I have to admit I am pretty late to the Pinterest bandwagon, but I have finally figured out how to make it work for me instead of becoming just another social media time vacuum.
I love spontaneous projects. They are an easy way to inject some energy into a routine homeschooling day and keep things exciting for you and your children. Last week, I wrote about a memory jar journaling project we did one day that came from an idea I received via email from Paper Coterie and “pinned” for later use:
How many times have you received an email newsletter from one of your favorite magazines, Web sites, or blogs and thought, “I might want to try that someday.” Once you have a Pinterest account, all you need to do is immediately click through to the link, “pin” it, and when you’re ready for some spontaneous fun, choose a project and just do it!
I am starting to notice that some of the email newsletters I receive from my favorite Web sites even have a “pin it” link to Pinterest right within the email so I can instantly create the pin with just one step! Then, I trash the email and move on. Now my email inbox is no longer filled with hundreds and hundreds of saved “maybe someday” unorganized ideas hidden within the sea of text-only subject lines.
When I’m ready for a spontaneous project idea, I visit my beautifully organized Pinterest boards and in a few minutes, I am ready to go with free printables or ready to shop for supplies if it’s a larger project — like painting repurposed mason jars, which I found tons of great ideas for just by browsing Pinterest!
Which brings me to another time-saving Pinterest tip: Search within the Pinterest world for sources of “Pinspiration” — pin boards hosted by others who have similar interests or tastes and will have lots of related content that you might also want to pin for future use. Once you pin a link, you will see information such as what else that content provider has pinned (if they host pin boards) or other places that link has been pinned. This is a quick way to find a whole board you might like, like the “Homeschooling Helps” of another homeschooling mom.
Here’s where you need to have some social media restraint. It’s easy to spend many minutes (and hours!) browsing connections from one pin board to another until you have hundreds of pinned “maybe someday” ideas and nothing actually accomplished in the real world. I am pretty picky about what I will pin, and that is things I really think I will want to use or do. I also set a browsing time limit because I know that if I really want to find something specific, I can come back later and use the search bar to find related pins.
Spontaneous projects are a great reason to start creating some beautiful and inspiring Pinterest idea boards. But it’s also great for planned projects, like supplementing your unit studies or even your core curriculum. More on that subject another time…
Have you dipped your toes into the Pinterest pond? If so, how do you use it for your homeschool? If not, what questions about it haven’t been answered for you? Do you use spontaneous projects in your homeschool?
— Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, entrepreneur & home-educating mother of three daughters: Audrey, Claire and Elise. A former journalist, Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. She is editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.