If you’ve spent any time on the homeschool social Web, you’ve probably noticed that homeschoolers are using social networks, tools, and communities in innovative ways. One particular area of the social Web that has yet to take off with homeschoolers is one that can be of great help when researching, learning and networking: understanding how to take full advantage of social media hashtags.
How Hashtags Work
There are innumerable websites related to homeschooling on the Web, but sometimes parents don’t have the time to go searching through them all for the information they want.
What is a Hashtag?
If you’re looking for the most up-to-date and personalized information on a particular topic anywhere on the Web, hashtags are your best bet. Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest are busy every minute of every day with people having conversations about things that homeschoolers are curious about. Things like #homeschooling, #curriculum, #printables, and #edtech. All you have to do is click through the hashtag of your choice.
Hashtags and Learning
Homeschoolers often spend a great deal of time on their favorite social media sites, but the truth is that the focus is often pretty limited. Unless a homeschooling friend happens to share a new homeschooling Facebook community with you, or tweets about a homeschool science curriculum you should try, you can often be completely unaware of pages, groups, and people that would greatly benefit your homeschooling journey. For instance did you happen to know there is a dedicated Facebook community for Roadschoolers? Or a Google+ community for military homeschoolers? If you didn’t, it’s likely because you never really thought to search for those communities on social media – – even if they apply to you!
Hashtags can change all that.
Sharing Info That will Benefit Other Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers can quickly build the homeschool superhighway by tagging at least some of their homeschool-related posts with hashtags like #roadschooling, #militaryhomeschoolers, #homeschoolbooks, and #preschool so that you can find communities, experts, and information that helps you on your day to day journey.
The truth is that for hashtags to make a difference in our lives, we have to be willing to use them ourselves — on all our social media profiles — not just Twitter! Most of the time we like keeping our Facebook status updates only accessible to our true Facebook friends. But what if you’ve discovered a homeschool tip or product that you wish you could share with the world. With Facebook’s “Public” feature and the hashtag option, you can do just that! Here’s how…
- Create a specific status update that shares your important homeschool information.
- Don’t forget to include the hashtag that you want to be searchable on Facebook.
- Click on the Audience option at the bottom of the status window to change your audience from Friends → Public.
- Then click “Post”.
- Now, your info will be completely searchable by all homeschoolers who are looking for up-to-date opinions and conversations about your topic!
Hashtags for Social Media Admins
This is even more important for homeschool pages and communities. If you admin a specific homeschool-related group or information page on social media, then you have an even more powerful opportunity to spread homeschooling know-how by simply tagging important posts with hashtags you think other homeschoolers are seeking information about.
Hashtags for Homeschoolers
Currently there’s no single database for hashtags that homeschoolers regularly use, but a quick search of social media shows that if you’re curious about it — there’s probably already a hashtag for it! So use your favorite hashtag search engine and try some out for yourself. For example, what are…
- Facebookers saying about #unschooling? (To search your favorite hashtag in Facebook, just type in the hashtag symbol in front of the term you want in the FB search field.)
- Tweeters discussing about educational technology aka #edtech? (Yes, you can also do hashtag searches in the official Twitter search.)
- Plussers debating on the subject of #commoncore? (Type your favorite hashtag into the Google+ search field. Did you know that Google+ can even automate hashtags on your posts?)
Still not sure what other hashtags you should use or search for? Try out a few of the ones listed below in your next post or hashtag search.
|#accidentalhomeschooler||homeschoolers who hadn’t planned on homeschooling, but are doing it anyway!|
|#delightdirected||delight-directed learning, or learning based on interests|
|#eclectichomeschooling||resources and discussions for homeschoolers who use a mix and match approach|
|#freehomeschooling||free programs, resources, tools, or curricula for homeschooling|
|#homeschoolkindergarten||discussions specific to homeschooling kindergarten|
|#homeschool1stgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 1st grade|
|#homeschool2ndgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 2nd grade|
|#homeschool3rdgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 3rd grade|
|#homeschool4thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 4th grade|
|#homeschool5thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 5th grade|
|#homeschool6thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 6th grade|
|#homeschool7thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 7th grade|
|#homeschool8thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 8th grade|
|#homeschool9thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 9th grade|
|#homeschool10thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 10th grade|
|#homeschool11thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 11th grade|
|#homeschool12thgrade||discussions specific to homeschooling 12th grade|
|#homeschoolblogger||indication that you are a homeschooler who blogs|
|#homeschoolbooks||books about homeschooling or for homeschool reference|
|#homeschoolcurriculum||specific or general curriculum discussions|
|#homeschoolelementary||homeschooling in the elementary years|
|#homeschoolhelp||advice and support for homeschoolers|
|#homeschoolgifted||resources and discussions for homeschooling a gifted child|
|#homeschoolgiveaway||giveaways by and for homeschoolers|
|#homeschoolhighschool||homeschooling in the high school years|
|#homeschoollanguagearts||homeschool language arts|
|#homeschoolliterature||fictional books about homeschoolers|
|#homeschoolmamas||covering everything homeschool-mom related|
|#homeschoolmiddleschool||homeschooling in the middle school years|
|#homeschoolnewbies||info and advice for beginners|
|#homeschoolplanning||homeschool planning resources and discussions|
|#homeschoolpreschool||homeschooling in the preschool years|
|#homeschoolreviews||reviews of homeschool curricula|
|#homeschoolspecialneeds||resources and discussions for homeschooling a child with special needs|
|#homeschoolworksheets||worksheets for homeschoolers|
|#homeschoolwriting||homeschool writing and writing curriculum|
|#lapbooking||using lapbooks as a learning tool|
|#legolearning||using Lego® bricks to enhance learning|
|#literaturestudies||literature-based studies for homeschool|
|#militaryhomeschooling||resources & discussions for military homeschooling families|
|#notebooking||homeschoolers who use notebooking as part of their education|
|#onlinehomeschool||online homeschool issues and curricula|
|#principleapproach||providential view of history and biblical principles in homeschool study|
|#roadschooling||resources and discussions for roadschooling|
|#unitstudies||unit studies for homeschool|
|#unschooling||unschooling resources and discussions|