If you’ve been reading Raising Arrows for very long, you know Pinterest is one of my favorite homeschooling tools. Today, I’m going to give you some ideas for using Pinterest in your homeschool from spectacularly organized to simple and functional!
Super Specific, Super Generalized, or Somewhere in Between?
If you are a naturally organized person who likes content compartmentalized or you need to have parts of a whole broken down into bite-sized pieces, then you will want your boards to be super specific. An example of this would be my friend Maureen Spell’s Pinterest boards:
Some of her boards include:
Water & Mud Play
Letter O Activities
Human Body: Brain
Basically, you would set up a Pinterest board for every topic you would like to study, broken down into compartmentalized pieces. So, rather than having an ABC board, you would have a Letter O board like Maureen has.
Or you may choose to be very generalized in your approach to setting up homeschooling boards. This keeps things simple by setting up boards like History, Math, Science, etc. However, this might be difficult to sift through, so if you have a propensity toward generalizing, I’d suggest you generalize some and make other boards more specific to keep from driving yourself crazy. This is what I do!
The reason I do this is because if too many things are too specific, I get lost just as easily as I get lost in generalized boards. So, I have boards like:
Teaching Ancient World History
Teaching Medieval History
Teaching American History
This way I’m not sifting through a generalized History board, but it’s not so far broken down that I get overwhelmed by a myriad of boards.
This is totally a personality thing, so whatever type of organization is going to make you more likely to USE your boards is the organization system YOU need to use!
Hunter/Gatherer or Accidental Acquisition or Somewhere in Between?
I’m going to admit you that most of the time I fall into the Accidental Acquisition part of this question. That means, I show up on Pinterest, not looking for anything specific, randomly run across things I like and pin them to appropriate boards. You will never see my Pinterest stream full of 5 million cupcakes or 600 science projects – it’s just not how I work – I would burn out long before that.
But, the Hunter/Gatherer type of pinning is a really great way to fill your boards with useful information for specific homeschooling subjects, so sometimes I will do this if I really need some ideas. You can do this a couple of ways:
1. General Pinterest search.
2. Pin from someone else’s subject specific board.
Personally, I feel like homeschooling pinning is best done from other people’s boards. The general search is just too general unless you search for something like “American History Unit Studies” or something like that. Otherwise, use the Boards button to find other homeschoolers who have created those kinds of boards and find great pins that way.
In the meantime, keep your eye out for great content that works well with topics you want to study.
How to Pull it All Together – Organized Style
To make a homeschooling plan from Pinterest in a nicely organized style can be very rewarding. Sometimes if your boards are specific enough, you can school right off the Pinterest board. Another option is to set up a plan in Evernote (<– see my post on how to do this) with links from your Pinterest board. You can even do the old fashioned pen and paper method and notate what days or weeks you want to use which links from your Pinterest boards.
You can also make secret boards that you can organize school year, semester, or month by. Simply make your secret board (it will show up at the bottom of your Pinterest profile page), and then repin from your individual boards anything you want to during that time frame.
How to Pull it All Together – Not so Organized Style
Frankly, you do NOT have to be super organized to use Pinterest in your homeschool. In fact, a lot of times Pinterest is my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants planning tool. Sometimes I need an extra activity to solidify something we are learning. Sometimes I need a “mom’s not feeling good” activity. Sometimes I need a new way to teach something because what I’m doing just isn’t working. Pinterest is a great place to pull together something quickly to facilitate learning!
Another way to use Pinterest in a more relaxed style is to find your Pinterest resources by week or day. At the beginning of the week, you can make note of which links you want to use that week, or if you are having a particularly unorganized week, get up every morning and peruse your boards and choose a link or two to use that day.
I know Pinterest isn’t for everyone. I know some people can’t help but get lost there and never use anything they pin. I know for some people, it could spell a colossal waste of time. But, for me, it has helped my homeschooling efforts tremendously! It is like a great big network of homeschoolers sharing resources so I can be a better homeschooler!
If you are interested in reading more about how we use Pinterest and other technology in our homeschool, check out my series of posts on Using Technology in Your Homeschool!