A few well-known lines from a Lewis Carroll poem go like this:
The time has come,' the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings —
While we do not need to speak of “cabbages and kings” there are some things which need to be said. This year marks the 27th year that The Learning House has been in business. When we started so many years ago, we could have never dreamed that we would be where we are today. Our little business, which started with 3 products and was situated in our basement, has now outgrown 3 stores and has almost 10,000 products. Who would have thought? God has blessed beyond our wildest dreams.
Over the years the Lord has built a team of special people at The Learning House who have been dedicated to supporting our homeschools, schools, and other customers. Each one on our team has played a huge role in bringing us to where we are today.
Almost ten years ago, we began to give some thought to the future of our business. We were looking for a successor who would share many of our passions. These would include a passion for helping homeschoolers as well as our other school customers. Since we do so much work in the homeschool community, we wanted to find someone with experience and a desire to serve the community well. We also wanted someone who would share our Christian values, but still have the heart to help absolutely anyone homeschool. For years we looked around us at conferences and, finally, we found someone that we thought might be a possibility.
Cori Dean, the owner of Maple Tree Publications, was that person. The more we got to know Cori the more we felt the Lord leading us in that direction. Three years ago, we met with Cori and her husband, Mark, to discuss the possibility of working together. Since that time, we have met and planned and prayed. Now the time has come for a change. Harold and I both turn 65 this year. We have 8 grandchildren and, while we love our business, we do not want these little people to grow up without knowing their Nana and Papa well. It is time for our roles to change.
As of November 1, 2020, Mark and Cori Dean will become the new owners of The Learning House which will be amalgamated with Maple Tree Publications. Mark and Cori are a wonderful couple. They love the Lord and they love people. Together they bring an amazing set of skills to the business. Cori has a strong background in home education: speaking, consulting, and running Maple Tree. Mark has worked full-time in business in the past and is now in full-time ministry. We think this is the perfect fit. We know you will appreciate them. They look forward to taking the business forward with the same care and concern for our customers that we have always had. They will not be doing this alone as Pam and Louise will be continuing to work with them in the new location.
The business will move to a store in Bradford, Ontario during the first two weeks of November. The new space is about 3 times as large as our current space. You will continue to find all your homeschool resources in one expanded place with a larger selection of products as the two companies combine. We are so excited about this! Prior to the move, we will all be working hard to catch up on existing orders and to close the gap on shipping delays. As the business moves, from November 1-14, we will be accepting web orders but won’t be available for phone orders. For further details you can read the letter Cori sent to her Maple Tree Customers here.
Pam and Louise will be staying on at the new location. You will still be able to contact them and get the help you need as they begin to help Cori and Mark train a new team of people to serve you well. Louise is still planning to offer curriculum consults and Harold and Louise hope to help at conferences if, and when they resume in the future. Cori and Louise have brainstormed about some really neat possibilities for future events once things settle down. It will be a grand adventure.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 it says:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
While we will continue to be involved in the business, we feel great peace knowing that this is our time to pass the torch and see where the Lord takes The Learning House in the next generation. Our hearts are full of gratitude. We are thankful to the Lord for this journey, for without His provision and strength we would have failed many times over.
I, Louise, am thankful for Harold. He is the one who encouraged me that this was something we could do. He worked as a Professional Engineer by day, and spent many weekends, evenings, and, yes, even some vacation time, travelling with me as we took The Learning House across Canada. I could not have done any of this without him.
We are thankful to our family. Each of our children, Josh, Rebecca, Andrew and Daniel did their part along the way. They packed for conferences, travelled with us, and helped in more ways than we can count. Our daughter managed our office for years until she and her husband Levi were expecting their first child.
We thank our current team, Pam, Joy, Tracy, Jacoby, Daniel, Mary and Harold, for their hard work and their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Each one has brought something special to The Learning House. We would never have survived this year without them.
We are also thankful to each and every one of the thousands of customers who we have served for the past 27 years. You are more than customers. You are friends and family. You have supported our business, prayed for us and our family, and encouraged us along the way. We have been blessed beyond measure. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
With Love and gratitude,
Harold and Louise House.