Monday, November 4, 2013

Welcome My Dear Amigo, Karen Lange! *applause*

I want to welcome my good pal (and amigo) Karen Lange today to discuss her book, Homeschool Co-ops 101. This is a lovely lady who is ALWAYS ready to help her fellow comrades. I MEAN WE ALL LOVE HER!!!! So please enjoy and then comment to her with a word of congrads. Or ask a question about the process or anything. (She’s real smart too!) 

Your new book on homeschooling coops, Homeschool Co-ops 101, is chock full of information for homeschooling families. I especially love the hands on unit studies for grades K-12.

How did you decide to write the book?
Robyn, thanks so much for inviting me over, you are a wonderful friend! Thanks, too, for your kind words.  About ten years ago, I was encouraged by a dear friend in the homeschool community to write a booklet about co-ops. She knew that our family’s co-op experience was good, and that I had people ask me questions about how a co-op works. The booklet seemed like a good way to share the info, so I self published it.  In May, Helping Hands Press offered me a contract to expand it, and well, you know the rest!  

How did you come up with the title?
The book offers info on how to start a co-op, and weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for homeschool families, so Homeschool Co-ops 101 seemed like a good fit.

Tell us about your book, Karen.
Here’s a breakdown of each section:
Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.  Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. Section 3 also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic. Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
What are your current projects?

Right now, I am working on a few articles and looking ahead to another possible book for homeschoolers with Helping Hands Press. I’m also gearing up for the fall online writing classes I offer for homeschooled teens.  

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always liked to write but never thought about becoming a writer. I did have a high school literature teacher who told me I was a good writer. I think I left class that day about two inches taller! :)
When my kids were in elementary school, my husband encouraged me to take a correspondence course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I enjoyed it so much I took another one, and began writing articles and taking on freelance work.  

I know your son designed the cover on the original booklet. Did he design this cover too?

Yes, he did. My other son  had helped me format the original booklet, and my daughter helped edit this book. So it’s been a family project! 

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I had a tight deadline, so I was spending a lot of time in the writing cave. It was the tightest and most intense deadline I ever had, and it was hard to balance real life with meeting the deadline. Let’s just say my husband and I ate a lot of frozen pizza! 

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and learning. Connect with other writers and be open to feedback. Accept rejection as part of the process. Along those lines, I like what author Ann Gabhart says, “Rejection is not fatal.” She’s right!
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, or anything that we don’t know about you.
1)      My first job, other than babysitting, was in my Dad’s shoe store. I started working there in my early teens, and worked there into my early twenties. The most frequent question I got from friends was, “Do you get free shoes?” Actually, I did! It was a great benefit.  :)
2)      My sons played hockey in their teens, and I was the volunteer time/score keeper for many games. That meant I got to sit in the penalty box where the scoreboard and clock were. It was a lot of fun!  
3)      I grew up on a barrier island in southern New Jersey, but I never liked the beach. I don’t know if it was the sand or the crowds (it was a big tourist area). As an adult who now lives away from the beach, I do miss it a little!

Thank you Karen. I am thrilled to be a part of your awesome book/blog tour for homeschoolers. (I love you amigo!) You know that.

Robyn, my sweet and faithful amigo friend, thank you for having me over today! It’s always so nice to stop by your place. Thanks so much for your support!

Go visit Karen and show some bloggy writerly love!
Helping Hands Press: http://myhelpinghandspress.org/
Twitter: KLELange
Homeschool Creative Writing Co-op for Teens: http://www.homeschoolwritingco-op.bravesites.com/

homeschool co-ops 101
Essential co-op tools, tips, and options for today’s homeschool families. Thinking about joining or starting a homeschool co-op? Not sure if a co-op is a good fit? Homeschool Co-ops 101 weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for today’s homeschool family.
  • Section 1 includes essential, digestible info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.
  • Section 2 shares a sampling of co-op games and activities, and
  • Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. These ready to use studies include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or home use. This section also includes unit study guidelines that are easily customized to suit any topic.
  • Section 4 offers suggested books, curriculum, and other resources.
Karen Lange has gathered insight from years of co-oping and now shares her own and others’ experiences in this valuable and encouraging handbook.
Homeschool Co-ops 101 is available at:
~~~Amazon~~~
~~~Kobo~~~
karen langeAbout the Author Karen Lange, her husband, and three children were active in co-ops during their sixteen-year homeschool journey. Her experience includes serving as a local homeschool support group coordinator and consultant for a state homeschool network in New Jersey. Karen’s children have since graduated, and she is now a freelance writer and online writing instructor for homeschooled teens. You can connect with Karen at her Blog, on Twitter, and Facebook. homeschool co-ops 101
Blog Tour Schedule
November 4 ~Ruth Schiffman, http://outonalimbshywritergoessocial.blogspot.com/ ~Robyn Campbell, http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
November 5 ~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Diane Estrella, www.dianeestrella.com
November 6 ~Gena Mayo, ichoosejoy.org
~Marja Meijers, http://sacredsabbath.blogspot.com/
November 7 ~Sandie Crozek, http://chattycrone.blogspot.com/
~Melissa Brander, http://mkbrander.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 8 ~Susan Reinhardt, http://www.susanjreinhardt.com/
~Cecelia Lester, http://quietspirit-followingmyking.blogspot.com/
November 10
~Laura V. Hilton, http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/
~Melissa & Tiffany, http://www.homegrownfamilies.net
~Janette Dolores, http://janettedolores.blogspot.com
November 11 ~Susan Sundwall, www.sundwallsays.blogspot.com
~Michelle Isenhoff, http://www.michelleisenhoff.com/wp
November 12 ~Carol Alexander, http://lessonsfromthehomestead.com/blog/
~Jeanette Levellie, http://www.jeanettelevellie.com/
November 13 ~Susanne Dietze, http://susannedietze.blogspot.com/ ~Sherryl Wilson, simplysherryl.com
~Anne Payne, duhpaynes.blogspot.com
November 14 ~Rhonda Schrock, http://www.rhondaschrock.com/rhondas_blog/ ~Abi Buening, http://myheartbelongs2books.blogspot.com/
~Amber Schamel, http://www.amberschamel.com/history-blog.html
~Renee, motherdaughterbookreviews.com
November 15 ~Crystal King, http://asimpleheartforhome.blogspot.com/ ~Barb Winters, inthemidstof.wordpress.com/
~Tyrean Martinson, http://tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com/
November 16
~Julie, soaringeagle8.blogspot.com
~Sarah, myjoyfilledlife.com
November 17 ~Amada Chavez, ascphotosanddesigns.blogspot.com
~Cindi Clubbs, http://ccclubbs.com/
~Rebecca Boerner, http://ohiohomeschool.blogspot.com/
November 18
~Carlene Havel, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6440085.Carlene_Havel/blog
~Cindy Loven, http://cindylovenreviews.blogspot.com
November 19
~Karen Loethen, http://taytayhser.blogspot.com.au/
~Amy Smith, myseasonsofopportunities.blogspot.com/
November 20
~Darlene Arroyo-Lozada, http://lovebookslozada.blogspot.com/
November 22
~Sarah Bailey, http://growingforchrist.wordpress.com
~Thumb Updown, http://momsthumb.blogspot.com/
December 2
~Jennifer Shirk, http://jennifershirk.blogspot.com/
~Ticia M., http://adventuresinmommydom.org/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
The Giveaway Open to US addresses only. One person will receive a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Please use the Rafflecopter below to be entered: a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen from those entries and announced December 5, 2013. Good luck!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as e-mailed, and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Diane at That’s What I’m Here For… and sponsored by the author, Karen Lange. The author provided me with a free copy of Homeschool Co-ops 101 to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a giveaway in return for the free book.VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

54 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good resource for those homeschooling. Awesome that Karen's son helped with the cover.

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  2. I've read Karen's book and can see how many of the ideas can be applied even if a parent is not homeschooling. Learning can be a fun experience.

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  3. As a former homeschooling parent, I wish I had had Karen's book. It's truly a wonderful resource!

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  4. Natalie,
    Thanks so much! It's nice having a graphic designer in the family. My other son helped with formatting, and my daughter helped with edits. :)

    Susan,
    Thank you! Your support is a blessing! :)

    Ruth,
    Thank you! I wrote it with that in mind - as far as it being something I would have used when homeschooling too. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  5. Hockey mom!
    That's cool your son and daughter got to help with the finished book. I bet you never thought that booklet would send you on this journey!

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  6. Thank you so much for featuring Karen's book and being a part of the blog tour. Wishing you every success and joy!!!

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  7. Alex,
    Yes, I was a total hockey mom! They played ice and roller hockey. I rather miss those days. :) I never imagined this journey, you are right!

    Diane,
    Your support and help has been invaluable for this tour. Thanks so much!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  8. Homeschooling's come a long way from the days when my mother taught me... What a wonderful resource!

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  9. Bish,
    I didn't know you were a former homeschooler! :) It really has come a long way, and the resources available just boggle the mind. Thanks so much!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  10. I like that--hockey mom! :) What a wonderful resource for home schoolers. And Karen, I never knew you'd done those correspondence courses. I think I sent off for information eons ago and never followed up. That was a new one on me.

    Congratulations again on your well-deserved recognition!

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  11. Hi, Karen. Your book sounds like a great resource for all homeschooling parents. It's nice that your son and daughter were able to help with the book. Best wishes!

    Hi, Robyn! : )

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  12. Rhonda,
    Yup, that was me - hockey mom. It was fun! Thanks so much! :)

    Susanne,
    Yes, it was great fun having family help. Thank you! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. Yay for Karen. I wish her much success. This is a great resource/reference book.

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  14. Mom's been thinking of homeschooling us. This book could come in handy! :D

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  15. Medeia,
    Thanks so much! Appreciate you following me all over the place! :)

    Erik,
    It just might lend a hand! Wishing you the best!

    Have a good week,
    Karen

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  16. Hi Robyn and Karen - what a fun interview and I can quite see why and how you got to writing your book. So pleased your husband encouraged you too ..

    Fun facts as well - obviously a lady with many talents .. including avoiding the crowds!!

    Cheers to you both - have happy weekends .. Hilary

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  17. Congratulations to Karen. This is a fun interview!
    Hi Robyn! *waving* how are you pal??
    I've been thinking about you. When you have a moment, please stop by my blog, I have something for you to read...
    Writer In Transit

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  18. Hilary,
    You are so sweet! I am so thankful for friends like you!:)

    Michelle,
    Thank you! Appreciate you stopping by!

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  19. Hi, Robyn! I hope you will stop by to claim the award I have nominated you for. Have an AWESOME day!

    Susanne
    PUTTING WORDS DOWN ON PAPER

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  20. Hi Robyn .. as Karen knows I've scanned read the beginning of 101 .. as I can see it may well be helpful with the elderly too ...

    I haven't reached that part yet - but I'd like to say I was impressed with Karen's book and it has much to offer .. not just home-schoolers.

    Cheers to you both .. Hilary

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  21. wow, it sounds like a great book for homeschool parents! What a great price too. I'm going to tweet it!

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  22. Fun interview, ladies! Karen, I've been enjoying seeing a lot about your and your book lately and visiting other blogs on your tour. Hope your book reaches many homeschooling parents. Thanks for sharing, Robyn!

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  23. This is a book I wish I had when I first started homeschooling 13 years ago! Congratulations to Karen for writing what will be a super useful book for the homeschool community! I'll be sure to mention it to my homeschool friends.

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  24. Sharon,
    Thanks so much! You are so sweet. Appreciate your support and passing the word! :)

    Connie,
    Thank you! I feel as though I have a lot of cheerleaders (with Robyn being one of the best ones!:)

    Teresa,
    You know, I actually wish I'd had it too back when I started. My kids got to be the test subjects, lol. Thanks so much for spreading the word!

    Thanks and blessings,
    Karen

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  25. Karen's book sounds like such a great resource for parents who homeschool. It was fun to learn more about her. Great interview!
    ~Jess

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  26. Jess,
    Thanks so much! It's always nice to stop by at Robyn's place! ;)
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  48. Looks like a wonderful resource! Thanks ladies!

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