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Details Details Details

Know someone who wants to review for EHO?

If you do, send them to our prospective reviewers section.

Rights & Permissions

EHO owns all rights to reviews

Reviewers may reprint reviews under specific conditions and with EHO permission (Contact Beverly Krueger, your Senior Editor.)

Subscribe to EHO Edit

To subscribe to EHO Edit, where you will be uploading files and through which you will receive any business announcements, send an email to…

This is a Yahoo list that all accepted reviewers must join.

Read the Magazine & Subscribe to the Newsletter

Why someone who does not read at least part of the magazine would choose to write for it is beyond me. Anyone who does not consider EHO worth reading should seriously reconsider the worth of reviewing for it.

Subscribing to the EHO newsletter gets you notices every two weeks when updates publish. This alerts you to what is new on the website and any exciting events that you might otherwise miss. Eclectic Homeschool Newsletter

Maintain Active Reviewer Status

To maintain active reviewer status, you must upload nine (9) reviews every quarter. We do understand life’s intrusions. If you need to schedule a leave of absence, contact the Reviews Editor.

Keep Your Bio Up-to-Date

35 words is ideal

We suggest using set references rather than flexible phrases. For instance, “The Cardwell family has been homeschooling since 1990” would never have to be updated, but, “The Cardwell family has been homeschooling for 14 years” would have to be updated every year.

You can see a sample bio at the bottom of every EHO review.

Serious and funny are both fine.

Including a link to your personal or business website or ministry is acceptable.

Ditto on including other contact information; we are okay with people using their bios to promote themselves within reason.

If you wish to include links, please let Bev know, so that she can add the html coding that will make the links work online.

Reviewer-Product Matching

Not every product is right for every reviewer. We do our best to avoid mismatches by letting you (most of the time) choose the products you review. If, however, you get a product that you flat out don’t like and cannot write an unbiased review for, please contact your Reviews Editor about returning it so that we can pass it along to a reviewer it will suit. There is no shame in this.

Classic Example: A friend reviewed Barb Shelton’s Senior High: A Home Designed Form+U+La years ago and hated it, completely trashed it. She saw no value in it whatsoever, or if she did see some value she felt it was nowhere near enough. I, on the other hand, took three boys through high school with this very book close at hand. I love it and would not only be willing to give it a great review today, but a glowing endorsement. The difference is in learning/teaching style and personality. My friend, the Classical educator, likely still doesn’t see the value in this definitely-for-relaxed-educators book, but one person not being able to see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. How much better would it have been for both Barb Shelton and the readers of that magazine if my friend had been able to pass it off to someone else, someone who fit Mrs. Shelton’s educational philosophy and therefore saw the book for what it was instead of what it was not?

If you determine that a product is not only a bad match for you, but a bad match for EHO, it would help us tremendously if you would download the Product Rejection Recommendation form, fill it out, and mail it back to the Reviews Editor with the product in question. (Send the postage receipt and we will reimburse you for your postage.) We can then evaluate the product, bearing in mind the specific points you have noted and the conclusions you have reached, and determine if it is a product best set aside.

Deadlines

Your deadline is two (2) weeks from the day you receive your package. When requesting product, bear the deadline in mind. If you will not be able to review everything you want so quickly, do not request everything you want. Time works just like money in this instance; if you don’t have enough money you don’t buy it, and if you don’t have enough time you don’t request it.

If you can’t meet a deadline, you will return the items to us at your expense – at deadline or before, of course.

Tracking Your Review Products & Deadlines

EHO Product Review Tracking form

Keep it all together if at all possible. To your Reviews Editor, this is obvious, but we have had so many writers apologize for misplacing things over the years that it is clearly not obvious to others. Consider that the product is not yours to do with as you wish until the review publishes. Since the product is not yours, you would be wise to not let it wander around the house. Instead, we strongly advise that you keep all of your review items together on one shelf or in one box and don’t mess with them unless you are either actively writing the review or using the product or book specifically with writing the review in mind. If you use a curriculum over a given period of time, prior to writing the review, use it each time and then return it to its assigned place immediately. This may sound a bit extreme, but it does ensure that you will not lose an item that has been entrusted to your care, and if you do not lose it you will not put yourself in the position of having to go out and buy a replacement.

Start reviewing right away, and the right way. We have a form available for downloading that was designed specifically to make your life easier. Take the EHO Product Review Tracking form in hand when the box arrives. As soon as you open the box, start filling out the form with the date of arrival, the title/product, and the reviews’ due date, which is two weeks from the date the box arrives. Immediately schedule time to both review the products and write the reviews. It’s a fact that we live in a busy world and procrastination is easier than action. “If you wait, you won’t” is a pretty accurate assumption in this case. Set your review products aside for a more convenient time and the chances are good that you’ll glance up and realize your editor is looking for reviews that are due, but haven’t been written. Besides, with few exceptions you will only receive review products when you have specifically requested them; when you request them you are telling us that you have the time and will meet the deadline.

Keep records. The EHO Product Review Tracking form is your friend; it will make your life much easier if you use it. First, it will constantly remind you of what you need to be working on and what your deadlines are. Second, you can use the “Notes” block to track where your review products are. (ie., a book you read at night – “on bedside table”, an audio book – “in van”) Third, there is a block in which you can write the name of the review file. You would not believe how many times reviewers have lost files on their own hard drives simply because they forgot what they named the file. (We do have a specific naming format, which we discuss elsewhere.) Fourth, we suggest that you keep this form and all of your hard copy notes together in one place for at least six months after publication. This may sound like an extreme precaution, but we do know of an instance when a publisher came back to a writer about a bad review months after the review was written. The writer, needing to defend her stand on their curriculum (and no longer having the curriculum, since she had given it away) was fortunate to have kept all of her handwritten notes; she was able to explain exactly how she had reached the conclusions she expressed in the review.Once a review publishes, the publisher may come back with a question about why you said something specific in your review. If we receive such a question, we will toss the ball back to you and it will help us all if you have notes on hand that will assist you in remembering why you wrote what you did.

Use the EHO Management Site. Sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we lose track. The EHO management site is here to help you in your efforts. Pay regular visits to the North Tower and check up on yourself in “ Items you have in your review queue.” This will tell you what you owe according to our records.

NEVER Combine Reviews Without Approval

You may, at times, get two items that are very similar, in a series, or for some other reason make you think that it would be easier and better to review them together in one review. DON’T. You may ask if you can, but unless it was specifically sent to you as one group and one review, we want each item reviewed individually. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which are our decision to try to abide by publishers’ wishes and our database, which demands that all reviews be handled in a specific manner. Regardless of the reason, whether you agree with us or not, do not combine the reviews.

And if you do get multiple items that are similar, do NOT do cookie cutter reviews. Each review should read as a distinct review. Yes, you will sometimes have to repeat the same information in two or more reviews of similar items, but that does not mean that you use the same words and phrases to do it. There are few things more frustrating (or disgusting) for a reader than to look at a review and think, “But didn’t I just read this?” It makes EHO and its writers look cheap and lazy and I shudder to think of anyone perceiving us in that manner when cheap and lazy are two things this group of talented writers and editors are NOT.

Review & Write

This section grew so long that we made it into a page of its own.

Filling in the Form

This section grew so long that we made it into a page of its own.

Edit Yourself!

“Anyone who thinks she doesn’t need an editor is foolish.”

These are my words, an answer to a publisher about a work of mine that they were planning to pick up, and I spoke truth. Few people write so well that their first drafts can stand as the final product. I’m an editor and I don’t let my first drafts stand. Neither should you.

Scheduling time for proper editing is a vital part of the writing process and you must never doubt that the reviews you write are legitimate writing. Always leave enough time in your schedule that you can write a review and let it sit for 48 hours, then pull it back out and edit it heartlessly.

By heartlessly, I mean that you study it with complete impartiality, trying to forget that you wrote it while paying attention only to what is right and wrong with it, to how it can be improved. If you fail to find things that need changing after it’s been sitting for 48 hours, I would dare to say that you’re not looking at it critically enough. Most of the professional writers I know would keep tweaking their work forever if they didn’t have deadlines.

Throw it into Word or whatever word processor you use and run both the grammar and spell check programs. Yes, there will be times when the grammar check program will be wrong, but most of the time it will be right even if you don’t understand why. For instance, grammar check will always insert a comma before the word “which.” This is because, when it is appropriate to use the word which (which is rarely), you must almost always put a comma before it. Rather than casually clicking an acceptance of the comma insertion, especially if a comma doesn’t feel right, consider using the word “that” instead – usually this is the change that is really needed. (You’ll find more on the that/which challenge in EHO Style & Writing Tips.)

Even simpler, and vitally important, is spell check. Typos and misspellings are easily corrected using this function and should never appear in submitted reviews. You should also be on guard against words that are spelled correctly, but are not the ones you had intended to use.

Read it out loud. Surprisingly, a writer or editor’s voice is one of his most powerful editing tools. Take the review in hand and read it as it is written (not as it is written in your head, but as it is written on paper), listening to the words you speak. If necessary, let someone else listen as you read or, better yet, have them read it to you. This one step will usually catch poorly structured and vague sentences and paragraphs.

Have Strunk & White’s Elements of Style close at hand and refer to it if there is ANY question. It’s a tool almost every serious writer needs and as an EHO reviewer you are a serious writer.

Finally, familiarize yourself with the guidelines in, and take advantage of, EHO Style & Writing Tips. It is here that we deal specifically with the most common mistakes made by EHO writers.

Upload to EHO Edit

  1. Log onto EHO Edit.
  2. On the left, you will see a list. Click on FILES.
  3. On the main screen you now see an assortment of folders. These folders are each for different areas of EHO. Some are active and some are archives. It is vital that you upload your file to the correct folder.

    The folder you will use most is…

    2006 Individual Reviews

    If you are uploading a set of Featured Publisher reviews (These will all have been saved in ONE file.), you will upload the file to…

    Featured Publisher - Author & Editor

    If you area uploading a set of Featured Collection reviews (Again, these will have been saved in ONE file.) you will upload the file to…

    Featured Collection - Author and Editor
  4. Having selected the appropriate folder, click on its name.
  5. On the list just above the pale blue bar (immediately above the list of uploaded files) you will see ADD FILE (This will not be in all caps; we merely use all caps here to set it apart from the text.)

    Click on this and you will go to the “Add File” page.
  6. Click on the Browse button and you will be browsing your own hard drive. You should know where you have saved the file on your hard drive. Go to this location, select the specific file you need to upload, and then click “Open”.

    You will now see the path (Telling yahoo where to find the file on your hard drive) in the first window.

    In the second window, tell what you have just uploaded. This will usually be the name of the book or product. If a Featured Collection or Publisher, it will be the name of that collection or publisher.
  7. At this point you may either scroll down and click on “Upload File” or hit the enter key. Then, in a few moments, you will see that the file uploads and be able to find it on the list.
  8. You’re done!

Note from Your Editor

Do not be offended by our edits. As editors, we make changes in reviews for many reasons. At times we are correcting mistakes. At other times we are making a piece fit EHO’s style. At yet other times we are attempting to force a sentence that is poorly structured to make more sense. In this last case, it is possible that the editor will end up with a sentence that says something other than what the writer intended; this is why it is vitally important that you always strive for writing that clearly expresses what you mean to say.

With this in mind, I strongly suggest (STRONGLY suggest) that every new reviewer carefully study all of your published reviews, comparing them to the reviews you turned in and trying to determine what changes were made and why. This is THE thing I did when I first started reviewing for a well-known publication in my early years of homeschooling and it is THE thing that resulted in my ability to craft well-written reviews. Even experienced reviewers would do well to check their uploaded versions against the edited reviews periodically, because we all have habits that develop over time without our realizing them, and mistakes that creep in while our backs are turned.

Back up your work! Do not assume that finishing your review and uploading it to the management site ends your responsibility where that review is concerned. Should that review come up missing before publication (Yes, it has happened!) you will be responsible for supplying a replacement. If you have not backed up your work and kept your records, you will be starting over.

In fact, as is mentioned elsewhere, you should always keep a copy of your handwritten notes, your filled-in forms, and your version of the review for at least six months after publication. This is for your protection as well as ours.

 

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This site was authored by Beverly S. Krueger. All contents belong to the Eclectic Homeschool Association or the original authors. Reproduction of this World Wide Web Site in whole or in part is prohibited without permission. All rights reserved. Trademarks may not be used without permission of the trademark owner. Details about our reprint policies are available.

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