How This Page Started
My company, Barb’s People Builders, began in January of 1992, a few months after our son Jason, whom we had taught at home from grades 5-8, died in a jet ski accident at Pyramid Lake in Los Angeles County, California. This left a big hole in our lives since no other children were left at home.
Most of our close friends were homeschoolers and they had provided much of our spiritual support after Jason’s death. We couldn’t envision ourselves leaving the home school community. At first, I (Barb) offered my support to those who sought me out with questions about how to teach English, since they knew I had taught English and writing in both public and private schools. I constantly found myself recommending my favorite resources . Gradually it dawned on me that I didn’t need to keep referring my friends to other suppliers for these books. I could sell them myself. And that’s how it started.
After that, it just grew. We began going to homeschool conferences later in 1992. Our first was in Fresno, California. Then we began to go farther — to the state conventions in Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Colorado — even Ohio, Pennsylvania, and last of all, Virginia. Traveling was interesting, but exhausting. We enjoyed meeting and interacting with homeschoolers and other vendors, and we still miss that very much. But we had to stop the homeschool convention circuit because my husband wore out both hips and he could no longer help much in loading and unloading and setting up and tearing down our large booth. After we started staying home, he had his hips replaced, but he could no longer bend and lift the way he once had.
When we stopped traveling, I took my books online, and sold through this page and at Tom Folio, a site for independent booksellers, for many years. But I want to retire from the pressure of daily online selling and shipping and lifting heavy boxes, now that I’m in my seventies.
I still have a lot of literature and teaching materials in my inventory and am ready to negotiate prices for those ready to make large orders but my catalog is no longer on-line. From time to time, I may feature select items in these pages that can be purchased directly from me at bargain prices. I may also post a list later of publishers and product lines I still have available if people want to inquire. But there is no longer any online store. If I’m reviewing products Amazon doesn’t have and I still do, I will make a note of it while writing about the product so you can buy it direct if you wish.
Instead, I’m devoting myself to writing a variety of blogs about my many interests, and on this redesigned site I will continue to review and recommend the best books for children, education, and family reading and reference. I will link to my affiliates so you can easily find the books and resources I recommend and I won’t have to ship them. I hope if you want to buy anything I have recommended, you will purchase through these links. The small commissions I make from such purchases do not affect the prices you pay, but they do help motivate me to keep building this page, and I appreciate every purchase.