I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Welcome Karen Lange and Homeschool Co-Ops 101!

Welcome Karen Lange to Tea and a Good Book!

I'm thrilled to help Karen celebrate the launch of her book, Homeschool Co-Ops 101. Below, you can read about the book, Karen, enter a drawing for a $25 Amazon gift card, and also find other blogs she's visiting on her tour!

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:
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.

A Quick Chat with Karen...

What prompted you to write this book?

Thanks so much for inviting me over to your blog! I’m looking forward to visiting with you and your followers.

About ten years ago, I was encouraged by a good friend in the homeschool community to write a booklet about co-ops. She was the director of a statewide homeschool support network, and she knew people often asked me about how a co-op works. The booklet seemed like a good way to share the info, so I self published it.  In May of 2013, Helping Hands Press offered me a contract to expand it, so here we are! 

What can readers expect to find in the book?

The book offers info on how to start a co-op and weighs the pros, cons, and creative options available for homeschool families. One thing I emphasize is that parents have options when it comes to co-oping. Co-ops come in all sizes and sometimes an existing one is not a good fit for a family. Parents shouldn’t feel bad or be intimidated if this is the case; they need to know that it’s okay to either not participate and even start their own co-op if they wish.

Another thing to note is that HC 101's usefulness is not limited to just homeschoolers. The how to section offers helpful setup and structure tips for other K-12 student groups. The activity segment has lessons, games, and hands on projects that suit these groups as well.                            

Here is a breakdown of each section of the book:

Section 1 includes info on co-op ingredients such as planning and organization, schedules, teaching, finances, and addressing conflict and burnout.  Section 2 has a sampling of co-op games and activities, and Section 3 contains five hands-on unit studies. The topics include lessons on Leonardo da Vinci, Birds of Prey, Public Speaking, Tall Tales, and Creative Writing, and are suitable for co-op or individual 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.

Tell us a little about your homeschool experience.

My husband and I homeschooled our three children (two sons and a daughter) in grades K-12. We chose to homeschool because, among other things, we wanted to personalize our children’s education and felt home was the best place to do that. During this time, we were active with our local homeschool support group’s events such as field trips and science and art fairs.  Co-ops played an important role too. These activities helped supplement our studies, provided balanced socialization, fellowship, and fun. They also offered a broader worldview as our children interacted with not just homeschool families, but the surrounding community.

If you happen to be interested in more info about the ups and downs of homeschooling, socialization, higher education, and other related topics, visit this link: http://www.insanitek.net/ink/archives/865

What would you like readers to take away from the book?

No one plan fits everyone, so I encourage families, whether they decide to co-op or not, to find the right balance and fit for them. My hope is that they would find ideas and encouragement for their children’s educational journey. 

Thanks again for sharing your space with me today. It’s been a pleasure!

homeschool co-ops 101
The Giveaway is 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.
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/


Karen Lange said...

Thank you so much for hosting today! I appreciate your help and encouragement! You are a blessing. :)
Have a wonderful day,

Robyn Campbell said...

YaY my pal and amigo! Hugs to you and what a sweet tribute this blog tour is for you. This book is treasured by me. <3

Karen Lange said...

Thank you Robyn! So thankful for sweet friends like you and Susie. Your support means so much! :)

Susanne Dietze said...

I'm delighted to have you here, Karen! i am so excited for you, and I wish you all the best with this book!

Susanne Dietze said...

Hi Robyn! So nice of you to come by and support dear Karen. I'm glad you could visit!

Diane Estrella said...

Thank you so much for featuring Karen's book and for including the Q&A. Have a great week!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen & Susie -

Love the cover! I read the book, and know it will help many parents.

Susan :)

Karen Lange said...

Thanks so much for organizing this wonderful tour! :)

Thanks for your support! :)


educator said...

We liked the larger groups for field trips and special ceremonies and celebrations like graduation. But we started a small group of 8 families for lesson co-ops, play days and moms night out.

Susanne Dietze said...

Educator, thanks so much for visiting! Your group of 8 families sounds wonderful.

Karen Lange said...

I hear you. We preferred the smaller groups too. They seem to facilitate closer student and parent relationships. Thanks for stopping over!
Happy weekend,