During the past couple of years, I've enjoyed entering Being Made New into the annual Homeschool Blog Awards contest sponsored by The Homeschool Post. I've not expected to win since my following here is quite small compared to that of several other nominees, but it's been fun to participate. And last year, I actually took fourth place in the "Best Homeschool Mom Blog" category.
Being Made New was in the "Best Variety" category this year, and though I don't yet know if I placed in the Top 10, I know I didn't win. That's not surprising, and I'm totally okay with it. In fact, my energy went toward asking friends and associates to vote for my database, The Educational Freedom Coalition, in the "Best Current Events/Opinion/Politics" category. I felt hopeful I could win there because of the amazing Facebook group - now more than 6,300 members strong - affiliated with the database. And I did!
I can't deny that it feels good to be a winner. But, honestly, my main motivation for entering and wanting to win was the publicity I knew the database would gain as a result. The Homeschool Post does a number of things to promote the contest's winners, and I wanted the database to garner that attention - not to make my name "great," but to spread the word among homeschoolers about the existence of the database and the importance of being aware of the common core as it applies to homeschooling.
Though I have strong personal views about the common core, I've worked very hard to make the database as unbiased as possible - it does not endorse or reprove any resource based on common core status - so it's not about trying to convince people to choose curricula that are independent of the standards initiative. In fact, I've even been contacted directly by some with explicitly aligned resources, requesting to be included on the database. I just know that information is power - homeschoolers need to understand the common core and make conscious decisions about it in terms of material they choose for their children - and that publicity for the database can encourage more of my homeschooling peers to do their own research on the matter.
So I'm excited. The site has already been blessed with over 177,000 site views since its inception in March, and I've been able to include nearly 1,500 resources (so far). I know it's been a helpful tool for thousands of homeschoolers (and even some private school administrators). I pray that the award will make many others aware of my research so it might continue to be of benefit going forward.