Lampstand Press was officially founded in 1998, but it really began three years earlier, when a homeschool mother of six named Marcia Somerville was led by her husband, Scott, through the process of writing a curriculum based on a four-year study of the history of the world, that she entitled “History.” Marcia originally intended her work for family use, but soon others began expressing interest in the curriculum. As its user base grew, the curriculum was named Tapestry of Grace, and Marcia’s pre-existing company, “Books ‘N Kids, Inc.” marketed it.
God kindly added like minded workers to the editing and production staff of Books ‘N Kids. Notable in this story especially were three of Marcia’s children (Nathan, Christina, and David) and Dana Caywood, an experienced homeschooling mom from Tennessee with a heart for literature work pages! Together, these workers produced Classic Tapestry of Grace from 2001 to 2005.
By the end of 2005, it was clear to the Somerville family that God had given the homeschooling community a gift in Tapestry of Grace. As stewards, they prayed about its future, and decided that Classic Tapestry of Grace was a good start, but to serve homeschooling families with excellence, we needed to learn from the feedback of families using Tapestry, and improve it significantly. At issue, too, was the fact that many key books listed in Classic Tapestry had gone out of print. There needed to be a better mechanism for renewing the curriculum if it were to be a useful, 12-year product as advertised. The Somerville family committed their time and family finances to seeing through the project of Redesigned Tapestry of Grace in the winter of 2005.
In 2006, Marcia reformed Books ‘N Kids as a publishing house, renaming it “Lampstand Press.” Over the years, Lampstand Press has grown to be more than just a single-product company. Here are a few highlights:
- In 2006, Marcia, Dana, and the support staff opened the Lampstand Press Bookshelf which provided carefully selected products that we, as seasoned homeschoolers, can wholeheartedly recommend.
- We also hosted Lampstand Live – a speaking tour by Marcia and Scott Somerville during which they sought to encourage the spiritual growth of homeschooling parents. The core sessions of these seminars were recorded, and are available at our Store, along with Marcia’s speeches from state conventions and “The Foundation Series” of Tapestry Teacher Training webinars.
- In early 2007, we developed Writing Aids as a help to mothers using Tapestry Writing assignments, and also as our second stand-alone product. We also developed other new products that enhanced and enriched the Tapestry experience, such as Map Aids, Evaluations, and custom-designed lapbooks for each of the four Tapestry year-plans.
- In December 2008, we started development of Tapestry of Grace Digital Edition, providing an electronic version of the Tapestry of Grace curriculum. Dana Caywood purchased the Lampstand Press Bookshelf and opened Bookshelf Central as a sister store, located in Kingsport, TN. Customer support of both of these initiatives carried Lampstand Press through the turbulent economic times that our nation experienced during 2008-9.
- In 2009, we also published two more stand alone products: Simon Bolivar: Statesman and Liberator, a biography written by Rebecca Duberstein under Marcia’s supervision for upper grammar students, and South America: the Continent and Its Countries, written and illustrated by Lauren Rohwer and David Somerville for lower grammar students.
In late 2009 and early 2010, the Lampstand Press staff refined the DE version of all the Tapestry supplements, creating the four year-plan interfaces that gave users the ability to access all the Tapestry documents they need from one digital location.
By March of 2010, by God’s grace alone, all four Redesigned Tapestry year-plans were completed, and were made available in DE format and Print. Our enhanced Store Buying Guide made purchasing Lampstand Press products even easier!
In the summer of 2010, Lampstand Press launched the Lampstand Learning Center, which offers live classes using Tapestry to students worldwide over the Internet.
In the spring of 2014, Marcia released Love the Journey, a book she wrote from her heart to address the specific needs of new homeschoolers.
In the summer of 2014, Lampstand Press offered a new product for new homeschoolers: Tapestry Primer! It was written specifically for families whose oldest child is in Kindergarten or 1st grade, and gives an overview of all of world history. It was around this time that Marcia’s son, Mike, took over leadership of Lampstand Press as President.
In 2015, Lampstand Press released Planning Aids, a new product providing daily lesson plans for Lower and Upper Grammar students.
In January of 2020, Mike passed the baton of company ownership to his sister, Christina. Since then, Lampstand has added new suites of products called Spools and Stitches, as well as the Warp and Weft Project, the Weft Audio, new Handwriting and English grammar products, and the beginnings of a new history-based Math and Science program designed for Tapestry of Grace.
Today, Lampstand Press continues to expand, providing new products and services to an ever-broadening homeschool audience, including a vibrant online community and an increasing number of groups (co-ops and private schools). It is remarkable to us that God has sustained our company through more than two decades. As long as He continues to do so, we will continue to serve.