Facebook has three distinct sections that homeschoolers can use to their advantage: profiles, pages, and groups. A brief description:
- Profiles – This is what you create when you sign up for Facebook, profiles are for people. You have to send a friend request to connect your profile with someone else’s or vice versa. You control the privacy settings that determine what others see.
- Pages – These are public pages that are for businesses, public figures, blogs, etc. All you have to do to connect with pages is to click like. All info posted on a page is public, but it won’t all find its way into your news feed (more on that later).
- Groups – Groups are where groups of users can gather to discuss common interests. Groups can be set up three ways. Open groups can be found in searches and anyone can see the posts. Closed group content can only be seen by members, but the group still shows up in searched and you can request to join. Secret groups are not found in searches and can not be linked to, members have to be added directly via email.
How Homeschoolers Can Use Facebook Profiles
This one is pretty basic, you can’t really do anything on Facebook unless you have a profile. It is a great way for people to stay connected as they go about their lives. Just be sure to go through the privacy settings to know exactly what you are sharing with the world.
Use your Facebook profile to:
- connect with family and friends, near and far
- join groups for encouragement, resources, and information
- like and follow pages of businesses, blogs, and ministries you like and/or support
How Homeschoolers Can Use Facebook Pages
These can be great if you understand how they work. Just about every brand, blog, and business is on Facebook. If you have a favorite curriculum, blog, or anything else, just do a search for them.
Before you go all like happy and giddy to have all your favorites in one place, you should know how Facebook works. Only a portion of the posts that each page posts will show in your news feed. True story. Facebook uses a super secretive (and super frustrating to some, ahem, bloggers) algorithm to figure out what you want to see. The theory is that you don’t actually want to see EVERYTHING that a page posts, just the best.
In theory, this is great for you. In reality, you may miss a LOT that you actually want to see. The only way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to actually go to the page and scroll through their wall. This may be a pain, but it is truly the only way you will see it all.
The nice thing is you can actually go to your profile, scroll down, and you will find a section with all your “likes.” You can then click to see them all on one page. An easy way to find the ones you have liked so far.
Use your profile to like pages of:
- Homeschool blogs – Teachers of Good Things, Intoxicated on Life, Free Homeschool Deals, Simple Homeschool, and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers are a few I can recommend. You know, in addition to Simply Vicki…
- Curriculum companies
- Your state homeschool association
- Homeschool conventions
- Favorite homeschool convention speakers like Todd Wilson, Sally Clarkson, Debra Bell, or Ken Ham
How Homeschoolers Can Use Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a lot of fun. You get to interact with people who share a common interest, find great resources through extra eyes on the world wide web, and be encouraged that you are not alone in your life circumstances.
You can set your settings to receive notifications whenever anyone posts in the group, when friends post in the group, or no notifications at all. Which one you choose will depend largely on the group. For example, a large, active group would overwhelm our notifications if you set it to receive them when anyone posted. However, a smaller group that is more specific in its focus may be one you want to receive them all so you do not miss anything, particularly if it is a long time between postings.
My favorite homeschool related Facebook groups:
- The Library Adventure Community – Need a title recommendation for a specific subject? This is the group for my other blog by the same name.
- IAHE Indiana Homeschool Discussion Group – If you are not in Indiana, search your state and homeschool, homeschoolers, or similar to see what you can find.
- Affording the Homeschool Life – This is a large and active group about anything that relates to homeschooling.
- Mother Culture Connections for Charlotte Mason Educators – A group specifically for Charlotte Mason homeschool moms.
- Indiana Homeschoolers – Another state specific group for Indiana.
- Homeschool Giveaways & Freebies – Exactly what you think it is.
- Frugal Homeschooling Moms – Another group with the emphasis on saving money while homeschooling.
All you have to do to find great resources on Facebook is to search them out. Ask friends for their recommendations or start with the ones listed here, and then explore. As you go, Facebook will give you recommendations based on your interests.
Just remember that Facebook is a tool for you to use, don’t let it rule and ruin your day!