This weeks question for a $10 gc to Hands of a Child is: Do you participate in a co-op or any other enrichment program? Is there any particular reason for your choice? Just leave a comment and your name could be drawn! Drawing is this evening at 7pm central!
Are you curious about why In the Hands of a Child started producing and selling quality homeschool educational products? Well, then you've come to the right place to satisfy that curiosity!
In the Hands of a Child began in 2002 when two homeschooling moms found themselves constantly searching for the right graphics and information for their children to complete lapbooks and trying to answer the question, “What exactly is a lapbook?” Kimm Bellotto and Niki McNeil met through an online homeschool email list and after chatting, they soon discovered that they both loved lapbooks and were both looking for an easier way for homeschooling moms to pull together the necessary items for a lapbook. Those chats soon turned into a business plan and the two of them quietly “set-up shop” on the web becoming the first company to sell ready to use lapbook kits. With Niki’s creative ideas and Kimm’s creative graphics abilities, the two moms published their first unit, entitled Plant, in November 2002.
At first the only people who even knew they existed, outside of their families, was a small circle of online friends from a homeschool support eGroup. These moms began using the product and spreading the word to other homeschooling moms and slowly, but steadily, the business began to grow into what is now an internationally recognized company in the homeschooling community.
Niki and Katie met through a mutual scrapbooking hobby and when Niki mentioned that she and Kimm were looking for additional writers, the “inner author” inside Katie jumped at the chance! In 2005, Katie joined In the Hands of a Child as an author/researcher and then as a partner in the growing business. Today, the three of women share equal responsibilities; each bringing unique qualities and talents to the business with one goal in mind - to provide quality lapbooking materials for all educators while serving homeschooling families and classroom teachers looking for an easier way to put laughter and learning together in the hands of their children. Our aim is to help all educators of children of all ages and skill levels, ranging from Preschool to High School, with the use of just one type of product.
In the Hands of a Child has been greatly impacted by the homeschooling community. The vast majority of customers who purchase materials from our company are homeschoolers. In addition, Niki, Kimm, and Katie have built a strong link of communication and mutual friendship with many of our customers (mostly homeschoolers) through our on-line chats, on-line co-op groups, and yahoo email groups. We are more than grateful to be blessed with such wonderful customers and friends as the ones from the homeschool community that make up the larger part of our international customer base. While we often hear what a wonderful addition our company has been to the homeschooling community we are forever indebted to them for our tremendous success as a company.
Before In the Hands of a Child made its debut, homeschoolers had to do all of the preparation in order to pull together a lapbook. That task takes a lot of time when searching for items and/or graphics to use. Many educators do not have the time or the resources to complete this for every unit study in their curriculum. Knowing how much our own children learned and enjoyed learning in this style we knew we could meet a need for educators who want to put more of a hands-on spin to their curriculum, but were daunted by the task. We took the preparation time out of the parent/teacher job description and allowed educators to focus on the learning experience.
As the benefits of lapbooking become more well-known in all educational arenas our business continues to blossom with more and more educators looking for a simpler way to incorporate lapbooks into their daily learning experience. They come to us with relief because we are saving them from endless searches and confusing decisions about miniature books and graphic organizers, and we are giving them the opportunity to complete a project with their children that doesn’t require so much preparation that the joy fizzles out for both teacher and student. In addition, we offer custom made Lapbooking Project Packs that allow the customer the option to name the topic and grade level of the unit. We complete this within a 3-week time frame allowing customers to study a wide variety of topics of their choice, whether it is Disneyland before an upcoming vacation or The United States Navy before Uncle Greg deploys to serve our country. This is truly a one of a kind service for our customers and our custom orders have more then doubled since we began offering them.
Customers call, write, and email us on a daily basis with comments like, “This is my first year homeschooling and it has been overwhelmingly stressful trying to research all that is available and then determining what would work best for my daughter. She is a very hands-on crafty kid and worksheets just bored her. A lot of the curriculum available for purchase just didn't have enough hands-on activities to satisfy her and she dreaded "school time". I was so elated to find your site, bought all the preschool Project Packs that were available at the time… and got started right away. My daughter loved them so much she even asked to do "school" on Saturday and Sunday. I was elated. Thank you for making these wonderful resources available to us.”
All together we have published over 200 Project Packs and we continue to release new ones on a regular basis. In addition, we have added other products to our line including lapbooking supplies, craft kits, membership programs, and much more. The success of our business can be directly related to the support of the homeschooling moms, classroom teachers, and all of the children out there who use our products and continue to tell others about our company and the type of curriculum we have to offer. It is through their words, their testimonials and their efforts that we continue to grow.