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I’ve been homeschooling our children for 8 years now. Through this time I’ve been in many different seasons of life. When I first started homeschooling our oldest was in K and had 2 younger siblings. It was very easy to find time to work with just one child. As our family grew in size and I went through difficult pregnancies things did get harder.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
I had to find ways to simplify and combine. I still sometimes feel like I’m running in circles! So I was really happy to have the chance to review The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight by Heidi St. John and published by Real Life Press.
About Heidi St. John
Heidi St. John is a mother to 7 children ranging in age from toddler to adult. She and her husband have homeschool their children all the way through high school. Heidi is a popular speaker at homeschool conferences.
Getting Your Homeschool Day Back On Track
The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight is a book of encouragement to moms. In this book Heidi shares tips from her many years of homeschooling on the topics of schooling, chores, cleaning, cooking and scheduling to help you stay on top of running your home.
The book is made up of 8 chapters and a long introduction that I feel could be a chapter of it’s own!
Introduction: First Things First In the introduction Heidi talks about how our family relationships are far more important then the homeschooling itself. She tries to help you see the bigger picture of your relationship with your husband and children that builds the foundation of your homeschooling.
Intentional Daylight In this chapter Heidi asks you to look at your motivations and why you want to homeschool. She also share that simply having a resolve to homeschool isn’t enough to keep you going in the long term. Heidi helps you come up with a POA (Plan of Action) to keep you on track.
Organized Daylight In this chapter Heidi talks about how being surrounded by clutter can really cause you stress and a lack of focus. She gives suggestions on helping to get your home organized.
Scheduled Daylight In this chapter Heidi shares some of her ideas about scheduling that worked for her family. I love that she also shares that one schedule that worked for her one year would NOT work for her in the next year. It’s all about adapting to suit the season your family is in right now. Also included are sample schedules from other families.
Hungry Daylight As you probably guessed this chapter is about feeding your family! I loved the suggestions she included about taking advantage of easy meals, slow cookers and not feeling guilty about using cereal for breakfast!
Discouraged Daylight This chapter is about helping us homeschooling mothers when we start to feel down. She shares scriptures and ideas to help pick us up and encourage us.
Consolidated Homeschooling This chapter is about teaching your children together. This was a great chapter for me because I try to do this as much as possible. I’m always on the look out for tips on how to teach multi level programs. Heidi uses the acronym L.I.F.E. to share 4 really important things she learned about teaching multiple levels at home.
L. I. F. E. stands for:
- Learn together
- Incorporate individual studies into our daily routine
- Focus on relationships
- Engage our children each far beyond academic pursuits
Wasted Daylight This chapter discusses the time suckers that creep into our lives. Things like Facebook, email etc. Heidi shares some great practical tips to help get things under control.
Surrendered Daylight This chapter is about all the pressures that us homeschooling parents put on ourselves. This includes the common struggle to keep up with other systems of education as well as falling into the trap of comparing ourselves to other homeschool families. Heidi really reminds us that we look to God for our validation and we should be doing this comparison trap!
What I Think Of The Book
I’ve been an avid reader most of my life but the past few years I’ve been so busy that I’ve rarely read a book for ME. I’m so glad that I made time to read The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight! Heidi St. John has a great writing style and I love her sense of humour.
This book is really like sitting down with a big sister who has walked this path before you. In this book you find advice that is really helpful and not long lists of things you “need to do” to be a good homeschooling mom.
This is not one of toughs homeschooling books that leave you feeling burned out and tired after reading them. Instead this book helped me to feel better about myself and what our family is doing. I also found so many great tips to try out.
Even though I’m not a schedule person and neither are our children I do think having some type of routine is very helpful. I found her tips on how to create a new schedule helpful.
Another chapter I found helpful was the one on surrendered daylight. One thing I’ve struggled with lately is spending to much time online and not getting much accomplished with it! I do need to have time online to work on my blogs, lesson plans etc. This isn’t a bad thing but I have a bad habit of letting myself get distracted by emails or Facebook messages and then run out of time to finish the project I sat down to work on. Heidi has some great tips for working on this!
This book has been such a source of encouragement to me. I can highly recommend it to any homeschooling mother who is new to homeschooling or a veteran feeling worn out. I know if my girls decide to homeschool their children someday this will be a book I buy for them!