The following article is written by Lesli Peterson, and is featured in our virtual magazine themed Homeschooling is like a Cupcake! Interested in reading other articles in the magazine?  Just click here!

My love affair with Pinterest began in 2012.  I used it to keep track of knitting patterns and recipes. As the Pinterest community grew, so also did the creative ways to use the tool.  Now, this website is an integral part of our homeschooling journey. It is means of learning from and of sharing with other like-minded families around the world. Here are five ways we use Pinterest for homeschooling.  Can you add to the list.

Not familiar with Pinterest? This website allows you to create virtual bulletin “boards” on topics of your choosing, and tack or “pin” pictures to these boards.  The photos link you back to the originating article. By virtue of pinning new ideas to your boards, you share your interests with others, and benefit with the ideas that other people share.

Get Organized

Find thousands of ways to get your homeschool organized. Search for homeschool planners in order to assist your day-to-day management.  Maybe you are looking to better organize your records for the state, or you need help organizing all those supplies. Search Pinterest for tips from other moms who have tackled this challenge.  One of my favorite things to search? Homeschool room ideas. You’ll find tips and tricks for storage, workspaces, libraries, and more. Here are a few phrases to get your search started: homeschool organization, homeschool room, homeschool planner, and homeschool storage.

Create A Lesson Plan

This is how I personally get the most traction from Pinterest.  Each week in our year is devoted to a particular theme or subject that my son and I have previously chosen together.  I create a board for each theme, and search Pinterest for teaching ideas related to the theme.  Ideas may include art projects, science projects, math worksheets, recipes, printables, lapbook templates, and other creative ideas.  Periodically I will find a resource that costs money, but most of the ideas we find are free of charge.  I recommend searching the topic or subject you are interested in + the grade level.  There is no need to add “homeschool,” as teachers use Pinterest and often leave ideas of great projects that easily transfer to a homeschool setting.  For example, I might search “apple kindergarten” or “Shakespeare 2nd grade.”

 Meet Other Homeschool Families

As you begin to pin your homeschool activities and repin the ideas from those people you follow, you may begin to see a few names regularly recur.  Be sure to take note of this; chances are that the families behind those names are much like your own family.  Check out the blogs behind those pins; reach out with comments or an email.  Words of encouragement and gratefulness for the shared photos can go a long way toward making someone’s day.  It’s a wonderful way to make a virtual friend and foster a supportive relationship.

 Build A Showcase

Pinterest is the perfect place to showcase the fun you are having in your homeschool.  Did you pull together an award-winning week of activities for your children, featuring awesome activities spanning three grade-levels? Maybe you created a meal-planning worksheet that all your friends are envious about.  Don’t just share it in your small Facebook circle; offer it up for thousands of other moms in your same situation.  Pinterest is a place that you can show off your hard work. The best part is that others will benefit from your experience!

 Get Inspired

Use Pinterest to learn about new and inspiring ways to homeschool.  I spend about 20 minutes each week browsing the recent pins of those I follow.  Inevitably, it inspires me! I see a new way to interact with my children or spend time outdoors. I might find a new recipe, or discover a new way to use all the bubble wrap stored in my closet.  Pinterest can easily become a black hole, sapping your precious minutes; I try to have a specific mission in mind when I search.  But I also take a few moments each week to peruse through the pins on my wall, and allow myself to become inspired by the wonderful ideas of other homeschoolers in my community.


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