Motherhood is busy. There’s no doubt about it. Heidi St. John, in her book A Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight by Real Life Press, extends a lifeline to harried homeschool moms who are trying, every day, to give their kids a solid education that will prepare them well for life outside the nest, and do all the other things that moms do like cleaning, laundry, making dinner, and, let’s not forget, being a wife and a friend.
This tidy volume is just the right length. It’s not so brief that it leaves out important aspects of life & homeschooling, but it’s not so long that a busy mom can’t find a few minutes to glean from the help found inside.
Sharing vulnerably from her own life, Heidi St. John explores topics that range from the super practical to the position of the heart. She has experienced, first hand, that we homeschool by the grace of God, and she is kind to point each mom back to the One who gives grace and empowers us for this challenging and rewarding calling of being a homeschool mom.
On the practical side, Heidi begins by reminding us to keep the first things first. Our investment in our kids’ hearts and lives is infinitely more important than how made up we look, or how magazine-photo-shoot ready our house is. She gives each mom permission to take a deep breath, and be comfortable with the mess that is the reality of homeschooling.
In her discussion of scheduling her day, I enjoyed the different examples of schedules she shared. I am a work-at-home mom, with dad sometimes at home to take over a few subjects. I’m also in the beginning stages of schooling multiple grades AND trying to keep a toddler from destroying the house (or at least flooding the bathroom) at the same time.
Speaking of destroying the house, Heidi understands that schooling (and life) is more peaceful in an organized home. She offers sage advice on a wide range of home-related topics including organizing, decluttering, and divvying up chores.
Heidi’s tips on schooling multiple children were very practical. I have already been streamlining some things, like our Classical Conversations memory work, but I will definitely have to explore some of her ideas further as my kids grow. (I’m purposefully being vague – you’ll have to read her book to discover her strategies!)
I loved her section on meal planning. Preparing meals remains the most challenging part of my day, so I was eager to glean from an experienced mom. It made me feel better to hear that she has trouble too, and to re-prioritize sitting down and actually writing out a menu. No matter how great a day we’ve had, it feels defeating to be at a total loss when dinnertime rolls around.
She concludes her book by speaking directly to the heart of us homeschool moms, offering encouragement and perspective for this work we’ve said yes to. Filled with Scripture and vision, she gives us permission to be weak, to fail, and to get up and try again. Homeschool mom, pick up a copy of The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight for yourself. You won’t regret the read! (I was given an e-copy for the purpose of this review).