Entries Tagged 'Announcements' ↓

WriteShop Twitter Party

WriteShop Twitter Party

It’s a Twitter Party!

 Fast-paced, fun
 Sharing, linking, chatting
Twitter, friends … Virtual chocolate, real prizes
 Celebrating, learning, writing
 Festivity, merriment

You’re invited to a WriteShop Twitter Party on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:00 p.m. EST. We’ll have lots of door prizes and virtual chocolate too! Prizes include WriteShop goodies valued up to $100!

Twitter parties can move a little fast, so the easiest way to participate is by using www.tweetchat, www.tweetgrid, or www.tweetdeck. Follow the hashtag #WriteShopParty and @WriteShop to keep up with the questions and prizes.

To start the celebration off, here’s a party favor just for you!

WriteShop Photo Writing PromptWriteShop Photo Writing Prompt #4

The following blogs are helping us out with the party preparations. Be sure to stop by each one and collect the other three party favors!

Pre-Party Giveaway

We’re starting the celebration early with an exciting pre-party giveaway.

You can win your choice of any WriteShop Primary Curriculum Package (e-book version), valued between $29-$34! Enter below using the Rafflecopter widget. (Not sure how this works? Read How to Enter Rafflecopter Giveaways.)

[UPDATE: The winner of the WriteShop Primary e-book package is Michelle S. Congratulations!]

We hope to see you there!

WriteShop Twitter Party

. . . . .

Did you like our fun diamante poem at the top of this post? Why not teach your kids to write their own? Click here for a tutorial!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 Days of Christmas – A gift a day!

Twelve Days of Christmas

December 26, 2011 through January 6, 2012 mark the Twelve Days of Christmas. Celebrate with us by receiving a gift for the season!

Nutcracker ChristmasWriteShop is partnering with Homeschooling Today magazine to bring you a special gift on December 31, the Sixth Day of Christmas.

I can’t tell you what the gift is (don’t you love surprises?), but I can tell you that it’s something brand-new, and I promise you’ll be thrilled. Plus, we’re throwing in a terrific WriteShop discount coupon too.

How to Get Your Gifts

Go to www.HomeschoolingToday.com now to sign up on the home page for the Homeschooling Helper e-newsletter to receive our offer on the above date.

Homeschooling Today will send a special discount or gift from a different vendor each day of the Twelve Days of Christmas — that’s 12 different goodies — but only to their readers. Get your new year off right! Sign up now so you don’t miss a single one of these special offers.

And if you’re unfamiliar with the traditions of the Twelve Days of Christmas, check out Marilyn Rockett’s excellent article. It will help you make sense of what “four calling birds,” “six geese a-laying,” and “eight maids a-milking” really mean.

Wishing you the richest blessings of the season,

WriteShop Junior Book D giveaway!

The long, long, L-O-N-G wait is almost over. Yes! WriteShop Junior Book D is at the printer, and we’ll begin taking preorders in just a few days. But before that happens, we want to do a fun giveaway and give you a chance to share the excitement.

A Peek at WriteShop Junior

Author Nancy I. Sanders has done it again! After creating the amazing WriteShop Primary series, Nancy has now written WriteShop Junior for upper-elementary students.

First in the series, Book D eases your 3rd-5th graders into writing. It exposes children to genre, fiction and nonfiction writing, and journal writing, and introduces exciting new brainstorming and editing tools that truly motivate young writers!

“To say that my sons were reluctant writers would be an understatement… [but] they progressed from ‘once upon a time, the end,’ to completing stories with a beginning, middle, and end.” –Rolayne, IN

“Book D was so easy to teach, I couldn’t possibly fail! The lessons were concise and fun, which made my reluctant writer start to come out of his shell. His writing skills have come a long way—and so have mine.” –Kelley, SD

Start with Book D if your child has not yet grasped punctuation or grammar skills and still needs help planning, organizing, and adding details to a story. (More reluctant 3rd graders should probably start with WriteShop Primary Book C.)

WriteShop Junior Components

1. Book D Teacher’s Guide (Required)

Easy-to-use lesson plans help you lead and guide your kiddos through the steps of the writing process.

2. Book D Activity Pack (Required)

This clever and convenient 2-pack* contains both the Student Worksheet Pack and the Level 1 Fold-N-Go™ Grammar Pack.

*Student Worksheet Pack: Activity pages your child will need to complete portions of each lesson. These worksheets introduce your child to writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing.

“My son is enjoying the process, having fun, and looking forward to doing the activities each day. That’s a giant step for him!” – Teresa, WA

*Fold-N-Go™ Grammar Pack: Fun reference tools with simple exercises that introduce or review grammar rules and essential writing skills. Printed on brightly colored paper, pages are assembled inside a file folder to form 10 large flipbooks, one for each lesson in each WriteShop Junior book.

“Fold-N-Gos have been a wonderful opportunity to review and learn grammar concepts. If that weren’t enough, they’re fun and something my daughter looks forward to. I love that!” –Heidi, NY

3. Time-Saver Pack (Optional)

For parents and teachers who appreciate shortcuts, the Time-Saver Pack includes a number of sturdy, ready-made props for activities featured throughout Book D, such as game cards and spinners. If you prefer to make your own, you’ll find instructions for each activity in the Teacher’s Guide.

“Thank you so much for designing the cards and spinners. The less time I have to spend in prep, the more time we have for learning!” –Sandy, Texas

Enter the Giveaway!

We want to give one lucky winner a complete WriteShop Junior Book D curriculum package. Simply leave a comment below telling why you (or your children!) need Book D.


  • The giveaway will be open until midnight EST Thursday October 27, 2011. Winner will be announced Friday October 28.
  • Share the love! You can get up to 3 extra entries by posting on Facebook, blogging, or tweeting a link to the giveaway. You must leave a separate comment for EACH entry (4 entries max per person). Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • This giveaway is offered to US & Canada residents only.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  • IMPORTANT: In order to enter the drawing, you must leave a comment on THIS post. To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the post. (If you are reading this via RSS, you will need to visit the actual blog to post a comment.)

Pre-order Book D and Get a FREE Gift!

Later this week, we will send a newsletter announcing pre-orders for Book D. WriteShop News subscribers who pre-order through the link in the email will receive a valuable BONUS item: the Book D Time-Saver Pack ($13.95 value)! Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for our newsletter here.

Learn more about Book D

Bright Ideas Press Facebook Party!


It’s a Party . . . and You’re Invited!

Maggie Hogan and Bright Ideas Press are hosting a HUGE party—and you’re invited! Have you attended a FaceBook party yet? I’ll be one of the guest “speakers” sharing tips for teaching reluctant writers.

Here’s the scoop: Go to Facebook and *like* Bright Ideas Press (BIP). Then, come to the party this afternoon at the BIP page and get ready to share, learn, and win prizes—literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of prizes!

Plus, there will be “speakers” available to answer your questions on different topics. Meet Kim Kautzer of WriteShop (that’s me!), Felice Gerwitz of Media Angels, Sharra Badgley of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, and Dari Mullins from Illuminations.

What: Bright Ideas Press Facebook Party
Date: Mon. June 27
Time: 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. EDT
Place: Bright Ideas Press Facebook page

Throughout the evening you’ll have opportunities to win great products from Heart of the Matter Online, WriteShop, Media Angels, Raising Real Men, The Old Schoolhouse, My Audio School, Trivium Pursuit, Knowledge Box Central, and of course Bright Ideas Press! (And everyone who stops by gets a FREE Literature Study Guide and a free Family Bible Study on Ruth!) The two grand prizes include TWO free copies of WonderMaps and Illuminations!

Introducing Tip Talk Time

One of the cool things about this FB Party is a chance to learn, connect, and get your questions answered! Each of the three scheduled speakers has a specific 15-minute time slot, and you get a chance to “ask the experts” your questions! This is how “Tip Talks” will work:

1. The speaker will post a tip.
2. She’ll then allow for comments and questions under her post.
3. She’ll answer as many questions as she can, and then . . .
4. She’ll move on to post a brand-new tip.
5. Rinse and Repeat. :)

TIP TALKS Schedule

5:30 PM EDT
Speaker: Kim Kautzer (WriteShop) – www.writeshop.com
Title: Tips for Teaching a Reluctant Writer

Kim will share some practical ideas to help your struggling student find more joy and success in writing. Learn how to inspire confidence, strengthen skills, and add a bit of fun to writing time!

6:15 PM EDT
Speaker: Felice Gerwitz – www.mediaangels.com
Title: Parent-Child Relationships with Your Homeschoolers

Most homeschoolers wear many hats…mommy, teacher, and disciplinarian. We love our kids, and they love us, but sometimes relationships in such close proximity can cause havoc within our homes! Felice is a long-time homeschool mom to five very different children. Join her for a session of Q and A about kids, how to engage them, and how to have lasting relationships.

7:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Dari Mullins – http://illuminations.brightideaspress.com
Title: Answering Your Questions about Illuminations

If you use (or are considering using) The Mystery of History or All American History, you might be interested in Illuminations. Illuminations includes dozens of fabulous literature study guides and much, much more to go with these two history series–including WriteShop!

FYI – even if a particular TIP TALK is not for you, there will be plenty of other partying going on simultaneously! Buckle up – this will be FAST!

To attend the party, simply “like” the Bright Ideas Press FB page. See you there!

Small Business Saturday 2010


First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. This year, November 27th is the first ever Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday is a national movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.

More than a dozen advocacy, public and private organizations have already joined American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.

From www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday 

Would you like to make a positive impact on small businesses that supply your community and your special needs (such as homeschooling)? Small Business Saturday is a great way for you to support local, grass-roots, entrepreneurial, and mom-and-pop companies. Americans love “big box” stores, but it’s important to support small businesses. We can’t survive without you!

Why Support Small Businesses?

  1. Small businesses are our nation’s economic heart and soul. Supporting us keeps us alive and thriving.
  2. In this “big box” world, it’s refreshing to patronize one-of-a-kind businesses and small companies with character.
  3. Small businesses such as Writeshop are often birthed out of a need. Entrepreneurship allows us to be innovative, inventive, and creative.
  4. Small businesses develop and choose products based on the needs of their niche customers, thus providing you with a wide array of product choices.

Save 20% at WriteShop.com

To learn more, visit Small Business Saturday on Facebook. I also hope you’ll join me in supporting small businesses. To encourage your support, here’s a discount coupon to use in the WriteShop store.

Use coupon code 20SBS at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase on Saturday, November 27 at www.writeshop.com.

I’m nominated!

Overflowing-inbox Monday.
Piles-of-laundry Monday.
Rainy, drizzly, mountains-shrouded-in-fog Monday.

You’ve-been-nominated-for-a-blog-award Monday.


Just when Monday was threatening to overtake me by storm, I learned that In Our Write Minds has been nominated for a 2010 Homeschool Blog Award in the “Best Curriculum and Business Blog” category.

I’m humbled and thrilled at the same time!

If my blog has blessed or encouraged you this past year, I’d be honored to have your vote. Voting ends November 18.


Words Matter Week – March 1-7

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

~Mark Twain

Words Matter Week Is Coming!

A whole week devoted to the written word . . . and I’m excited!

I confess that I’m a word geek. From playing word games like Scrabble, Boggle, and crossword puzzles to highlighting a passage of breathtaking prose, I have a thing for words (though if you’ve visited my blog more than once, you’ve probably figured that out).

The more I read and write, the more conscious I become of the power of words. Words really do matter.

  • Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. ~Rudyard Kipling
  • Death and life are in the power of the tongue. ~Proverbs 18:21a
  • A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11
  • Poorly chosen words can kill enthusiasm, impact self-esteem, lower expectations and hold people back. Well chosen ones can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking and alter results. ~Nan S. Russell

Yep. Words matter.

And that’s why I’m looking forward to celebrating National Words Matter Week. Sponsored by the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (NAIWE), this event focuses on the importance of words, particularly the written word.

How To Participate

Anyone with an interest in words and writing will enjoy participating in Words Matter Week, including educators, bloggers, writers, libraries, and homeschoolers nationwide. There are many creative ways to get involved. Here are just a few:

  • In Our Write Minds: Check my blog every day during Words Matter Week for vocabulary-building and word game ideas, activities for parents and kids, helpful links, a contest or two—and some thoughts on why words matter.
  • Words Matter blog: During March 1-7, you’ll find a daily blog challenge.
  • Words Matter Week: Ideas that encourage participation from homeschoolers, schools, bloggers, libraries, churches, bookstores, and more.
  • Communication FUNdamentals is running a weeklong contest March 1-5, 2010

So I hope you’ll join me next week as we have some fun together exploring why words matter!

Incredible homeschool sale benefits a family in need!

3 Truths about Homeschoolers

As a 15-year homeschooling veteran, I’ve discovered three truths about most homeschoolers:

  • We love a bargain, especially on curriculum!
  • We’re a passionate bunch.
  • We watch out for and care for each other.

Now you have a chance to prove just how true this is! Let me explain.

A Special Family

Some of you may be familiar with the wonderful homeschooling company, Hands and Hearts. The owners, Jeff and Kate Estes, create fabulous hands-on history kits you can use to supplement your history studies.

Not one of us is immune to life’s trials, but the Estes family has experienced more than their share. I cannot tell you how much I admire their deeply rooted faith. If you’ve had a chance to follow Kate’s blog, you know that in the midst of their darkest hours, their faith and peace has been a tremendous inspiration.

These past several years have produced a string of exceptional trials for this family:

  • Last spring, their Hands and Hearts business was stopped temporarily by unreasonable CPSIA regulations,creating tremendous hardship as the company’s profitability took a nosedive.
  • Their little 3-year-old Noah suffers with mitochondrial disease. Ultimately, this rare disease will claim his life. He is hospitalized frequently—and often suddenly—leaving Kate to drop everything to rush him to the hospital.
  • Jeff has been out of work for many months. He has been unable to land another job that gives him the flexibility to care for their other seven children while Kate is at the hospital with Noah many miles away. Their savings has been exhausted and they are close to losing their home.

A Chance to Give . . . and Receive!

When their fellow Christian publishers heard what was going on, we all jumped in to try to help. Check out this incredible way you can bless the Estes family and get nearly 10X your donation back in gifts from homeschool publishers you know and trust, including:

I’m putting out a call to action! Can you help this dear family? If so, by making a small donation of only $39, you’ll receive over $350 worth of fantastic products .

Not only that, if you donate $39 or more, your name also goes into a drawing for several Super Prize Packages. There are two Grand Prizes valued at over $849 each, and three First Prizes, valued at over $100 each. Among the prizes is a WriteShop package worth over $100!

So please:

  • Show your passion!
  • Help another homeschooling family!
  • And land a bargain for yourself in the process!

If you would like to receive a fantastic assortment of homeschool goodies while helping Jeff and Kate, please click here. Even if you’re not a homeschooler and you would just like to make a donation without taking the products, you’re welcome to do that as well. The sale continues through January 30.

Edited: The benefit sale has ended, but if you’d still like to make a donation, please click here and find the PayPal button.

Thanks for taking the time to read about this very difficult situation. And whether or not you are able to donate, would you please remember to pray for this dear family?

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory.”  Ephesians 3:20-21

With deepest appreciation,

Photos courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons 2.0, Kate Estes, and stock.xchg.

Winter blues? Jumpstart your homeschooling in 2010

It’s 2010!

And now that your Christmas decorations have (we hope) come down, it’s time to shake off the winter blues and get your homeschool into gear again. Does that excite you, or does it make you want to dive under the covers?

The January Blahs 

Sometimes, it can be tough for homeschooling families to get back into gear in January. Mom feels burned out. The kids lack motivation. Foul weather doesn’t help much either and can often lead to cabin fever and a general sense of “blah.”
As a veteran homeschooler myself, I really want you to succeed—and not just to survive, but to thrive—which is why I love passing on great resources as they cross my path. My friend Terri Johnson of Knowledge Quest offers two fantastic homeschool classes—Homeschooling ABCs and Upper Level Homeschool—which are sure to jumpstart your homeschooling endeavors in the new year.

Signing up for either course means lots of free bonus gifts valued at up to $275, including a January-only BOGO (buy one, get one) so you and a friend can take the class together! Here’s a brief look at each class:

Class #1: Homeschooling ABCs

Homeschooling from A to Z. Whether you’re brand-new to homeschooling or have been at it for a dozen years, this excellent 26-week class will encourage you along the journey of teaching your children. If you feel overwhelmed, unmotivated, or discouraged, this class will provide focus, direction, and encouragement,.

This is absolutely a MUST TAKE class for all homeschoolers – new or seasoned! I cannot recommend it enough! I have been homeschooling for a decade, and last year lost all enthusiasm for homeschooling. I was prepared “to ship them all off to school!” Your class has helped me to refocus my goals, remember why I wanted to homeschool, and get out of the rut we were plodding through!  –LeeAnn, homeschooling mom

It’s only $10 a month for 6 months—an amazing value! To sign up or learn more about the course, check out Homeschooling ABCs.

Class #2: Upper Level Homeschool

Homeschooling Your High Schooler. Are you daunted by the idea of homeschooling through high school? Upper Level Homeschool is an online course specifically designed for homeschooling parents of middle- and high-school students. Don’t let self-doubt or lack of knowledge rob you and your teen of these very exciting years! All you need are a few basic “how-to’s” and your high schooler can be well on his way to academic success and a very bright future.

Writing is one of those areas that can intimidate the bravest of parents, so Terri invited me to contribute the course material for Tackling the Timed Essay. Drawing from the timed-essay lesson in WriteShop II and my workshop, “Teaching the Timed Essay,” I’ve put together a syllabus for you that’s jam-packed with tips for teaching timed writing, including preparing for the essay portion of the SAT college entrance exam.

And there’s so much more to this excellent 13-week course! To sign up for the class or learn more about it, check out Upper Level Homeschool. At just $15 per month for 3 months, it’s the best money you can spend to gain peace of mind about teaching your kids through high school.

Don’t forget that each of these great courses comes with fabulous bonus gifts such as forms, checklists, maps, lesson planners, and more! Check out each class to see the different bonus gifts offered.

Our winners!

Congrats to the 14 winners of our Black Friday drawing. It was such fun reaching into the bowl and pulling out names!

Grand Prize

Two lucky homeschool moms won the Illuminations, Year 1 program from Bright Ideas Press, a $165 value! Way to go, ladies!

  • Kari O.
  • Carla S.

Gift Bundles

The following ladies won a gift bundle containing products donated by Media Angels, A Journey Through Learning, Art of Eloquence, Raising Real Men, and Beloved Books.

  • Valorie B.
  • Holli B.
  • Liz K.
  • Candee B.
  • Patti H.
  • Mary O.
  • Lori A.
  • Lee S.
  • Jennifer O.
  • Deborah R.

Bonus Gifts

And here are the winners of our bonus gifts!

Congrats again to the winners. Also, thanks to these great homeschool companies for their generous donations. Please take a moment to visit their web sites and browse around!

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