Author Archives: Sharra

Will I Ever Reach the Other Side?

I am 2 months into our homeschooling year. This year marks several milestones for our family. My oldest daughter, Lindsey, started medical school. It is with her, 15 years ago that our homeschooling journey began, when we pulled her out of her second week of 2nd grade! Lindsey has Tourette syndrome and had been on a very strong medicine. My husband and I did not feel comfortable with her being away from us. Lauren, our 17 year old, started her senior year and we are busy searching out colleges in Texas. Our baby boy, Cameron leaped from elementary to a growing up teenager entering 7th grade.

Nancy current

This year marks the first time that I don’t have an elementary student! I have officially passed the point of silly art days, wrapping up as mummies, and exploring the backyard! Looking back, it seems so hard to believe that we have come so far and survived!

wrapped as a muumy

During our first year of homeschooling, we adopted two international children. Our first “big” field trip was to Guatemala to bring home Cameron at nine months. Then, just a year later, we loaded all three kids for a month’s stay in China! From there, we brought home our 6-year-old daughter we named Candace. Candace too had a special needs; she was blind. Nevertheless, like the other three, we were determined that she would learn at home!

What started out in pure fear has ended up being one of my greatest accomplishments in life. I am so thankful that we decided to take this path. It has not always been “fun,” but it has been worth it! I would not change one thing about homeschooling. Even our “failures” were done together.

People are always curious as to how we homeschooled Candace being blind. I think this is where “blind” faith comes into play. I started the only place I knew, at the beginning. I ordered a Braillewriter, found a dear friend who also had a blind child, and started with Kindergarten ABEKA phonics. We would Braille the letters on the Braille tape and place it over the words in regular reading books. We went up and down those “ladder” steps until like all the other children, she knew them backward and forwards. We all learned Braille with her. Just the same if your child was deaf, your family would learn to sign, ours learned Braille. It was not weird to us, it was our life, and how we did things in our school!

slivler dollar city

Three years into our school year, we were confronted with something so horrible that none of us knew if we would survive it. Candace was diagnosed with a terminal disease called BATTANS. To say that our world was rock would be a huge understatement. However, once again, we determine that the lives of the other children would remain as consistent as possible. By this time, by oldest two girls, were independent in their schooling, and together they pitched in to help Cameron, who was entering kindergarten. I think homeschooling does that, it teaches our children so much more than math, English, and science, it teaches them about life! It builds their character and helps them to learn to find the place that they need to pitch in to bless and help.

Sadly, three years later, we lost our sweet Candace in July 2009. Due to the trauma our family had lived through, we decided to take a one-year hiatus from school we instead filled our days with field trips and much-needed family getaways. We went to Disney World, the Beach, visited my family’s farm, and spent hours swimming in our family pool just being together. To me, that is the beauty of homeschooling. You can use life as your teacher. Everything around you can become a lesson if you take the time to look for those small teaching moments.

After Candace’s passing, my heart or my mind was not into the totally responsibility of teaching. With Lindsey now in college, I decided to take another leap of faith and join Classical Conversations. My kids needed the consistency of a tutor, and I need to be around other moms and start to feel alive again.

Today, I am happy to say that we are four years in CC. Lauren is doing Challenge III, and Cameron just started Challenge A.

Looking back, I can honestly say I never saw how our journey would take so many twist and turns. Now, on this side of the craziness, sadness, and joy, we have come out of it as a stronger family.

If, I would give points of encouragement to families who are looking at taking this journey, I say, “Jump in with both feet!” Get excited. Don’t stress over curriculum, extra- curricular activities, or even lesson plans! Do what has to be done; math, reading, and English. The rest have fun with it! Kids learn so much more from the museum, a pond, a nature walk, or cooking a four-course meal. They will learn because they are with you! They will learn because it is fun! Moreover, they will learn because “doing” is so much more interesting than reading it in a book.

For those parents that have made the ultimate of choices to homeschool a special needs child, GO FOR YOU! My first piece of simple advice is to teach them just like the other children. If my kids were climbing a rock in Central Park on vacation (field trip) to New York, Candace climbed it too! If they were digging for gems in a large piece of rock, she did too. Our motto was, “We may not do it the right way, but we will find a way to do it!”

Many times parents will say, “I could never spend all day with my kids!” Now that I am coming close to reaching the other end, the final stretch of my journey, I can say from the bottom for my heart, “I can’t image spending the last fifteen years doing anything else!”

Nancy Fileccia
Co-owner of A Journey Through Learning

My FREE Session on Lapbooking/Unit Studies at Homeschool Super Heroes

Don’t you love the first day of school?

Back to school can be so much fun!

My friend Kerry Beck is helping homeschoolers start their new year right with her 4th Annual Homeschool Super Heroes Week. She’s given my readers a private invitation so you can listen to these Homeschool Super Heroes interviews for free.

16 free homeschool interviews \

Here’s how . . .

Homeschool Super Heroes

You’ll love these experts and their practical tips to starting your homeschool year on the right foot!

Come join me this evening for my FREE interview! Thursday, August 28th from 4-6pm: Learn how to create unit studies to make it easier on Mom!

Many blessings,
Nancy Fileccia

July Sales! Great Deals on American History!

Happy July! We hope you are having an amazing summer!

We have wonderful titles featured in July! You can pick up some great deals on American History!

25 sale - History Revealed

Take 25% Off Resources for History Revealed by Diana Waring. Use the code REVEALED25 at the AJTL Store.

American History - AJTL July Sale

Take 30% Off select American History Learning Lapbooks (instant downloads)! Use the code AMHIS30 at the AJTL Store.

This sale includes:

Colonial America
Exploring American Indians
Going West
American Indians

July AJTL history lapbooks

Take 30% Off select History Lapbooks (instant downloads)! Use the code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at the AJTL Store.

Titles include:
4th of July
Colonial America
American Revolution
American Presidents

Stock up now for the summer and coming new school year! These titles will infuse creativity into your homeschooling!


Welcome Experience History Through Music Launch Party Friends!

Hello and welcome Experience History Through Music Launch Party Friends!

DW FB Party

Thank you for stopping by and visiting us!

Cowboys Lapbooks

We have a fabulous free gift for you! You can download our Cowboys Learning Lapbook with Study Guide. The link will be active until 3:00 a.m. ET on 7-2-14.

Cowboys – Download your gift at this link! (This link has expired.)

We hope you enjoy!

Many blessings!
Nancy Fileccia and Paula Winget

June Lapbooking Specials!

It is almost summertime!

Do you homeschool year-round? Do you take a summer break?

No matter your schedule, infuse some creativity into your homeschooling with an engaging lapbooking project!


homeschool lapbooks

Summer Fun Sale!

Take 30% Off Select Lapbooks (Digital Downloads)!

Use Code: SUMMERFUN at the A Journey Through Learning Store!


Lapbooks Homeschooling

Topics include:

  • What is an amphibian?
  • What defenses do they have in order to survive?
  • What about the amazing world of tadpoles?
  • Are there differences between frogs and toads?
  • What are salamanders?
  • What are caecilians and do we ever see them?

Your child will learn the answers to these questions and so much more with our colorful and lively Amphibians Lapbook with Study Guide!

Preview sample pages and purchase Amphibians Learning Lapbook and Study Guide
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!



Topics include:

  • What is a reptile?
  • What defenses do they have in order to survive?
  • What do reptiles eat when they get hungry?
  • Just how strange are chameleons?
  • Do you want to know about venomous and non-venomous snakes, crocs, turtles, lizards?
  • What is the a food chain and where do reptiles fit on the food chain?

Your child will learn the answers to these questions and so much more with this colorful and lively Reptiles Lapbook with Study Guide.

Preview sample pages and purchase Reptiles Lapbook with Study Guide
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!


Homeschool Lapbooks

Learn all about plants in this 3-folder colorful lapbook!

Topics include:

  • Are plants alive?
  • Why do we need them?
  • What do plants need to survive?
  • What are the parts of a plant?
  • What is photosynthesis?
  • And much more!

Preview sample pages and purchase Plants Learning Lapbook and Study Guide
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!

Ocean Animals

homeschool lapbooks

Learn all about animals that live in the ocean with this lapbook and study guide. No need to do your own research. We have done it all for you.

Topics include:

  • Welcome to the Ocean
  • My K-W-L Cards
  • Animals that Live Right by the Ocean
  • What is Coral Reef?
  • What Predators Live in the Coral Reef?
  • What is a Jellyfish and Does it Sting?
  • What is a Sea Turtle and How Many Times Can it Cross an Ocean?
  • What is a Dolphin and is it really Intelligent?
  • What is a Squid and is it really of a Monstrous Size?
  • What is a Squid and how does it use its Sword?
  • What is a Marlin and does it really Weigh a Ton?
  • What is a Manta Ray and will it really come to Greet You?
  • What is a Wahoo and can it Swim as Fast as a Car can Go?
  • My Ocean Animal Cards
  • What is a Killer Whale and will it really Kill You?
  • What is a Humpback Whale and does it have Fingerprints Similar to Humans?
  • What is a Black Tip Reef Shark and where are its Black Tips?
  • What is my Favorite Ocean Animal?
  • The Oddest Ocean Animal I Learned About!
  • A Book That I have Read about Ocean Animals!

Preview sample pages and purchase Ocean Animals Learning Lapbook and Study Guide
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!

My Favorite Animal

homeschool lapbooks

Does your child love to study animals but gets bored with worksheets or reports? Well here is a creative hands-on tool for your child to record his or her study of any animal.

Booklets included:

  • life cycle
  • habitat
  • the baby
  • scientific classification
  • protection
  • appearance
  • food chain
  • diet
  • herbivore
  • carnivore
  • and more!

Includes a cute pocket your child can keep a special drawing of his/her animal in.

Preview sample pages and purchase My Favorite Animal Learning Lapbook
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!

My Favorite Insect

homeschool lapbooks

Does your child love to study insects but gets bored with worksheets or reports? Well here is a creative hands-on tool for your child to record his or her study of any insect.

Booklets included:

  • life cycle
  • habitat
  • scientific classification
  • protection
  • appearance
  • food chain
  • diet
  • insect word search
  • and more!

Includes a cute pocket your child can keep a special drawing of his/her insect in.

Preview sample pages and purchase My Favorite Insect
Use Code: SUMMERFUN for 30% Off!

Vacation Spot Sale!

Take 30% Off Select Digital Downloads

Use Code: VACATION30 in the A Journey Through Learning Store!

homeschool lapbooks

Take a virtual fieldtrip to our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.!

Topics include:

  • The Capitol Building
  • The Washington Monument
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • Ford’s Theater
  • Library of Congress
  • Supreme Court Building
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • The National Mall
  • The Smithsonian
  • Union Station
  • and more!

Preview sample pages and purchase Washington, D.C. Learning Lapbook and Study Guide
Use Code: VACATION30 for 30% Off!

My Favorite Country

homeschool lapbooks

Does your child have a favorite country but gets bored with worksheets or reports? Well here is a creative hands-on tool for your child to record his or her study of any country.

Booklets included:

  • Population
  • Currency
  • Climate
  • Terrain
  • Capital
  • Geographical Location
  • Holidays and Traditions
  • Predominant Religion
  • Leader
  • Type of Government
  • Culinary Traditions
  • Main Crop
  • and more!

Includes a cute pocket your child can keep a special drawing of his/her country in.

Preview sample pages and purchase My Favorite Country Learning Lapbook
Use Code: VACATION30 for 30% Off!

My State

homeschool lapbooks

Our My State Lapbook is non-state specific so that any state can be incorporated. Knowing about the state in which you live is interesting and also important. This lapbook will provide your child with a hands-on way to learn the important things about their state.

Learn about:

  • state motto
  • state nickname
  • agriculture
  • landmarks
  • government
  • song
  • weather
  • sports
  • wildlife
  • flower
  • plants
  • population
  • area
  • date of statehood
  • flag
  • famous people and events
  • trees
  • capital
  • major cities
  • governor
  • lakes
  • bird
  • and much more!

Preview sample pages and purchase My State Learning Lapbook!
Use Code: VACATION30 for 30% Off!

Have a fun summer filled with joyful learning adventures!


Teach Them Diligently Facebook Party!

Launch Your Homeschool To A New Level Facebook Party   We are so excited for the HUGE Facebook party that is coming up Thursday night, May 29th, at 9 pm Eastern. In addition to fun, insightful, and somewhat frantic conversation, our partners are joining us in offering over $1,200 worth of prizes!! This is DEFINITELY one party you do not want to miss!

How do I Facebook Party?

If you have never participated in a Facebook party before, don’t worry! It’s easy to do! First, like the Teach Them Diligently Convention Facebook page. Next, show up a little before 9 pm EDT on Thursday night with some ice cream or other fun snack. (Ok, that’s not ABSOLUTELY necessary, but I like to do it anyway!) Once the party starts, we’ll be posting questions or prizes about every 2 minutes, so make sure you refresh your page often. The party will move FAST. You are free to chat in the threads, answer the questions, register for the prizes, and just enjoy the evening. After the party, we’ll give you plenty of time to make sure you’ve registered before the giveaways close. We’ll pick our winners and announce them all on our FB page after the party. It will be a perfect end to a very fun evening!

Facebook Party Scavenger Hunt

Just for fun, we are adding an extra element to our Facebook party this time. We will be taking some “field trips” to other Facebook pages to enter to win a series of prizes worth over $100 each! Thanks to Ali Dent, Doorposts, The Teach Them Diligently Planner (Powered by My Homeschool Grades,) Dual Credit at Home, Shiller Math, Knowledge Quest, Raising Real Men, and APlus TutorSoft Math for making the Launch Your Homeschool to a New Level Facebook Party so special! Each of these companies certainly play a major role in helping homeschool families launch their homeschool to that new level, too! Make sure you check them out and learn how they can help your family!

What Prizes Can Be Won?

Win These Prizes With Launch Your Homeschool Facebook Party

That doesn’t even mention all the door prizes and freebies that will be offered!!

Pre-Party Prize Pack And RSVP

RSVP early to register to win a Pre-Party Prize Pack, consisting of a Teach Them Diligently Prize Pack (Travel mug, tote bag, AND free registration to your choice of Teach Them Diligently Events in 2014 or 2015!) as well as a lifetime membership to the Teach Them Diligently Planner, powered by My Homeschool Grades. Pre-party prize pack is worth more than $225!! Follow the instructions below to RSVP and enter to win!

Make your plans NOW to join us at our next Facebook Party on May 29th! And don’t forget to register for Dallas before it’s too late to save an extra $10 with early online registration the deadline to save an extra $10 is TOMORROW!! Act now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winds of Change

Do you ever “just know” that God is about to shift your life into another direction? Well, those winds of change are swirling at my house. We are praying and seeking what the Lord is doing. Today, I sat outside on my “dream” patio. I love it out there. I sat for the longest time just thinking back over my life. And the adventures I have lived.

wedding 1987

Our wedding in 1987

Next, Saturday, I will celebrate 27 years of marriage with my best friend. To this day, we can sit for hours and talk. We take a cruise every year, and spend hours just sitting beside each other. I love him so much. Don’t get me wrong here, it has not always been a “blissful” time. We have had our struggles and heartaches. But, the joys have been many.

27 years on 5-31

Us today!

We have birthed two amazing girls and traveled to two different countries to adopt a 6 year old little girl, Candace, from China, and a 9 month old baby boy, Cameron, from Guatemala.


Lindsey’s birth in 1993

We have been blessed to homeschool all 4 and have seen the fruits of our labor as our oldest, Lindsey is about to start medical school!

Lauren's birth 1996

Lauren’s birth in 1996

Our middle daughter, Lauren, leaves in a week to travel for 14 weeks doing missions work across the states. While our joys have been great, we have also had huge losses.

Feb 2001 Cameron Gotcha Day

Cameron’s Gotcha Day – February 2001

We have rejoiced as all of our children have on their own, each chosen to live their lives for Jesus!

Oct 2003 Candace Gotcha Day

Candace’s Gotcha Day – October 2003

Our daughter Candace from China was diagnosed with a terminal brain disease in 2006 and sadly passed away at the age of 13 in 2009.

3 months before Candace diagnosed

Three months before Candace’s diagnosis.

So, in a nutshell we have ridden our highs and lows. But, all with the Lord as our driver.

crew today

Our crew today

I can honestly say, I don’t know what the next 27 years will hold for us. But, I do know the One who does! So, we will wait. We will wait and see how the Lord uses our children in their gifts and talents. We will wait to see how this next phase of our lives will play out. We will hopefully build new dreams, new memories, and live our lives as Jesus guides. Yep, the wind is blowing, but, I can honestly say, “I am excited!”


Nancy Fileccia is a fourteen-year homeschooling veteran and co-owner of A Journey Through Learning lapbooks with her best friend, Paula Winget. They create fun, hands-on learning products for homeschooling families. Nancy loves helping parents with their journey of international adoption. Nancy and her husband, Rusty, make their home in Shreveport, Louisiana, with their three children. Visit her website at

Greetings, No More Lemonade Facebook Party Guests!

Greetings! We would like to welcome all of the attendees of the No More Lemonade Facebook Party!

No More Lemonade Facebook Party

A Journey Through Learning has a FREE door prize for all attendees. Please download this file within 48 hours as it will expire.

Alexander Graham Bell Express

Alexander Graham Bell Express (File Expired)

We hope you enjoy this Express lapbook project!

Are you on our mailing list? All new subscribers receive a FREE full-size lapbook download at sign-up!

Sign-up here!

Blessings from all of us at A Journey Through Learning!

Prize #8: $100 Gift Card from A Journey Through Learning

Our eighth and final prize this evening is a $100 Gift Card for A Journey Through Learning resources!

Candace Kate Story, Special Needs Adoption

You can enter to win a $100 Gift Card for Instant Downloads (excluding GeoMatters).

Thank you for joining us this evening! Please remember to enter all giveaways before 6:00 A.M. ET tomorrow morning.

Are you on the A Journey Through Learning mailing list yet? All new subscribers receive a free full-size lapbook gift at sign-up. You can sign up for our mailing list at this link.

One winner will be selected from entries. Enter to win via our PunchTab widget below. This giveaway ends 5/14/14 at 6:00 A.M. ET.

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