The following is a post from contributing writer Honey Brown.
I think it is safe to say that social media is here to stay; now how can we use it to enhance our lives and our homeschools?
This post is not about your children using social media, but rather about how you as a parent can use social media to enrich your family’s learning experiences.
I have taken the most common forms of social media and written a few thoughts for each about how I use them in relation to our homeschool. These are just suggestions. You will need to evaluate for yourself what will work best for your family.
- Search for people who write about topics relevant to your homeschool and follow them or put them in a list.
- Search for current events by city, using airport codes.
- Follow hashtags (#homeschool, #hsbloggers, #homeschooling, #sensory, etc) about topics that are relevant to your homeschool.
- Use We Follow to look up bloggers who tweet about homeschooling, so you can follow them and get great ideas. The lists here often yield different people than the search through twitter, so it can give you a nice variety.
- Create lists of people who write about a variety of different things, so you can find the information (or people) you need quickly and easily.
- Join a Twitter chat. Check this list of Twitter chats for one that suits your needs.
- Ask questions.
- Ask for recommendations.
- You can find the Homeschool Classroom on twitter.
- Search for fan pages about topics relevant to your homeschool and like pages that provide resources.
- Watch your Facebook stream for good links.
- Create lists of different groups of people on Facebook. Create a list for homeschoolers and read that list when you are looking for something specific to homeschooling and don’t want to get distracted, not that anyone ever gets distracted on Facebook.
- Create a secret group on Facebook and have an on-line co-op to encourage other homeschoolers who may live far away from local groups.
- Ask questions
- Ask for recommendations.
- You can find the Homeschool Classroom on Facebook.
- Search for people who write about topics relevant to your homeschool and follow people who give good information.
- Create or join a hangout on a specific topic. Try looking here at GPHangouts.
- Create a hangout and visit with homeschool families in other parts of the world.
- Ask questions.
- Ask for recommendations
- You can find Angie (owner of the Homeschool Classroom) on Google+.
- Use the search to find pins and boards on topics relevant to your homeschool and follow the people or the boards the they created.
- Look up information when you want to learn something new or need some creative ideas for planning your homeschool day.
- Create your own boards and store all the treasures you find.
- Create boards around specific topics.
- Create boards to help you build unit studies.
- Create a group board and invite all your friends to post about a specific topic.
- Visit the profile pages of the people you follow on Pinterest, see if they have their blogs listed, you might find useful information there or be able to follow them on twitter.
- You can find Angie (owner of the Homeschool Classroom) on Pinterest.
- Watch videos related to a specific topic.
- Watch news stores (current and historical).
- Introduce your children to a variety of different styles of music.
- Introduce your children to a foreign language.
- Watch science experiments.
- Search for things relevant to your homeschool.
- Search for official YouTube Channels (The Royal Channel, Discovery, The White House, and more).
- Subscribe to useful channels.
- Embed interesting videos into your blog posts so that you can find them easily when needed (and so you can share with your friends).
- Always site your sources and give credit when you are sharing ideas that you have found.
- Never use someone else’s pictures on your blog without their permission.
- If you have found an awesome idea on a blog, leave a comment and encourage the blogger to keep sharing.
- Share ideas that you have found on your social media adventures, don’t keep all the gems to yourself.
How do you use social media to enhance your homeschool?
Honey (@ Sunflowermommie) is the homeschool mother of five children. When she is not blogging about her homeschool adventures on Sunflower Schoolhouse, she works with her husband doing graphic design and web programming at Honeycomb Design Studio.