Hi! I am Paula, co-owner of A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks with my best friend Nancy. Nancy is married to Rusty and they have Lindsey, Lauren, Candace, and Cameron. I am married to Greg and we have Alex and Audra. We had no intentions of ever starting a business, much less ever thinking we could run one that has grown to the level of success that A Journey Through Learning has become.
A Journey Through Learning was started on a whim, at an evening Christmas dinner, with our husbands (and no kids!), after Nancy and I innocently commented on the fact that there was a lack of quality hands-on materials out there for homeschoolers that covered subjects other than phonics, addition facts, and plants. The market was sorely lacking in educational hands-on activities for such fun topics as knights and castles, deserts, reptiles, the elements of literature, etc. Apparently, our husbands interpreted this as, “both of you need something MORE to do in your very mundane, boring, nothing better to do lives,” and had to nerve to say, “Well, why don’t you make your own!”
After a few gasps and a fervent, “No way do we have time to start a business with 6 kids to homeschool,” the idea began to settle in. We decided to start with a unit study! (This was way before we decided we would rather do lapbooks!) Oh my! It took us FOREVER to finish that first unit study! We would get something great going only for our software to crash and send it into cyber space forever. It’s still up there today. Four years later, it is still painful to think about all the frustrations we went though trying to figure out how to start our business. But it’s a fun kind of painful-kind of like childbirth, I guess. We were such good friends that even if we lost all our work, we just loved being together and our attitude was, oh well, we will just start over, while the kids were in the background jumping up and down because they didn’t have to do school again because mom and Mrs. Nancy were too busy working on their new business to do any kind of school with them.
And just when we thought we had it all figured out, Candace got sick…really, really sick. She was always kind of sickly, but this was different. The progress that she had made since her adoption out of that horrible Chinese orphanage six years earlier was beginning to wane. She was forgetting simple things such as how to put her paper in her Braille writer. This change threw up several red flags and we knew something was terribly wrong. Months later, she was diagnosed with a terminal brain illness called Batten Disease. I remember Nancy sitting at her kitchen table with her head in her hands, barely able to speak the words, “She’s terminal.”
As time went on, Candace became sicker. Many of the products that you see on our site that were created before 2010 were created while sitting in the hospital with Candace-for days and days and days on end. I was glad to be there for Nancy and our business gave Nancy something to focus on. We would work on lapbooks between times of caring for Candace. I do believe God gave this business to Nancy because he knew she was going to need it for her sanity.
Candace did pass away about 18 months into our business. At that time, I did not know if our young business could survive such a horrifying event as that of losing a child. But it did and has continued to grow beyond our wildest dreams. Not only do we create stand-alone lapbooks for all kinds of cool topics, but we make professional quality lapbooks for well-known programs such as Jeannie Fulbright/Apologia science, VeggieTales, TruthQuest History, Geography Matters, and more, all with the permission of each publisher, which shows that they, too, appreciate the quality and professionalism of our lapbooks and company. We hope they bless your child and your homeschool!
Sharra Badgley-Marketing and Promotions Manager
Michelle Miller (author of TruthQuest History)-Writer
Sheila Corbin-Assembly Manager and Royalties
Tina Banes-File Folder Games