Our History

In 1984 the Heppner family began a venture called homeschooling. As they were the only ones homeschooling in their area at that time, and homeschooling was generally uncommon, many who were curiously interested in what they were doing differently came to them with questions. Good homeschooling resources were hard to find. Most educational curricula were only available to accredited schools. The few curricula they found that were available to homeschoolers left much to be desired. So, they began researching materials for their children. As they began finding resources they felt were excellent, they shared that information with others. They then became “Home Grown Kids” distributors to assist others' access to that great line of resources. As they found more tools that filled a need for their family they began obtaining accounts with these authors and publishers. An initial one page list of materials available from the Heppners gradually expanded into a forty page catalog and extensive website. This ministry / business became Heppner & Heppner Construction, with a website at www.buildingthefamily.com.

In 1994 they opened a store-front in Warroad, MN. They serviced homeschool conventions in MN, ND, SD, WY, and Manitoba, Canada. However, in 2005 they sensed the necessity to provide more focus on their family needs (17 children!), and to move the ministry / business to the Twin Cities area to make it more accessible to the majority of their customers. In 2006 they ceased attending homeschool conventions.

Meanwhile, Brad Bjorkman, after nearly 20 years in medical marketing, was let go from his job in January, 2006. In April of that year, when the MACHE homeschool convention in MN came around, for the first time ever he was able to attend a homeschool conference and hear his wife Nancy speak. Like Miriam Heppner, Nancy had frequently been an invited speaker at homeschool conferences. It was a turning point for everything as Brad and Nancy walked the exhibit hall together and shared what was once only "Nancy’s world". God planted a seed that weekend and those roots took hold quickly as the Bjorkmans considered the idea of starting a ministry within this unique community. It was then they heard that the Heppners were looking for a family to take over their resource ministry / business.

Miriam and Nancy had met and spoken a few times in the past when they were both speakers at the same conference. They knew that they had a lot in common but had never had the chance to nurture a relationship. Once again, God moved. One afternoon in mid-May, 2006, while Nancy was making up a bed, God whispered to her that she should call Miriam. "But I'm making up a bed", was her thought. He didn't let it go. So, the bed was left behind for the telephone. She found a number for the Heppners and called, wondering if Miriam would know who she was outside of the context of a conference. It was God's perfect timing, Miriam knew exactly who Nancy was, and they spent almost an hour sharing "Mom" stuff and praying together. Miriam told Nancy that she had really needed a call of encouragement that day!

They soon began talking about their ministry / business. Finally in July, 2006, the Heppners and Bjorkmans met in the Bjorkman home. By the time that evening was over all were in agreement that this could be a good match. They were right!

The Heppner's first visit to the Bjorkman's - DuWayne, Miriam, Nancy, & Brad

In January, 2007, the Bjorkmans began operating what has become Heppner’s Legacy Homeschool Resources. God has blessed this ministry / business. After initially “setting up shop” in the Bjorkman home, it moved to a rented location on Highway 10 in Elk River, MN. Four years later it moved again to its current location on Jackson Avenue, still in Elk River. In addition to the year-round shop, Heppner’s Legacy now annually attends six to nine homeschool conferences throughout the upper mid-west, from Minnesota and the Dakotas to Missouri and Illinois, bringing with them literally tons of materials to support homeschooling families.

After successfully homeschooling all four of their children, and having “launched those ships”, Nancy and Brad feel blessed as they daily empower and help families to educate their own children.

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