Monday, April 27, 2009

6 more things i've learned about american bloggers

continuing my pseudo anthropological observations:

1. many of them are stay at home mums (sahm), even when the kids start preschool/kindergarten. that's not common here.

2. many of the sahm's are homeschoolers. that's really not common here.

3. many of the homeschooling sahm's put a button on their blog; a portrait of darwin, words 'teach evolution'. it took me a long time to figure that one out. when i did, the ground shook beneath my feet.

4. they must keep it very warm inside their houses. i can se loads of snow outside, but kids in tee's and bare feet inside. here, we wear wool indoors in the winter.

5. their childrens birthday parties are all 'themed'.

6. i was going to write 'they're all white'. but i think i might have found one or two bloggers to prove me wrong.


Anonymous said...

Fun observations! Just this very morning I was looking up DH's old employer from Finland, hoping we can hook up again and move over that way. He's in Sweden now. I fantasize ;-). Am currently a SAHM with plans to homeschool. I'm white. But, do not watch Oprah (or television for that matter) - just had to throw that one in there ;-). I do like IKEA, but wouldn't be caught dead in Walmart. I'm grateful for my American passport, but long for at least one other. My greatest shame is that I only speak/read English and am totally unable to get/keep myself organized. (OK, way more than you probably cared/wanted to know, but I'm feeling chatty today ;-))

Iris E. said...

American Blogger replies...

1. I'm a part-time student, part-time librarian, full-time mom who loves making all sorts of things...Wonder how that fits in?!

2. I could never homeschool my own kids. I believe too firmly that one of the reasons for school is to learn how to be responsible to a social group of peers and to learn how to be in the world without me! We are lucky that my husband is a Waldorf teacher and the kids get to go to his school for free.

3. Not sure about all the buttons. Isn't it sad that we have to advertise our desire to teach evolution?!

4. WE WEAR WOOL long underwear and all manner of sweaters and hats from about October through May! Yay wool!

5. Hmmm, themed parties. We mostly structure parties based on what the outdoors have to offer us (sledding vs. water balloons!), because it's pretty inexpensive and I am not so keen to have excitable kids on sugar inside the house for an extended period! Perhaps it's different with girls.

6. You got me on this one, I'm white.


Amy Bradstreet said...

Another American blogger replies--

Yes, I'm one of those white, unschooling (with never-been-to-school children-with-no-olans-to-send-them--ever) parents who teaches evolution along with thousands of other things and I don't think I have a blog badge for evolution but just may go get one now (I have all sorts of other such badges). Yes, we wear layers and wool inside as we keep the temperature inside our home below 65F all winter long and we're in Maine. Yes, we have done theme parties because one, it's fun for the child who chooses the theme to have the party centered around their current interests, and two, because it's so much easier to plan for a crowd when there is a theme. That said, we keep it pretty simple.

One reason that homeschooling bloggers may advertise that they teach evolution is because there is an idea among non-homeschoolers and homeschoolers that we are all fundementalist Christians, for example.


Amy Bradstreet said...

Correction: that's no plans, my apologies.

Krista said...

That's funny! I'm an American SAHM and although I have some serious concerns about our schools I don't see myself homeschooling.
I have quite a few friends that homeschool though and although I've never seen one of those Darwin/evolution buttons I can see why people put them there. A large number of homeschoolers homeschool strictly due to religious reasons - they don't want their children exposed to world views - including evolution - that are contradictory to their religion. A lot of people who aren't familiar with homeschooling assume that anyone who homeschools is like this so I guess those who aren't feel the need to advertise!

Shear Delight said...

Hmm I don't fit most of those observations but I imagine it also depends on the type of blogs that you like to read.

1. I'm a full time sales manager happily married without children.

2. No kids and if/when we have them I have no plans to homeschool. I think it's important to socialize children in group settings like school and I don't think that I have the necessary knowledge or skills to be responsible for teaching everything from english to biology.

3. I like buttons but don't think I have any on my blog right now.

4. My husband and I try to live a very eco friendly lifestyle which means keeping the heat around 55 F even in the dead of winter so we wear lots of layers.

5. I don't know if I had a theme party as a child? I wonder if I should consider myself deprived ;)

6. I'm white but I do know a number of bloggers that are not.

Crescent Moon said...

That's true. I am one of those homeschooling moms, although I do have to work outside the home, as well.
I have noticed the color thing, as well. I have found a few blogs of black homeschoolers, but they tend to be homeschooling for religious reasons, so they would not have that Darwin button on their blogs. There are exceptions, of course.
I homeschool my son because I feel that our local public school failed to meet his needs, when he attended for Kindergarten. This year we tried the small private school where I work, but he was asked to leave because the teacher found his special needs to be more than she could handle.
The heat in the homes is also very true. We don't need much heat here, because I'm in Florida now, where we don't get snow, but I lived in an apartment in the North once, where we had no control over the temperature and the landlord had it set to 90 degrees F. in January, so we were opening the windows and wearing tank tops while there was snow outside.

Lisa said...

I love this and had to laugh! 1. yes, sahm, but last year I taught school; was going to teach science to middle schoolers this year, but felt the need to stay home and teach my own. 2.yep, we homeschool. 3. the darwin and teach evolution buttons are part of a homeschool ring you have fallen into....most homeschoolers here in Ohio homeschool for Christian reasons and don't teach evolution. Not us! 4. Our house is freezing in the winter, 62 degrees usually. 5. no theme parties for us, but themes help with organization. 6. I am very white with lots of freckles!

melissa said...

hehe- these have also been my same observations about many american blogs. but r.e. the winter clothes point- i don't know any norwegians (at least, here in sandefjord) who wear wool, etc, inside. they all have very warmly heated homes. that took quite a bit of getting used to when i first came to norway! in n.z. it's the opposite- we have no central heating- so the colder it is, the more clothes we wear! ;)

Louise said...

LOL great observations-

I am a SAHM in Australia homeschooling 2 boys. I teach evolution and am a bit freaked out by the amount of people who don't. We live in a warm climate and don't even own a heater, or an airconditioner, its extra clothes and quilts to warm up in winter here and water play to cool off.

Stickyknitter said...

HI there, I read you blog regularly and really enjoy it. I was cracking up when I read this entry you made.
I hope you don't mind my two cents:
I have two boys, we are very white Americans and I work out of my home. (Does that constitute SAHM?) I don't home school because I don't have the patience and I think that it is good for them to be away from me and get used to social settings outside the home. I live in California, so we use a wood stove for heat in the winter and dress in layers. We try to be environmentally aware of what we use/do. I don't teach evolution to my children-- although the schools try to. I have a blog, but it very half-assed and I find it hard to keep up with it and I wish I could speak more than one language, but I am linguistically challenged.

Keep up the great blog-- I, for one, am slightly envious of you.

lindsey said...

well i'm pretty much none of those things other than white. not sure if i would have seen the proliferation of such blogs without your observations however, so thanks for opening my eyes. keep up the observations and great blog.

Visty said...

I tell you one thing, I was raised in Florida and you can be damn sure my heater is running all year here in the PacNW. If I keep it cold in the house, my body shuts down and I pass out. Like a bear in October.

Anonymous said...

You're too funny!! I'm other words...I'm a follower now!!! XX, Carmie.

Wendy said...

I have to say, I actually started homeschooling because I found so many wonderful examples of it in the blogs I read. I'd wanted to do it from my daughter's first day of school, but I frankly didn't have the guts. Seeing the lives of other families made me realize that it was something I had to at least try. The idea that all kids need to leave school with the same set of facts in their head is a big reason for me to homeschool. There are thousands of subjects (probably more) that kids can be interested in and learn. How can our government say which things they need to know. (I remember about half of what I learned in school- and I was on the honor roll. The only stuff that stuck- math and science- were the subjects that I was interested in to begin with.) Also, schools don't really teach much critical thinking, which I feel is something all responsible citizens should be able to do.

I have an American friend who lives in France and she says that if they didn't have such strict rules about homeschooling, she would do it as well. So maybe that is one big reason why there are more American homeschoolers. It's easier to do here. Some provinces in Canada are great for homeschooling too.

And as for the Darwin buttons, it's because those of us who believe in evolution sometimes feel outnumbered by those who don't. I know to people in other countries, it makes as much sense as having a button that says "I Believe in Gravity," but many people confuse the scientific term 'theory' with the conventionally used one.

The birthday theme thing... totally true.

BrinyDeep said...

I teach at a small nature center, and I used to do a weekly homeschool workshop. My first batch of kids were from very scientifically literate homes, and probably knew more about evolution than I do. The second batch were almost uniformly creationist. I was constantly stepping on little "landmines-" topics that were considered "off limits" because they were not in line with fundamentalist Christian teachings. It was an odd dichotomy.

Anonymous said...


i'm an american father. my wife doesn't blog. we don't homeschool, but i wish we could. i am a “follower of christ” but don't like to call myself a “christian.” i don't think jesus would have even called himself “christian” by today's standards. i'd rather be friends with evolutionists, athiests, anarchists, “environmental wackos,” etc. they are usually more loving and giving than most “christians.“
i don't like america for the most part, although i was born here, and have lived here all my life. my wife likes to throw themed parties, but i don't. i think it's a waste of so many things: time, money, consumer goods, etc. i'd like to keep it colder in the winter, but i need to buy more wool before i can do that! :) i LOVE wool!
and i'm white. and i HATE WALMART.


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