I have long been a fan of Heidi St. John and her Busy Mom Blog. Her writing is always such an encouragement to me. I was definitely excited to see Jay and Heidi St. John's company, Real Life Press, on the Schoolhouse Review Crew's upcoming review list. I already own and have read Heidi's book, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance, so I was hoping to be able to review The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight.
Note: This was my first time receiving an epub file, but I quickly learned about UB Reader app for my Android tablet, as well as Calibre which I downloaded onto my laptop and used to convert the epub file to mobi format so I could then send it to my Kindle. Both methods worked well and I was able to read the e-book from my computer, my tablet, or my Kindle. In the end, I primarily used the UB Reader on my tablet, since the 3 formats were obviously not synced up with each other.
The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight is divided into 8 chapters. These 8 chapters are easy to read, whether you devour an entire chapter at a time, or have to read it in snippets. Even if you have to set the book aside and pick it up days later, as I have, you'll still be able to follow Heidi's train of thought and benefit from the book. My UB Reader says there are 81 pages, but the book description elsewhere says 195 pages. Once I realized that, I felt better about how long it took me to read the book ... because I did have to read it in lots of short segments.
Each of the 8 chapters in The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight have a clever title that ends with Daylight. The chapter topics deal with having an intentional plan for your homeschool days, organizing your home, creating a schedule that works for your family, feeding your family, dealing with discouragement, multi-level teaching to simplify homeschooling, using our time wisely, and surrendering our homeschool days to God. Basically, Heidi touches on each of the things that can derail our homeschool and offers encouragement and helpful suggestions for staying the course without jumping track.
Throughout the book, Heidi St. John is very transparent with her own struggles as a homeschool mom, and the lessons she's learned over the years. I love that she doesn't present herself as a perfect mom, or a flawless homeschooler. She doesn't say "this is the way to homeschool God's way". She encourages each Busy Mom to pray, to seek God's wisdom, and work with their own husband to devise a plan that suits their family's unique personality and needs. Not only does she avoid setting herself on a pedestal, she cautions against the habit we have in the homeschool community of trying to follow a leader and their formulaic teaching for how to have the perfect home, perfect family, and raise perfect godly children.
Because she isn't into formulas, you won't find a step-by-step approach to completely fixing all your problems. But if you take one chapter at a time and work to prayerfully apply that lesson to your home, you'll see improvement. And as she says in chapter 5 (Discouraged Daylight), we just need to try again when we don't succeed. I love her subsection titled, "Failure, You are a Friend of Mine," because I could relate to that. I am a scheduling failure, a meal-planning failure, and several-other-methods failure. But she encourages us to learn from our failures and not give up, not to listen to the "accuser" but continue to seek God's strength and wisdom. I loved that chapter and the final chapter on Surrendered Daylight most.
There is something for every Busy Homeschool Mom in this book. Well, except the Mom who already has it all figured out ... unless she needs to read about being open to God's direction and being flexible as life changes. If you're struggling to get it all done, and can't figure out how to wear all your different hats at once, then you should read The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight.
And then read The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance, because I am sure every homeschool marriage could benefit from that, as well.
If you're looking for updates from Heidi St. John, aka The Busy Mom, then you can find her in these places: