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Limitless Creativity

The creativity of God never ceases to amaze me. He created plants that grow underwater, He created diamonds and dandelion dust with equal ease, and He called a single woman with no children to write for the Christian homeschool market.

I wasn’t homeschooled as a child. I went to a very small private Christian school. My mom wanted to homeschool, but it was the early 1980s, and the legal aspect of homeschooling in my state was terribly intimidating. But when my sister and I weren’t in school, our mom was always making up learning games and projects for us to do at home. Though she never taught professionally, she has a teacher’s heart.

I’ve always had a heart to write for God. I think I was about 9 years old or so when I started my first “book.” It was a really sad attempt, but it was an attempt! I started developing my writing professionally in 2003. I worked on several projects, but my heart was writing for kids. In 2011, I felt God nudging me toward homeschooling, though I had no idea why. I went to the CHAP convention in Harrisburg, PA, and picked up tons of information. One of the countless freebies I took home was an issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. I joined the mailing list, wanting to learn more about homeschooling. A few months later, they put out a call asking for writers to volunteer to write curriculum for a new site they were developing for families called SchoolhouseTeachers.com. It took me all of about three seconds to decide to join.

I began helping the newly formed team of writers brainstorm and create curriculum about everything from art to history. I love history, but art? That was a stretch. But that was the beauty of writing in a team. My weaknesses were someone else’s strengths, and by working together, I learned more than I ever imagined was possible.

So I’m a non-homeschooled single woman with no kids who has never loved any writing more than writing for homeschool families. In another surprising turn, I’ve moved from part-time volunteer to full-time staff and now serve as the Executive Editor of SchoolhouseTeachers.com.

I’m looking forward to speaking at the 2017 Write2Ignite conference about connecting with the homeschool market and creating products that both entertain and educate. I’ll also be giving a presentation on “Hard Truths for Tender Hearts,” which touches on another passion of mine, sharing stories of the persecuted Church with children in a sensitive way that they can understand without frightening them.

I encourage writers to learn how they can connect with and serve the homeschooling market. But more than that, I want to encourage everyone to never underestimate or doubt the limitless creativity of God. Never decide that you aren’t qualified to do something you know He’s calling you to do. He called a shepherd to become a king and a Pharisee to become a missionary. What is He calling you to do?

Bonnie 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 SchoolhouseTeachers.com, 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 WriteBonnieRose.com to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.

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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 SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. I’ll be representing SchoolhouseTeachers.com 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 SchoolhouseTeachers.com and perhaps meeting with me at the conference.

First, let me tell you about the site. SchoolhouseTeachers.com 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 SchoolhouseTeachers.com: Part Two.

Read How to Write a Query for SchoolhouseTeachers.com: Part Three.

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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 SchoolhouseTeachers.com, 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 WriteBonnieRose.com to discover how you can write for the homeschool market.