This month I interviewed the one and only Farley! She is a fellow Texan, very witty, and the creator of the popular monthly blog link up "Currently" on her blog Oh Boy...It's Farley. Read on to find out more about her blogging story!
I am pretty sure I saw Amanda's blog from One Extra Degree and I thought… Hey I need to do a school blog.
I already was blogging about Bubs and crafting stuff, so I just made another blog and ta-da here I am… like a hundred years later!!!
No really I started my blog on February 2, 2011.
It is such a great tool for sharing brilliant ideas.
It is also a wonderful place to gather ideas.
You can get lessons ideas, decor ideas, organization ideas, and tons of other ideas from just reading blogs. One of the big things I have implemented in my classroom, that I got from a blog, was I got rid of all of my kids' desks. We now have big round tables and a few rectangular tables. It is open seating (I don't assign seats) and as long as they make good choices it stays that way. I have done this for the past 2 years and it has worked wonderfully. I have also learned that I am not alone… we all have those years where it just seems like we are the only one going through the muck and it is nice to read a REAL from the heart blog to know you are not alone.
I think… to be honest… I don't have a balance between blogging and school and family… My family comes first always... then my kids at school… and then my blog. It wasn't always this way though...
When I first got into blogging, Bubs was itty bitty and Hubs worked a horrible schedule, so I blogged during Bubs' naps and bedtime. I felt obligated to blog anytime I got a new idea. I didn't blog about products because I didn't want my blog to become a commercial, BUT I was still a blogging machine. I was addicted… addicted to blogging and reading blogs… I did it every spare minute. For over a year, I blogged,blogged, blogged… and then when my lessons started repeating themselves in the new year… I was at a loss to what to blog about. I started reinventing the wheel in my classroom just so I could have a blog post… it was exhausting. Why was I recreating new lessons when the lessons of the past were fine??? About the same time… Bub was getting out of naps and Hubs schedule had changed. I felt pulled between my blog and family and school. I was now blogging at bedtime only… and would stay up late at night to get it done. I would also wake up on the weekends SUPER early to get a blog written and as many read as possible before my boys woke up and sometimes… OK most of the time I was still writing when they woke up… it was CRAZY!!! At one point... I realized what I was doing and it was a life changer… I was taking time away from Hubs and Bubs to recreate new lessons (that I didn't need) and then I would blog about them… which took more time away from them… and so I finally like COLD turkey… decided I would only blog when I absolutely had something to say… something just out of this world amazing to share… it really felt freeing to not have to constantly worry about blogging… I stopped reinventing the wheel and stuck with lessons that had worked in the past and that was OK… my classroom didn't suffer, my blog readers still were getting good content, and my family had me more. Something important to remember is I don't rely on my blog as my income… and it has never been a full on tool to drive my TpT business… I think that is something that sets me apart from other bloggers. Yes… I use it every once in a blue moon to share one of my products BUT most time not…. I think we are all different in our blogging journey… and depending on your journey and your path and goals… your balance might be different.
I think I have always said this… BE YOU
write like you
write from the heart
and write the truth
do not let the perfectly edited pinterest pictures of others scare you away from being you
being honest and heartfelt makes you genuine and your readers will appreciate it…
I also think throwing in some family pics here and there and real life pics outside of the classroom help connect you to your readers too!!!
if you want to do it… DO IT… it is your blog!!!
I make products for my classroom all the time and most of the time these are just for my students… NEVER intended to be a TpT product.
Last year, my class was really struggling with multiplication and division of multi digit numbers… so I whipped up a review sheet for them to do every day for a month!!!
It was real simple… they had to solve 3 multiplication problems and 3 division problems and then solve a word problem… I made enough for one month… and left it at that … WELL next thing I know… the kids were asking where the 6 and Fold was when the next month rolled around… they came up with the name 6 and Fold because you solve the 6 problems on the front and then fold over the word problem and solve it on the back of the page… even the parents were asking for more because they liked it as homework. AND then I sent it to my friend and she asked why it wasn't in my store… I felt it was too simple… very plain… not cutesy… BUT it does get the JOB done… so even though it is not a top seller by any means… my 6 and Fold products are my favorite resource… they were truly born out of necessity and when your students beg for them and enjoy them… you know you have a good thing!!!
Thank you Farley for answering our questions!