How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers: Part One

How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers Part One

Today, I’d like to start a series of posts related to the topic of how to query, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. I’ll be representing at the 2016 Write2Ignite conference, as well as presenting workshops on writing for the homeschool market and the art of storytelling.

To date, I have not found any book that addresses how to query or communicate with the homeschool market. I am working to fill this void, but in the meantime, I want to address those of you who are considering submitting to and perhaps meeting with me at the conference.

First, let me tell you about the site. is a paid membership site that serves homeschooling families around the world with homeschool curriculum based on a Biblical worldview. To date, we offer more than 200 classes for families. Most of the families who use our site are homeschooling families, but some use the educational resources to simply fill in gaps in their children’s education, help them develop a specific interest, or for extra help in an area where their child may be struggling.

I also want you to understand that you do not have to be a homeschooler or a homeschool graduate to write for us. I am neither. I attended a small Christian school growing up, and I am unmarried and without children of my own to educate, though I support the homeschooling option 100% for families who make that decision.

The next topic to address is what types of material we are interested in. The short answer is—almost everything! Material must be grounded in a Christian worldview or be a topic that can easily be presented without a particular worldview (such as math). As in all Christian writing opportunities, sharing a Christian worldview can take many forms. Some writers weave it in subtly; others are more forthright. Some exhibit it simply by what they do not say. All of those styles work for us. Our guideline on the site is that we will not publish anything that contradicts a Biblical worldview (such as Darwinian evolution).

We publish primarily nonfiction on the site, as we are first and foremost an academic resource. However, a few of our teachers have successfully and skillfully woven a fictional narrator into their courses who serves as a fun way to guide the students through the information (and make it feel less like schoolwork!).

We are open to discussing virtually any subject for any grade. We have more than 40 language arts classes, and I continue to be amazed at the unique and creative ways our authors have found to teach these skills to our students.

So let’s get started. What do you write? Are you a nonfiction author? Is there an educational component to your topic that you could break down into a course for students? Our classes range from mini-classes of a few weeks to full-year or multi-year classes. Don’t worry about the length yet. We’ll discuss that in an upcoming blog post. For now, think about your topic.

Are you a fiction writer? Is there something about your story or topic that you can develop into a class for kids? Maybe your protagonist drives an antique car. Could you write about the history of cars or car manufacturing and design? Does your heroine have a sweet tooth for a certain type of dessert? Could you create a class about baking sweet treats? Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

I’ll be back next month with the next post in this series. Until then, your assignment is to think of three or four topics you could write about and brainstorm. Let them percolate in the back of your thoughts. Find out which ones keep coming to mind and get you excited about writing.

My favorite part about talking to authors for our site is hearing their creativity and their passion. Get thinking! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions in the comment box.

Read How to Write a Query for Part Two.

Read How to Write a Query for Part Three.

Bonnie-Rose-Hudson-200x200Bonnie Rose Hudson lives in central Pennsylvania. Along with spending time with her family and writing, making kids smile is her favorite thing to do. Her heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She loves creating curriculum and working for, the curriculum arm of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, as the site’s executive editor. At TOS, she found a place where her love of God and history combine with her love of writing to bring encouraging, educational, and entertaining material to students and their families. She would love for you to visit to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.

9 thoughts on “How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers: Part One

  1. Great post, Bonnie. I’m sad I’ll have to miss the Write2Ignite Conference this year. I’d love to meet you in person. You explain things so well and get the wheels in our brains turning!

    1. I’m sorry to hear you won’t make it this year, Sally. I was looking forward to meeting you, too.

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