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The Charlotte Mason Method, Part Four

In Part One and Part Two of our series about writing for the homeschool community, we talked about some of the main components of the Charlotte Mason Method of education. In Part Three, we explored how to create copywork. This month, we’re going to take a look at what other types of resources we can create as writers that will support families who are homeschooling using the Charlotte Mason Method.

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The Charlotte Mason Method, Part Two

The Charlotte Mason Method Part TwoLast month, we introduced Charlotte Mason and discussed her influence on homeschooling. Her method is popular among many homeschool families, and it’s important to understand it so you can create resources that support families who follow this method. So far, we’ve talked about living books, copywork, dictation, science, and nature study. Let’s explore some additional topics today.

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The Charlotte Mason Method, Part One

the-charlotte-mason-method-part-one

Do you know who Charlotte Mason was? If you want to write for the homeschool community, you’ll need to know some terminology regarding some popular homeschooling methods. You’ll see the Charlotte Mason method (or CM method) referred to often, especially among families with younger children. It’s a popular method that encompasses many areas of study. We’ll start our study of the Charlotte Mason method with a look at who she was and some of the key elements of this philosophy. We’ll finish our study next month and then look at resources you can create that support the Charlotte Mason method.

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Writing for the Homeschool Market – Notebooking

Writing for the Homeschool Market Notebooking

One great way to get started writing for the homeschool market is by creating notebooking pages. They are fun and provide countless options and opportunities for creativity—both on the part of the writer and the student.

Notebooking is a tool many homeschoolers integrate with other homeschooling methods. Its variations and applications are limitless. In order to understand what types of resources you can create for notebooking families, we need to look at a few specifics. Continue reading Writing for the Homeschool Market – Notebooking

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Creating Unit Studies

Creating Unit Studies

A unit study is a great way for kids to learn about a topic that sparks their interest. It is also a great way for writers to share their work and use all that “extra” information your research uncovered that just wouldn’t fit into your final piece.

Unit studies take one topic—anything from quicksand to horses to the Civil War—and teach various subjects through that topic. They can be short and cover only a few subjects such as reading, history, and math; or they can be long and tackle every subject of study you can imagine. The length of the unit study is up to you.

Let’s take the Civil War as an example. You have written a series of fictional stories set in the Civil War, targeted at readers ages 8-12. How could you write a unit study that connects your readers with your topic?

We’ll start with reading and writing. You could give the students three writing prompts that relate to the Civil War. You could challenge older students to write a letter from a soldier to his family back home. You could assign a short research assignment. You could ask the students to identify parts of speech by giving them sentences to work with that are related to your topic.

What about math? You can create math problems based on the number of troops present at a battle; you could explore units of measurement using the weight of a pack or the length of a firearm. You could recreate a battlefield map and explore working with scale.

History abounds in a subject like the Civil War, obviously. Explore it. Create puzzles and games; challenge them to find the answers to questions; create a timeline and allow them to fill in key facts and dates.

But the unit study doesn’t have to stop there. Ask them to create a picture of an historically-accurate dress or uniform for art study. Science could look at how gunpowder works. Home economics could share recipes from the home state of one or more of the characters in your novel or story.

The possibilities are endless. So the next time you sit down to write, consider taking five minutes of uninterrupted time and brainstorm any activity or assignment you can think of that is related to your writing project. You may find yourself holding the outline for a unit study! Be sure to stop back and let me know how it turns out!

Here are some great online resources for creating unit studies:

http://paradisepraises.com/homeschool-unit-studies/

http://www.homeschoolshare.com/

http://www.unitstudies.com/UnitStudies.aspx

http://www.crosswalk.com/family/homeschool/resources/creating-your-own-mini-unit-studies-national-holidays.html

So what can you make a unit study about?

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.

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How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers: Part Two

How to Write a Query for Schoolhouse Teachers Part Two

If you’ve been working on the assignment I gave you last month, you’ve thought of one or more good ideas that you want to write about. Now let’s get in to the meat of how to make this a course that kids can enjoy.

You’re going to need three main pieces to your course:

  • The basic text the students will read
  • The activities that will go along with the text
  • Assignments for further exploration

The first question to answer about your text is what age you are writing for. This can be a range, but it’s important to know your reader, just as it is when writing fiction. Not only will it make a difference in your word choice and sentence structure, it will play a huge part in exactly what specific topics you can cover. For example, if you are writing about plants for a child who is six, you are probably not going to spend a week discussing photosynthesis. You are going to discuss things like the types of common plants they see every day, what shape they are, how they grow from a seed, and things relevant to the world of the reader.

Once you know the age of your reader, you can start planning your main content. I’m an outliner, so I like to lay everything out ahead of time and then fill it in. If you prefer just sitting down and writing what comes out, please skip over this section and get busy writing. Let’s say I want to write about the geography of the United States. Two ways to outline this topic come to mind:

  • By region
  • By state

If I choose to outline it by region, I’ll have five divisions (depending on what map I consult): Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West. If I choose to outline it by state, I’ll have fifty separate sections.

If this is your first time creating a course, I strongly suggest you start with the five divisions instead of the fifty. Otherwise, you may find yourself planning for the fifty, starting strong, and wondering what you were ever thinking right around number seventeen!

This month, I want you to outline how your main idea might break down into units and then write. Don’t worry right now about what form the course will take in the end, or what kind of activities you will create—though certainly make note of any ideas you have about those as you go. Write as much as you can, and include as much information as you can. Keep track of the sources you use to gather and verify your information. Your job this month is not to write a polished piece of content. Your job is to learn as much as you can about your idea, divide it into logical chunks, and write as much as you can about. Next month we’ll start turning it into a course.

If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comment box below. I look forward to seeing you in April!

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

Read: How to Write a Query for SchoolhouseTeachers.com 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 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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Writing for Schoolhouse Teachers

How to Write for SchoolhouseTeachers

The homeschooling market is growing rapidly, and there are many ways childrens’ authors can be involved. I’m the executive editor at SchoolhouseTeachers.com, and I’d like to share with you about our company and how you can become part of our writing team. SchoolhouseTeachers.com is the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. We serve homeschool families around the world with online homeschool curriculum that is grounded in a Christian worldview. We are not an online academy in the sense that the students work is graded online, etc. What we offer is low-cost access to high quality material that parents can use in their homes to teach everything from the alphabet to advanced chemistry.

What are you looking for?

We’re looking for individuals to provide classes in many different subject areas for children in preschool through high school, as well as resources for parents. These can be general courses (like American history) or specific and specialized courses (such as a science class that focuses on bugs). We’re also looking for people to create unit studies, worksheets, and other educational content.

Our site currently has over 170 courses. Some are full-year core courses (like pre-algebra). Some are electives, and some are specialized supplemental classes. We are seeking to expand nearly every subject for almost every grade. Even if there is currently a similar course on our site, we are still interested in hearing what you have in mind. We know that every child learns in a unique way and that every teacher teaches in a unique way. We love giving our members choices so they can find what best fits each student. For example, we have two economics classes for high schoolers, but the teachers’ styles are completely different. Similarly, something like literature can be explored from an almost countless number of directions.

In addition to seeking teachers to teach classes, we’re also looking for writers who are interested in providing a number of shorter units. The options there are limitless, but a few ideas would be knights, Victorian England, Africa in the Middle Ages, ancient Japan, weather, gravity, magnets, how to write a paper, and many others.

We would love to discuss with you what type of class you are considering offering. If you are interested in writing for the site but aren’t really sure where to begin or what to write about, please contact me. We can brainstorm with you and help you find something that is a good fit for both of us.

What makes up one lesson?

Lessons include the lesson material, links to other resources (as appropriate), and generally an assignment that enables parents to gauge the student’s comprehension of the work and provides gradable content. If worksheets or questions are provided, the inclusion of an answer key is encouraged.

Purchasing a particular book cannot be required as part of the class, but for classes where additional reading is helpful (such as history) or where a text is required (such as literature), as long as the book can be generally obtained through a library, incorporating it into your lessons is fine.

How many lessons are required?

Class length varies based on the type of class. If it is a core subject, such as history or math, we like to have at least 18-36 weeks. If it is an elective or a specialized supplemental class (for example, a writing unit focused solely on a type of poem or writing a compare/contrast essay), there is no minimum number of lessons.

What is the compensation?

As far as compensation, all of our teachers and writers have complete access to SchoolhouseTeachers.com for their entire family for as long as they are with us. Quite a few of our teachers do so for the membership and as a way to help the community of members much like a co-op setting.

In addition, for those writers who are publishers, small business owners, or bloggers, each six-month period the class runs (adding new content on a regular basis) earns the author advertising through The Old Schoolhouse(R) Magazine. Please contact Executive Editor Bonnie Rose Hudson at bhudson@theoldschoolhouse.com for more information.

Do I retain the rights to my work?

All material remains your exclusive property, your copyright. You can always repost it, create an eBook, etc. If the material is new, we ask that it not be posted as new content on both your site and ours at the same time. (That will dilute its impact on both sites.) Generally, we ask that you wait to post it elsewhere for three months from when it is first posted on our site, but this is something that can be discussed in more detail.

Who writes for SchoolhouseTeachers.com? Do I have to be a homeschool parent?

We have homeschool moms, authors, and grandparents who create the material solely on a volunteer basis in exchange to a free membership to the site. They don’t use their advertising credit, the financial benefit to them being the free access to our materials (and a few who don’t have children help out just to be a part of blessing the homeschooling community).

We also have teachers who have their own businesses and sell their own curriculum or services, who create previously unpublished content for our site. They earn advertising credit that they use for their business and in turn can sell what they create, integrate it into larger projects they publish and sell, etc.

Others of our teachers share a portion of their published curriculum on our site in exchange for the advertising and exposure.

How do I submit an idea for a class I’d like to teach?

Contact me at bhudson@theoldschoolhouse.com. Please include a little bit about yourself and your background, what subject areas you are most interested in teaching, and why you are interested in being a part of SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Being a homeschooler is not required, but please feel free to share about your homeschooling background as well if you’d like.

Please feel free to email me with any and all ideas and questions. I’ll be happy to talk to you!

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.