I have professed my love for Pinterest many times before. Today, I want to talk to you about how you can use this tool in your homeschool. This is much better than your bookmarks folder, I promise.
We are going to cover setting up your boards, wise following, how to make it easier on yourself, and I will end with a word of caution. I am not covering how to register, that is pretty straightforward. Just simply go to the Pinterest website and follow the instructions.
When you register, they will prompt you to set up some generic boards and follow people, don’t stress about this. You can always delete the boards and unfollow people after you finish registering if you change your mind.
Note: I have used an affiliate link to an ebook about sensory bins in this post.
Setting Up Your Pinterest Boards
To create a new board, you will click on the create a board button and fill in the information. As far as how to organize and name your boards, you have several options. I am listing a few suggestions here and have included links to some of my specific boards in parentheses through this post so you can see examples of how my suggestions might look.
- set up a board for each child
- set up one board per subject (Homeschool :: Reading)
- set up by activity (Homeschool :: Sensory Bins)
- set up by grade level(s) (Homeschool :: Early Years)
I would recommend using a combination.Â Here’s why and how you could use them:
- aÂ board for each child will help you pin things that are of interest for that particular child, like hobbies, crafts or life skills.
- boards for subjects will keep information organized for multiple children; these boards would contain info that is relevant to more than one student
- boards for specific grades can help you target activities for a specific age/grade level, again information that can be used for more than one student
- boards by activity can help you cover multiple grades and subjects with things like sensory bins, unit studies, and handicrafts
Other Pinterest Boards to Create
I also recommend creating boards for you, the homeschool mom (or dad). Ideas for this include:
- encouragement to keep pushing on when things are hard or to help you refocus on why you are doing this in the first place (Homeschool :: Encouragement)
- help for special circumstances like homeschooling special needs or during illness (Homeschool :: Special Needs)
- information on learning styles, teaching styles, and educational philosophies (Homeschool :: Information)
- frugal tips for saving money (Homeschool :: Frugal Tips)
- organization ideas and record keeping (New :: Organization)
- a humor board for when you really need a laugh (I Find This Funny)
You Are Who You Follow
That may be debatable, but if you want to make the most of your Pinterest time, you want to pick and choose who you follow wisely. Your feed will be filled with the pins of those you follow. If you have no interest in wedding planning, don’t waste your time wading through pins about it.
How do you do this?
- You are careful about what profiles you select Follow All for.
- You follow individual boards.
When you come across a profile on Pinterest (like mine), go through the boards and see what types of items the person is pinning. If the majority of boards interest you, select follow all and then click on the unfollow button for the boards that do not interest you. If the majority of the boards do not interest you, just click follow on the ones that do.
When you search for something on Pinterest, you can choose between pins, boards, and pinners. The board search feature is quite nice if you want to look for other pinners who have a homeschool board or any other specific interest. Following a board will put anything pinnned to that board in the future in your feed. No need to check back later for new material.
Why should you follow anyone? In short, teamwork. It is impossible to be everywhere on the internet and you shouldn’t try to do that. By following people with the same interests at you, you are sharing the legwork. They find something awesome, pin it, and it shows up in your feed for you to pin or pass. And vice versa.
Making Pinterest Easier
Pinterest is better than your browser’s bookmarks file for those who need a visual reminder of what the heck they were saving something for. To make it just as easy to pin something as it is to bookmark it, add the pin it button to your browser’s toolbar (it’s called the Pinterest Bookmarklet).
From then on, when you find something that you want to save, you just click the Pin It button and put it on the correct board. You don’t ever have to leave the page or pull up Pinterest in another tab to add the link to a board.
Have something you don’t want everyone else to see, but you want to save?
Create a secret board! You are limited to 3 of these, but it is a great place to store things like Christmas present ideas and such.
A Final Word of Caution
Pinterest is a great tool for organizing your ideas and resources visually. However, like anything else, it can become a source of contention if you let it control you instead of you controlling it. There are many, many great ideas on Pinterest, but they aren’t all for you!
I’ve spoken about this before, so instead of adding a few hundred words more to this post, I am going to point you to two other posts if you want more information.
- Dear Guilty Mom is about distinguishing between conviction from God and guilt.
- How to Read Blogs and NOT Feel Like a Failure is about the lens we use to view bloggers.
Just beware of the big shiny squirrel that Pinterest can be and keep it all in perspective. It really is a great tool.