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Homeschooling for craft-challenged moms

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Pinspiration for moms who hate glitter

Few have benefited from Pinterest as much as moms, especially those who homeschool. If the word "crafts" makes you sweat, you don’t own a glue gun or you look at an egg carton and see… an egg carton, you are a craft-challenged mother.
Mother and child making a craft | Sheknows.com
Photo credit: Yuri Arcurs/Hemera/360/Getty Images

Some homeschooling moms just ooze creativity on a daily basis. These are the moms who have a craft closet full of sparkly goodies, clay for all occasions, paper borders to match the seasons and gallons of Mod Podge just waiting for a colorful decoupage project. Rather than look at these moms with disgust and envy, why not benefit from their talents? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so start pinning.

The lowdown

Exploring Pinterest is like peeking into the closets of the craftiest, most fashionable, perfectly coiffed and styled women around. Chances are, you’ll probably never meet any of these women, but they will nonetheless inspire you to step it up when it comes to creating Pin-worthy projects, outfits, holiday cards and recipes. Nothing saves the homeschool mom from a creative drought like typing "homeschool projects" into the handy search box. Viola! Instant motivation. Of course, all good things have at least one teeny tiny warning attached to them — and this is no exception. It’s ridiculously easy to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex and spend hours browsing, rather than pinning and taking action, so proceed with caution.

Read more about art for homeschoolers >>

Crafty inspiration

Decoupage feather vase | Sheknows.com

Someday, scientists may discover that there is, in fact, a crafty gene that predisposes some women to create works of art from a pile of scrap fabric, some tongue depressors and sparkle duct tape. When that day comes, perhaps the rest of us won’t feel so inferior to these artistic goddesses (it’s not our fault, darn it!). Until then, Pinterest bridges the gap. I homeschool three children, all of whom have very different levels of interest and ability when it comes to craft projects. Until I found Pinterest, it was easy to justify our lack of "projects" by planning an impromptu field trip or otherwise distracting them with a fun activity, but now, I really have no excuse. Case in point: I recently planned a party for my 10-year-old daughter. Most of her friends are homeschooled by wildly creative moms, so I the pressure was on to come up with a stellar craft (per my daughter’s request). Once the fear subsided, I turned to Pinterest and pinned decoupaged vases. Soon after, I purchased my very first jar of Mod Podge and the fun began.

Read more about supplementing your child's art education >>

Creative education

All about jellyfish worksheet | Sheknows.com

A lot of kids learn best when some sort of visual aid accompanies a lesson. Some moms are fortunate enough to have a homeschool mentor who loves to crack open binders full of great ideas. The rest of us have Pinterest. Our family has made drums to go along with our Civil War studies, jellyfish models in science and salt dough maps for geography (just to name a few). Every search yields so many results that I can almost always find one that uses supplies and ingredients that I already have on hand.

The key, for me, is to visit Pinterest on Sunday night after I do my weekly lesson plans. That way, I avoid spending hours on the site when I should be reading/cleaning/cooking/teaching, and I set aside enough time to explore the treasures I discover. This resource really can change the way you homeschool if you use it as a valuable supplement. That being said, I’d actually like to thank Pinterest for helping my kids learn about Archimedes’ Principle with a really cool dancing raisin experiment. My kids now think I’m resourceful, creative and brilliant. I'll take it.

Read more about homeschooling:

Understanding homeschooling laws
Online homeschool options
Free and frugal homeschooling

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