Warm greetings from the Pak family!
We are a family of six who began our homeschool journey in 1996. "Yes," we do live in the woods, and many of our experiments, projects, and re-enactments have taken place in the creek, ravine, woods, and fields that surround our house!
I am Amy Pak, president of Home School in the Woods. My main job has been as the driving force behind the creation of the materials. I also do the majority of the illustrations, develop the activities, and some of the writing. The bulk of the writing, however, is done by Jaron Pak. His ability to absorb so much of history paired with his writing talents have made him our chief researcher and author. He also heads up the marketing and audio productions. You may meet him (sometimes accompanied by his lovely wife, Jenessa, and their children) at conventions. While there, you may also meet our other two sons, Sam Pak and Jonah Pak. Jonah also heads the processing and fulfillment of orders. Ed Pak is our CEO and webmaster, dealing with all things administrative, as well as the technical aspects of our materials. Should you call us, our daughter, Hayley Baker, is the voice you will hear first, (as well as possibly her little munchkins in the background). She handles our customer service, both via phone and e-mail.
A little of "our" history...
From the beginning of our schooling experience, I (Amy, mom and teacher of the brood), had dreaded the thought of teaching history to my children as it was a topic of particular distaste in my own school years. I immediately glommed onto the idea of timelines as a great visual resource to pull the whole idea of history together. It made sense and gave a concrete foundation for fitting all the topics into place. As we studied history through living books, drama, writing, etc., I fell in love with the subject, as it had become a new and exciting venture to be explored—far different than the boring textbooks I remembered in high school! With the timeline a mandatory tool, I found myself having trouble finding images that I liked. I had been a graphic designer/illustrator both in an agency and as a free-lancer for several years, and my choice of art was rather picky. I vowed that, Lord willing, someday I would create figures that were classic and realistic in illustration. This became a reality in 2002 when we published our first set of timeline figures, and Home School in the Woods was born. It wasn't long before we were getting requests for more and adding new materials to our line, including other hands-on ways to make history fun and interactive.
We give all glory of this business to God! It has truly been a faith-driven venture with much prayer and seeking God's will throughout each turn. Many moms have written, referring to us as a ministry, and it warms my heart beyond belief to read these responses from both the moms and children. I've been so thrilled to be able to share a talent He has bestowed on me with others who can benefit from the results, hopefully helping develop a love of learning! In fact, it wasn't long after the company had begun when I felt God had given me a confirmation that we were truly following His call. In 2004, two years into our business, I found a folded, dusty paper in my parents' basement. It was my 4th-grade report card. Imagine my surprise when I read in the Social Studies report: "Amy understands the personal side of historical figures, but has difficulty in connecting these men to the events of the time." Wow! God has quite a sense of humor, bringing me to find that report card at this time in my life!
What this said to me was two things:
1) That I was ALWAYS wired this way and it was not something I would grow out of--it's just the way He made me! and...
2) God had equipped me not only to provide a way to "bridge this particular gap" with the talents He had given me, but He confirmed to me that we were truly following His will by bringing this solution to the homeschool (and education) arena for other children (and adults!) to benefit from!
Children need to know that what may seem a weakness at one time in your life can provide for a wonderful strength and a result that can impact many!I believe most people are visual and what a blessing it is to see the Lord's story unveil throughout time, weaving an awesome tapestry that is so thick with His presence and unending mercy, patience, and love for His creation! We thank you for the chance to share our giftings and love of history with you and your family!