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Design-A-Study was founded in 1988 by Kathryn Stout. After eight years of teaching in public schools, Kathryn retired in order to raise her two small children. She began homeschooling officially in 1984 at a time when few materials were available. Eager to encourage a love of learning, she used methods and materials suited to each of her children’s learning styles, making regular use of the library and other free or inexpensive resources. She created unit studies, found interesting projects, and used approaches that motivated her children to work toward mastery. Trained to teach with specific objectives in mind, she was frequently able to target the same goals for both children in spite of their 3 ½ year age difference.

Pressed by other homeschoolers who wanted to do as she did, Kathryn wrote the Design-A-Study guides to provide both a framework of objectives and detailed methods for teaching basic subjects effectively. Having seen the frustration, boredom, and discouragement that too often results from trying to make students fit a curriculum instead of adapting a curriculum to suit them, Kathryn hopes to encourage parents to teach according to each child’s interests and abilities, equipping each one for his very personal future.