If you write for children, there is a growing market that you cannot afford to ignore—the homeschool market. The homeschool market is currently a billion-dollar industry with more than two million children homeschooled in the United States alone.1
But what does that have to do with writers?
It’s simple. Just as it’s good marketing advice to speak at Civil War commemorations if you write fiction that touches on the Civil War, it’s good marketing advice to know what materials homeschoolers are looking for and find ways to connect your writing to that need. One way to do that is through copywork.
Copywork is a teaching tool used by many homeschoolers to develop and reinforce handwriting, spelling, and grammar skills. By copying a specific passage (often on lined paper or paper formatted with a handwriting font for the child to imitate), the child learns the shape of the letters, how to spell a variety of words, and how to put the words together into complete and proper sentences. When the copywork incorporates Scripture, it can also be used as a Scripture memorization tool.
So how do you create copywork?
If I wrote a series of children’s stories set at the turn of the century, I could create copywork from quotes from that time period or write something related to that time. For this example, I’ll turn into copywork a quote by President William McKinley (who was President 1897-1901).
“War should never be entered upon until every agency of peace has failed.”
I’ll create the tracing page first for print. Next is the lined version. I’ll finish filling in the page with blank lines. Then I will create a new page of blank lines. Make sure that when you are done creating blank lines you have at least as many blank as it took in the printed version above it. Once print is complete, I will repeat for cursive and finally for manuscript.
With many font programs, you’ll find that the right end does not justify properly. An easy fix that the creator of Fonts4Teachers taught me was to insert a white text box (no outline) along the edge of each page that cuts off the tail end of your jagged lines (but not your text!).
One word of caution—do NOT try to enter every link up or blog hop you discover or you will never get anything new written! Each link up or hop has rules to follow and actions to take; therefore, each one represents an investment of your time. You must pray and decide which ones God wants you to invest in and which ones you may just want to file away for future reference (or skip altogether). You can find a list of the blog link ups I try to regularly take part in, as well as links to lists of link ups here.
Remember, once readers are on your blog or website to download the copywork, you will have the opportunity to expose them to your writing projects and passions. If you’d like to learn more about connecting your writing to the homeschool market, I encourage you to stop by my website, blog or Facebook page. I’d love to connect with you!