5 Ways Pinterest Can Enhance Homeschooling

Shape Your Child's Learning With This Tech Tool

pinterest board

Are you addicted to Pinterest? Since its 2010 invite-only inception, to its current multi-million user status, Pinterest has managed to eclipse all other bookmarking sites. Pinners use the site for everything from tracking fashion trends and planning their kid's birthday parties, to cataloguing gym workouts and keeping track of ideas for garden furniture. Unlike other social media sites, there is less pressure to interact, and browsing the pins of a famous designer is as easy as checking out the boards of your next door neighbour.

Personally, I have found Pinterest invaluable to homeschooling my almost four-year-old, helping me shape our learning and allowing us to share our experiences with people around the world. Here are five ways that Pinterest can easily enhance your homeschooling experience.

  1. Cataloguing: When I was teaching elementary school, I relied on binder after scrupulously-tabbed binder to organize curriculum, resources, and lesson plans. Pinterest takes care of this in a few simple clicks. By selecting "Create a Board," a user can quickly design boards specific to any subject or theme. I catalogue based on curriculum topics, such as Language Play and Geography Play. In addition, I have seasonal themes like Halloween and Winter. Don’t forget a few boards dedicated to Resources and Arts & Crafts. By installing the "Pin It" button on your tool-bar, you can pin from any website or blog that has an image or idea you want to capture and catalogue on your homeschool boards.
  2. Keeping track of your learning: Who doesn't want to have a record of home learning? But not everyone has a blog, or the time to keep a journal. Why not use a Pinterest board to document what you do every day? By utilizing the "Camera Option" on the mobile and iPad versions of Pinterest, a homeschool parent can snap pictures of projects, lessons, and experiences; you are also able to jot down some notes in the "Describe Your Pin" section. This is a perfect tool for keeping memories that you might want to come back to in a journal or blog. Don't want to make it public? Pinterest has recently introduced a "Secret Board" option.
  3. Benefit from endless Ideas: By searching for and following other homeschoolers, teachers, and institutions, a homeschooling parent has a seemingly endless supply of ideas to enhance their curriculum. If your kid is interested in dinosaurs and you feel you're at the end of what your library (and your brain) has to offer, do a quick search for "dinosaurs" and "homeschool," and you will find a massive supply of lessons, experiments, book suggestions, printables, art projects, and outdoor adventures.
  4. Make connections: Homeschooling, even in a big city, can feel isolating; it can be difficult to find other homeschooling families. By searching for “homeschooling,” a user can find boards, pins, and people that use this term in their pinning. This can connect you with blogs, websites, and other homeschoolers, thus creating opportunities to share ideas, resources, and build relationships. In addition to following other homeschoolers on Pinterest, I also have a board dedicated to capturing all of the homeschooling blogs and websites that I read.
  5. Take advantage of boards with multiple pinners: The fab "Group Board" feature allows a user to create a board that any number of approved pinners can add to. This is great for parents who just don't have the time to search and follow a slew of other pinners. By following a Group Board like Kid Blogger Network, a user suddenly has access to the pins of over one-hundred approved bloggers.

  Some quick tips:

  • Be sure to occasionally prune your boards. Boards can quickly get bogged down by ideas that seemed really good at 2am, but in the light of day are unrealistic for your homeschooling needs.
  • Don't limit your pinning to people that you follow. Because new pinners are joining every day, it is worthwhile to occasionally use the "Search" bar in Pinterest. This will introduce you to a whole new collection of pinners and boards that you are otherwise missing.
  • Be sure to follow Pinterest Etiquette. Be especially mindful of this if you are blogging your homeschooling journey. You want to make sure that you give credit to an original pinner or creator of any activities, printables, or projects you try and later share online.

Lyndsay writes for a number of parenting publications, where she focuses on natural and feminist parenting. In addition to writing, she runs a web design company dedicated to making the web a better place for all women. Lyndsay lives in Toronto after too many years abroad.