.

I write about prefrontal cortexes, the fourth grade slump and writing in a post that still claims one of the weirdest titles despite being a personal favorite. The third kid at home, still homeschooling with me, digs into California history and we live like cooks and militia during the time of Russian settlement on the north coast, and like miners during the gold rush. I begin writing an awful lot about kids and writing–too many posts to link though you can find them here–and find that as I go deep into content, I post less often. I enjoy the book The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food by Adam Gopnik. I write another post that morphs into an article called How Do Kids REALLY Learn to Write that is eventually viewed here a mind-boggling 25,612 times. The comments and dialogue on that post over the years make me very happy. I try to tell Seth Godin why he and other school reformers shouldn’t dismiss homeschooling and while he doesn’t pay attention, other people show up in the comments and we talk. Mr. T draws an infographic about Avengers characters and their interestingness and manages to attract the attention of the Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times, who makes his own stunning Avengers visualizations and gives inspiration credit to my kid.

five.

Readers and I try a little experiment and manage to get my blog to show up on page one of a Google search for “homeschool writing.” (I’ve long since been demoted.) A favorite book is Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several Short Sentences about Writing with its assertion that “most of what you think you know about writing is useless.” I take a chapter from the writing book for parents I’m working on, expand it, and self-publish a book on facilitating writer’s workshops. I’ve only sold a few hundred copies over the years, but have heard back from many enthusiastic workshop facilitators and that’s enough for me. I take my youngest to New York to act in the student film of my oldest and thrill, like in the old days, at watching two of my kids get creative together. I write a series on becoming a writing mentor to your child that takes a lot of time and continues on for months, even as my heart begins shifting away from writing a book on helping parents with kids’ writing. One fine Wednesday in April, a homeschooling co-op links to my How Do Kids REALLY Learn to Write post and Wonder Farm gets a whopping 1,888 views in a single day. Not that those visitors seem to stick around, but it’s fun while it lasts. My kid finally finishes his epic periodic table of Marvel characters. On Wonder Farm’s fifth anniversary I gush about my uncommonly wonderful readers and beg you to wish the blog a happy birthday. Sixty-four of you show up and make my day.

six.

I begin to wonder what I’m doing with this blog, what I should offer. I go over a month without blogging. I let myself play with the idea of writing personal essays again, which has always been my first love. I watch my girl turn 18 and offer 18 things that I love about her. My youngest makes infographics about the video game League of Legends and I have no idea that he’ll still be a maniac for the game four years later. My girl lets me help her brainstorm her college essays, which honors me, but later panics me, when I realize her Common App essay–In Which She Bashes Traditional Schooling–is a little risky, but then it goes on to win a scholarship essay contest, with no small help from Wonder Farm readers who upvote it into the final round. Getting back to my essayist roots, I publish an essay on my family’s love for Lemony Snicket and then fully commit to getting back to essay-writing. I write my first–essayistic–quarterly column for home/school/life magazine. A favorite book that summer is Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton.

seven.

We drop our second kid at college in New York City, and I write about how coming home to her empty bedroom is the hardest part. I barely eke out a post a month here. I do manage to write about how loud my family is. I’m beginning to think about writing a memoir of our homeschooling lives and want my kids’ blessing. They agree, so long as I agree to title it Family of Geniuses, à la Etheline’s book in The Royal Tenenbaums. I scarf down the anthology The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage: True Tales of Food, Family and How We Learned to Eat. I turn fifty and dance and dance and dance. I go to a writing conference where Cheryl Strayed starts my heart spinning and I find my posts here becoming farther between and more like short essays.

eight.

My youngest and I begin our last year homeschooling and its start is bittersweet. We celebrate that last year of freedom by taking an RV trip to Utah with his dad and older brother in the fall. Finally ready to dig into my memoir, I take an online class–in that same RV post, I note how much time I’m spending in our earliest homeschooling days. I wonder what kind of blogger I even am anymore and manage a December post with actual craft photos and recipe links, like I’d tried so hard to do in my early blogging days. I write about homeschooling my MFA and how I color-code essays I admire late into the night. I get interviewed on a podcast. I admit that my youngest says he doesn’t like reading, debate his reasoning, worry and wonder over it. I get nostalgic hosting our final history fair, the tenth of ten, and my kid goes meta and displays a history of history fairs. I go back to the River Teeth Nonfiction Conference and write about how much I love presenter Ana Maria Spagna’s essay collection, Potluck. I only write eight posts over the course of the my eighth blogging year and the annual comments comprise about the same number as I’d received on my fifth birthday post alone. Still, the commenters who show up are loyal and chatty and make me want to keep going.

nine.

My youngest goes to high school and for the first time in twenty years, I’m no longer a homeschooler. I announce that I’m reinventing myself and many of you kindly drop by to encourage me. I fall hard for Jenny Offill’s collaged novel (that reads like a memoir) Dept. of Speculation. I admit–in my own collaged way– that a year into trying to write my memoir, I’m still figuring out how to do it. I feel a little lost, not quite sure what I’m doing, write about change–learning to write differently, to build muscle, to leave behind my magazine column, to march in a pussy hat. Then I go and lose my beloved coffee cup and we all lose Amy Krouse Rosenthal and I worry about making the most of my time here. I can’t figure out if I should be writing about homeschooling since I hope to someday have a memoir on the topic, or about writing, which is what fills my days. Readers respond to my posts, but often in my links on Facebook and Instagram, rather than here. Still, a reader is a reader, and I’m grateful. I go off-course and write a post about menopause.  Another collaged one, a form I’m coming to love. Another year; another mere eight posts.

ten.

I keep writing about writing–about my love for the lyric essay and the writing conference I attend with my daughter. Megan Stielstra’s collection The Wrong Way to Save Your Life shows me what lyric essays can be. I’ve put my memoir aside to try to get some essays published but am not having much luck with that. I think of 2017 as my year of rejection but try not to get discouraged. I’m coming to understand that I wasn’t ready to write my memoir two years ago. I’m learning; I’m getting closer. I keep rewriting that essay about the trip to Spain I mentioned in my very first year of blogging–somehow my homeschooled MFA thesis seems to have taken the form of a single essay. I worry that I’m not offering much here for homeschoolers and try out a little series on Instagram for a month–and really do mean to get back to it. But revisiting ten years of posts helps me see that I do have plenty to offer homeschoolers: I have ten years of writing and it’s all still here. People say blogging is dead. And maybe I’m acting as if I believe that–counting this post, I’ve written a grand total of four times this year. Compare that with 75 posts in year one. Still, this isn’t Facebook, it isn’t Instagram; it’s my own little space, cobbled together ten years ago with a very minimal understanding of code and some hope. I write whatever I want and publish without a gatekeeper to reject me. And then, delight of delights, what’s always been best about this space: readers respond. I’ve kept this thing going for ten years because of you. You taught me that I had something to say; you inspired me to say it better. You opened your hearts and told me your fears. You let me encourage you and you encouraged me right back.

Believe me when I say, I still get the same ping of glee I got ten years ago when an email shows up in my inbox with a subject line that reads: comment for you at [wonderfarm]

* * *

So once more on my blog’s birthday, would you consider leaving a comment and saying hello? I know I don’t have as many readers as I once did–and I never had a big audience to begin with–but my stats tell me you’re dropping by and I’d love to know who you are and to thank you.

To encourage you: I’m giving away books for this birthday! They’re always the best presents, after all. Leave a comment here before August 18, when I’ll randomly choose two commenters. I’ve mentioned ten beloved books above; if you’re a winner I’ll contact you and ask you to choose one of them. And then I’ll mail it your way. With love. xo.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Kortney Garrison July 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm

Trying to piece together when I found you…I think it was around year four with the infographics! (Just search for you on *my* blog–2012 is the first of many happy times I’ve pointed people to this wonderful place.)

Can’t wait to read the homeschooling memoir. It’s going to be epic!

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Nicola July 19, 2018 at 8:46 am

Kortney, the Internet makes the world such a small place and narrows the 6 degrees of separation. You don’t know me, but I recognize your name from listening to you on The Homeschool Sisters podcast. 🙂

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Love that!

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Thank you, Kortney and so many thanks for pointing your readers to me over the years, my fellow homeschooled MFA candidate! 🙂

I have a plan for the memoir this fall. This thing is going to get written! xo.

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Natalie July 19, 2018 at 4:43 am

Happy blogging birthday. I’m still in the thick of homeschooling and starting to think about college for my oldest, so it’s always nice to hear about successful homeschooled kids and their families. I’ll keep reading as long as you keep posting! (That’s what a feed reader is perfect for – your stuff just shows up, no matter how long it’s been since you posted.)

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Thank you for following with you reader, Natalie! I figured that you and Kortney use readers–you both commented before I linked on social media or my subscriber email went out. 🙂

Are you on Instagram, and do you follow Heather of Beauty that Moves? Her post about her college-aged daughter yesterday was super inspiring! https://www.instagram.com/p/BlYEfmCgfwU/?taken-by=heather_bruggeman

Thanks for reading!

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Nicola July 19, 2018 at 8:41 am

Tricia, Hello! I smiled my way through your blog summary memories. I deeply remember your post about coming home to your daughter’s empty room after leaving her at college, I smiled my way through your memories of which I have similar ones, given our location (Russian militia…in our case clerks, hunters, and artisans, Waldorf guilt, and a Trip Through Time), and I am still around, occasionally blogging, my blog having also been inspired a decade ago by other bloggers and having gone through its own waves of readership. I am so glad to know you just a little bit in real life!

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 12:53 pm

Hi Nicola! Thank you for saying hello here! I remember you first from writing workshops at Hickman, years ago. 🙂 Now we are forever bonded by a big box of K’nex. <3

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Idzie Desmarais July 19, 2018 at 9:54 am

I’ve loved your writings on writing for years! And your discussion of the ways homeschoolers in particular can learn to write and write well so closely match what my own family did when my sister and I were growing up… Best wishes for many more years of blogging! 🙂

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Hi Idzie! Yep, you are living evidence for how the style of encouragement I promote here can work! You’re an unschooler and you can write! (haha–duh!) Happy tenth anniversary of doing that very thing yourself!

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Chris July 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Happy 10th Anniversary to the blog! I have truly enjoyed seeing pieces of our life through your beautiful posts over the past decade. The photos oftentimes bring a tear or great joy (or sometimes both at the same time). – Chris

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Aw, thanks for reading, sweetie. You know how much that means to me. (But I’m not putting you in the running for the book giveaway. Your wife buys too many books as it is.)

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Jen July 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

I’ve been reading (and sometimes rereading) your blog for years. I’ve got your Workshop book and have run two years’ worth of workshops for kids from it. And I get a “ping of glee” when my email tells me Wonderfarm has another post. I even have a quote from you hanging from my computer screen to remind me not to over-correct my daughter when I’m taking her dictation (bite that tongue!). Thanks for all the work this blog has stored on it and for keeping it here so I can keep coming back .

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:12 pm

Aw, Jen. Hearing that what I’ve written is helpful (and sometimes worth a re-read) means so much to me. I’m thrilled you’ve facilitated workshops for two years–you’re helping writers become! And thank you for reading *for years*. xo!

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Michele July 19, 2018 at 11:41 am

Happy blogiversary to a woman who has quietly influenced both my homeschool and writing life. I think I found you through Renee Tougas’ blog (back when it was called FIMBY). When was that—five, six years ago maybe? I suppose the When doesn’t really really matter so much because I immediately began mining your entire blog for insight. I’m deeply introverted in real-life and only just beginning to warm-up my online voice. Still wondering if I belong, if what I have to say resonates with anyone—or if I come off just as awkward online as I feel in face-to-face interactions. I see you and so many others putting themselves out there, though, and I am encouraged. Thank you for being someone to model. You write beautifully.

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Oh, you have been reading for quite a while, Michele! Thank you! I’m so glad we finally connected on Instagram. Introverts unite! To hear that I’ve “quietly influenced” means more than you know. Keep writing and putting your voice out there. There’s no right way to do it–be you! xo.

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Janet July 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

Hello and happy 10th!
Such a friendly number-10.
I have followed you for more than 10 in your homeschooling, writing, blogging life and you have always inspired. With me in a non-traditional school setting, and you in your well-imagined, thoughtful homeschool world, we have always shared the thread of following children (ours and others) and having the privilege to do so. Reading and re-reading, sharing and discussing your work is joyful stuff. If you continue for another 10, I will be here. Lots will be here. -J

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Following children and having the privilege to do so–that’s it in a nutshell.

I adore you, my friend!

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Joy July 19, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Happy blog birthday! I have not been lucky enough to read your blog from the beginning, but this post was an excellent summary of what I’ve missed. I imagine it was fun for you to look back at all you’ve experienced and written in ten years. It’s quite an accomplishment!

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Hi Joy! Thanks so much for stopping by! It really was fun to comb through all the posts in writing this one–I hadn’t seen some of the early-years ones for a long time. They cracked me up. I’m so glad I got to meet you this year, and look forward to more sharing-the-love-of-writing!

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Catherine Trahan July 19, 2018 at 1:43 pm

Oh my goodness, does time fly. I loved reading this list of lists with posts highlighted so I can go back and reflect again about whatever the topic was. So many memories, it has been a treat. And yes, I have your writer’s workshop manual and just looked through it within the past two months. Happy Birthday!

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patricia July 19, 2018 at 1:51 pm

Oh, CathyT, here’s another reason blogs are fun: I can go back and search my comments and see that you’ve been showing up since 2011 and have commented 35 times! Since the first comment of yours I can find, here: http://patriciazaballos.com/2011/02/22/learning-in-the-new-millennium-part-2/ You are such a gift to me–surely one of my most regular commenters, and always with something meaty to say. Thank you for reading, writing back to me and sharing the joys of having grown children and younger ones at home all at once. big x and o to you!

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CathyT July 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

Oh goodness, and I am still trying to figure out how to negotiate computer time and use and everything related to it, lol. Sure, I have flipped and flopped over limits and no limits. My second kid is now working full-time in the computer industry, hee hee. I always tell my kids that we, my dh and I, make the best decisions we can based upon our best knowledge and we do the best we can. So we flip and flop from time to time as we feel necessary. Ack, parenting is hard. And you have a good community of thoughtful readers and commenters.

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Mary July 19, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Another delight – discovering new friends also love the same blog (Cathy and I became pen pals 4 years ago, about the same tim as I found wonderfarm :). Hi Cathy!!

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:40 pm

I love that! Cathy is a very special, loyal reader. 🙂

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Mary July 19, 2018 at 6:34 pm

What a wonderful reflection on ten years! I found you (and your writing about writing with kids) when I started homeschooling four years ago. I write, and it was delightful to listen and read and watch another homeschooling mom/writer do it. I remember your posts about the kids leaving home, and the passing of Amy, and the losing of the cup. And have loved seeing your Instagram posts lately about making sense of the early moments and what your children are now doing with their interests. I just started reading your year of essayists posts, I am in an Annie Dillard binge phase myself right now, and am beyond excited to read some of the others you talk about. I’ve slways loved your genuine and authentic voice. I’d happily read whatever you write, wherever I can find it 🙂

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Hi Mary! I’m always especially delighted to meet fellow homeschooling parent/writers. Thank you for reading along all this time! I found you on Instagram. 🙂 Also, I have a special place in my heart for people who read my Excellent Essayists posts. Even though those posts are old, if you comment there, I’ll see it–and we can keep chatting! I sort of wish I had time to write more of those posts. I learned so much from writing them. Thank you so much for saying hello!

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Deborah Casado July 19, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Tricia, really enjoyed your 10 year anniversary piece. Congratulations on a big successful project that always shows your warmth, love and humor. ❤️

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Thank you for taking the time to come by and read and send such kind wishes, Deborah. xo!

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Jennifer July 20, 2018 at 6:20 am

Congratulations on 10 years, Tricia! I love getting the email of a new post and I always open and read them ASAP (even if I don’t write a comment). You offer insight into what lies ahead for a homeschooling family and that gives me hope and support as my family forges ahead. You have my gratitude and admiration. Thank you for continuing to write here. Good luck on your next 10 years of writing 🙂

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Aw, I’m honored that you open and actually read my posts, Jennifer. (Subscribers are the best!) You are entering your own wonderful, bittersweet time with your kiddos. But once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler. Our hearts and minds have been rewired. Best of luck on your new adventures, and I hope I see you before too long! xo!

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Meliss July 20, 2018 at 6:36 pm

Hi Babe!
I’m too late to win a book as I’m responding (for the first time ever) after your deadline and I don’t care because I need to tell you how much inspiration and happiness you bring me from all of your wonder forms of communicating. You bring so much laughter and good to this world. You spark my interest in so many things I never knew I would love. Thank you for being here on the web and in person. You’re a gem and I adore you.
Meliss

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm

Hiya Babe! You most certainly are not too late–the deadline is August 18! It means a lot when my real life friends take the time to read and say hello here. <3 Thank you for seeing me through your loving, generous eyes. I adore you right back, sweet pea!

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Sarah M July 21, 2018 at 11:53 am

Happy 10th Birthday. I love how you reflected on these past 10 years of blogging, with a bit of personal bits thrown in. I’m not entirely sure when I started reading your words, but I think it was about 3 years ago. It’s one of the few blogs I ‘click over’ to read and savor the whole thing, when I have down time. Cheers!

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 1:53 pm

Oh, thank you for actually reading my longwinded posts, Sarah! I’m deeply grateful to have my work savored. 🙂 And I just looked it up–you left your first comment almost four years ago. I know you comment often. I’m very grateful for that too. All the best!

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Gloria July 21, 2018 at 5:08 pm

Happy 10th anniversary! And thank you for sharing for 10 years in whatever degree is working for you. Like other commenters, I was trying to figure out how long I had been reading but its hard because I’ve read so many of your past posts. And that summary was wonderful and just filled my pocket with a quite a bit of reading.

I read Dept. of Speculation not long ago, mostly because you mentioned it here and it was a kick in the gut! I think that’s a good thing in a book.

Looking forward to reading here and the homeschool memoir.

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Thank you for reading along, Gloria! I did see that a few years back you said you were reading your my old posts while nursing your baby, so maybe that gives you a clue on timing. 🙂 Yes, Dept. of Speculation creeps up on you! I loved that book.

Thank you for continuing to show up here!

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wanderingsue July 21, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Thank you so much for your blog, my dear. My H will be ten in a couple of months, and I am a much better home ed Mama, thanks to you. Happy, happy blog birthday, and big love.

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patricia July 21, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Ten! Isn’t that crazy? When I was rereading old posts to write this one, I saw it was during my five-year-birthday post that I mentioned you’d been reading all my posts and commenting on them–I can’t believe that was five years ago! So it makes sense that your boy is ten and you’ve got this thing figured out. (As much as one can figure things out until some new kink shows up and you have to refigure!) I will always be extra delighted to see a message from you, my dear wanderingsue. Thank you for coming back again and again. xo!

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Cathy D. July 23, 2018 at 8:07 pm

Happy 10 years of writing and sharing wonderfarm with us! I enjoyed your look back on these 10 years. I find myself routinely perusing your past posts for ideas on my family’s homeschooling path. Thank you for creating this space.

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:46 pm

Thank you for reading along and commenting for so long, Cathy! I love hearing that readers come back and read past posts–that means so much to me. (Please pardon the late response–I was traveling.) xo!

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Kat July 24, 2018 at 6:01 am

I love your blog. It’s one of the few I really read every post. And I love love love your book on writing workshops for kids and recommend it all the time.

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:47 pm

Aw, thank you for reading every post, Kat. And I know you’ve been a cheerleader for my book–I so appreciate that! xo!

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Ammie July 24, 2018 at 11:56 am

Congratulations. So much to think about here, about homeschooling, mentoring writing, and pursuing my own interests. This is a happy space, a learning space.

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Thank you for coming by and saying hello, Ammie! Nice to meet you here and on Instagram!

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Adriana July 24, 2018 at 4:59 pm

I think I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning, but never commented. A fellow homeschooling mom introduced your Wonderfarm blog about 10 years ago, when she heard me lament about my middle daughter. She started reading at age 7, and writing at about age 10, when she decided she was going to be a writer. I tried encourage her to keep a journal, but I believe, because of my experimenting with different/several writing courses almost every new school year, all my children lost interest in writing, though I’ve tried to encourage them through reading to them, mostly the classics, even as they were in high school. I think, perhaps because there were some gaps in your blogging/writing days, I thought your blog/website wasn’t “around” anymore. Whenever there was a new post, I would read it and tried to incorporate it into my children’s journey of writing. I was quite happy to read your last ” 10 year anniversary” blog, and shared it with my children. My reluctant writer, middle daughter, who graduated from a public high school with is going to North Dakota, where she’ll be running Cross Country, and she’s majoring in Communication and Journalism.
Thanks for 10 years of Wonderfarming.
Adriana

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Oh, Adriana, you’ve been reading since the beginning? Thank you! How exciting that your “reluctant writer” daughter plans to study Communication and Journalism! It sounds like you were helping her appreciate writing, even if you didn’t think you were. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment after all these years, and I wish you the best! (Apologies for the late reply–I was traveling.)

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Emily Daly Ferguson July 26, 2018 at 3:11 am

wow I don’t even remember when i first found you,although this whole post feels quite familiar. Just came back tonight in search of writing workshop support and found your home school essay on the side bar,how could i have missed that gem. printing and sending forthwith to all my homeschooling friends. Stick around its great to hear your voice.

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:56 pm

Ooh, you came back looking for writing workshop support–THAT’S just the sort of encouraging feedback I like to hear! I’m glad you enjoyed the essay, Emily, and thanks so much for sharing it. And thanks for saying hello!

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Courtney July 26, 2018 at 6:18 am

Hi from WooooooodlandSchoooooool on IG!
I love this post … and I love all the book recommendations!
Thanks for sharing … and happy blog birthday!!!

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 6:57 pm

Oh, hey there! Isn’t it funny that I didn’t realize your name was Courtney? You are simply WooooooodlandSchoooooool to me! Thanks so much for saying hello here, and for all the positive encouragement on IG! xo!

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Alanna Peterson August 4, 2018 at 6:56 am

I’m a bit late to the party (as usual) but just wanted to drop by and wish you a happy blog birthday! Congrats on reaching the 10-year milestone! I still enjoy reading your posts, and will always have a soft spot for your blog, as one of your posts gave me the inspiration I needed to start writing my first novel. I’ve since written four more, though I’m still working on the publication piece (you know how that goes! Sigh). My son, who is now 8, recently dictated his own first novel to me, and it was such fun to be present while he got lost in the glorious creation process. So, thank you for all the inspiration over the years, and for continuing to share your stories with us!

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patricia August 11, 2018 at 7:06 pm

You may be a bit late to the party, but I’m even later in responding, Alanna. (I’ve been traveling.) I love hearing from readers so much–your responses are never late to me. You’ve been reading and commenting for many years now and I appreciate it! I remember you telling me about writing your first novel–congratulations on finishing your fourth! Wishing you the best with publishing! And it sounds like you’ve been an inspiring role model to your son! How amazing that he wrote a whole novel and was willing to dictate to you–and that you were willing to take all that dictation. What a gift you offered him, and it sounds like the experience was just as rewarding to you. I love hearing stories like that! May the writing inspiration continue in your home. xo!

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Rosalyn Lambert August 17, 2018 at 5:49 am

I don’t know when or how I found your blog but happy 10th. Most important for me was seeing the evolution of a homeschool family’s journey since I didn’t have a roadmap or even my sanity some days. We are through 8 years and I look to my son’s college choices in a couple of years with more confidence and certainty that I can get my tween daughter through this too. Keep the magic coming.

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patricia August 17, 2018 at 4:57 pm

Thank you for reading along and saying hello, Rosalyn! I’m glad that seeing the evolution of our journey is helpful to you. It’s just what I longed for when I was starting out–wishing I could be a fly in the wall in some other family’s house and watch how they did things and how it all turned out. The desire for that is what’s motivating me to work on this memoir–I think we all crave other people’s stories more than instruction on how we ought to proceed. Eight years in now–good for you! There’s always something new to learn, with teen years and college and all that, but it seems like you’re figuring out your own road map and I’m glad you know you can do it. Carry on!

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Kristin August 18, 2018 at 10:09 am

Happy Birthday Wonder Farm!

What I have liked about your blog–and there are many things, but mainly it is that you manage to capture the essence of whatever your topic is. And that leads to an emotional experience for me. As a long-time follower of your blog, I’ve enjoyed your writing style the past ten years.

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