Julia Harris

The Homeschool Gathering Place was founded more than 20 years ago by Julia Harris and is a valuable educational resource for parents, teachers and children. I stumbled upon this overflowing well of resources when I was researching educational grants for parents in North Carolina.  There are many factors that make this store unique.  For starters, it has something for everyone.  Approximately 50% of the resources are new and another 50% are from consignees.  The quality of educational materials, knowledge of the employees, and inviting atmosphere are just a few of the factors that make this store special.

As with many new businesses, this one was created to fill a niche within the community that wasn’t being met.  This came to light when Julia and her husband, Jim decided to homeschool their children, and realized that educational resources for parents that follow this non-traditional path, were few and far between.  The business started out in the basement of their home and as their customer base grew, so did the store.  Over the years more than 9,000 people have placed resources on consignment at The Homeschool Gathering Place.

The store’s main competitor is Amazon.  Sometimes it’s hard to compete with a company that can offer extremely inexpensive resources.  However, we all know the saying, “You get what you pay for.”  I feel compelled to digress for just a moment.  There is so much written nowadays about supporting restaurants that provide “locally sourced” food and products from area farms and individuals. This is what sustains a community.  People come together for a greater cause, and in essence receive fresher produce and personalized service that they wouldn’t receive from a big conglomerate.

The same holds true for all small businesses, regardless of what you are buying and selling.  Yes, you might pay a little more, however, what you receive in return is still a bargain for many reasons.  Spending your tax dollars in Raleigh is an easy way to support your community and buy “locally sourced” educational resources.  When you visit a store, like The Homeschool Gathering Place, you are able to put your hands on the products, and you receive personalized service from people who have expertise, knowledge, and insight. In addition, there is an area for children to play, making this store very family friendly.  Last, but not least, I feel compelled to mention that free chocolate for everyone is a given!

I highly recommend that you experience The Homeschool Gathering Place for yourself.  If you’re looking for educational resources, and people who can guide you through the process, or you just want to pick up a book or two consider stopping by.  There are so many exceptional resources tucked away that are discovered by parents and educators who appreciate the warm atmosphere, knowledgeable employees, abundance of resources and free chocolate! Thank you to Julia and Jim Harris for making Raleigh a better place for all of us through your community service-based business.

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