Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Review for The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight

Recently, I was given the opportunity to review The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight from Real Life Press for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.


For this review, I received the The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight E-book by Heidi St. John to download for free. The E-book can be purchased for $10.00 over at the Real Life Press website. Heidi St. John is a homeschooling mother of seven, wife, conference speaker, and author. She has a passion to encourage other mothers. She does this with grace and lots of humor. Y will find yourself chuckling out loud as you read her books.

So what is the book about?

In one word.......Encouragement!
Are you drowning in your homeschool journey? 
Are you stressed and feeling lost? 

Well, Heidi St. John and her fantastic book The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight is here to help!  St. John take us into the world of a homeschooling mom (and family). She shares ideas on homeschooling, cleaning, scheduling, family, and faith.

As a seasoned homeschooler, I felt like St. John had stepped into my house and watched us during the past 8 years. She gives readers a real look into homeschooling. The ups and downs, the days filled with smiles, the tears, and the days you want to throw in the towel and call it quits.
Guess what none of us are perfect! Isn't it nice to know that? 
She shares stories about her own homeschooling journey and includes stories from other homeschooling families. 

The book is started off with the Introduction. It is rather long but gives some wonderful insight into the homeschooling world.  After the introduction, the book is broken up into 8 chapters. I am going to share a little about each chapter. The points that really stuck with me and may help others.

Introduction~ First Things First
Putting Family First
Homeschooling isn't just about projects, lessons, and grades. Our family is more important than all of the other stuff that comes along with homeschooling. We should make our marriages a priority.We need to make sure that we are nurturing our relationships with our children and growing our family. We need to be looking at the bigger picture. 

A lot of times these things get lost in the day to day of homeschooling. We get busy with planning, lessons, and activities that we forget to see the main focus of our homeschooling journey....our families! The goal of the introduction is to get us to think and see the bigger picture. 

Chapter 1~ Intentional Daylight
Why are you homeschooling? In this chapter, St. John encourages readers to figure out why they are homeschooling? What are their motivations for taking on this challenging journey. She highly recommends time with God to help figure this important lesson out. Once you have your reasons, the next step on the journey is getting prepared for this journey. You need a plan!

Chapter 2~ Organized Daylight
Yup, you guessed it. This chapter deals with organization.  We all know how chaotic life can become, how messy a house can be, and how all that affects our family and ourselves. A messy house causes so much stress. I know you can all relate! Who hasn't wasted 20 (or even 60) minutes searching for a textbook. So if you have a mess in you home, St. John has a simple way to get through it. Start small. All you need is 15 minutes a day. Start with one room and then head to the next when it's completed. Simple, easy, and doable. We all know how messy homeschooling can get. She offers a ton of practicable advice on how to get your house clean and organized.

Chapter 3~ Scheduled Daylight
This chapter is all about creating a schedule that works for you. Try a few out and see what works best for your family. Do your kids do schoolwork better in the morning or in the afternoon? What subjects do you want to study? The biggest goal with making a schedule is making sure to prioritize what is more important to your family. One statement St. John stated and is so true is that too often we are too blame when our schedules fail. We procrastinate or get side tracked with the small stuff. Learning to focus on our goals will help with this.

Chapter 4~ Hungry Daylight
FOOD! We all need it. I know I have a young man that gets very cranky if he is hungry. Think of the Snickers candy bar commercials. Making sure meals are easy and planned out is always a good thing. Keeping a menu ready and preparing ahead of time will alleviate a lot of stress meal times can cause. In this chapter, St. John shares a variety of ways to help meal time go smoother.

Chapter 5~ Discouraged Daylight
We all have felt it. The stress to be like that "perfect" homeschooling mother you see at the park. You know the one. She has 8 kids who are so amazingly well behaved and she seems extremely organized. Her kids always look neat and tidy. They are always on time and their lessons are always done. Well here's a shocker...She doesn't exist. We think it does, but none of us are perfect. The mom that seems all together may be falling apart in the inside. She may think you are the "perfect" homeschooling mom. We need to not fall into the pattern of weakness. 

Instead of judging other mothers, we should build each other up. St. John stress that we should talk, share, and encourage each other. Her guidance in this chapter, will help so many mothers feel like they are doing a great job and are doing what is best for their kids.

Chapter 6~ Consolidated Daylight
In this chapter, St. John discusses the advantages of consolidating your schooling. Combining certain subjects can help a homeschooling mama feel sane. I love this section in the book. I have always combine certain subjects for my kids. Obviously, some subjects like math, spelling, and language arts my need to be done separately. By using multi-level teaching, homeschooling families can simplify their lives and time. Kids can learn together. Older children can encourage younger siblings. Younger siblings can look up to their bigger brother and sisters. 

Chapter 7~ Wasted Daylight
We all have done it. Gotten online to check a few emails and then suddenly 2-3 hours has past. We've wasted time again! St. John encourages readers to realize that our time is a special gift not to be wasted. We need to have self control and limit those distractions that cause us to waste our time. St. John offers sound advice to figure out what is sucking up your time and ways to get it under control.

Chapter 8~ Surrendered Daylight
In the final chapter, St. John writes about the pressure homeschooling families have. We worry about our curriculum, how our kids are performing, are our kids socialized enough, and if we are doing everything we can possible to help them achieve their goals. She writes that we should surrender to the pressure and failure! Failure is a fact of life. We can learn so much from our failures. 
Obviously this is something easier said than done.

These are just a few of the highlights from the book. As a seasoned homeschooler, it was nice to be reminded of what is important in this fantastic journey. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we can lose sight of that. 
I would highly recommend this book to new homeschooling mothers and veterans that need a quick pick me up. No matter where you are in your homeschooling journey, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Daylight is a wonderful read. It's real, funny, and gives mothers encouragement. Heidi St. John is a wonderful asset to the homeschooling community. I am looking forward to reading more by her.

Till next time,

Real Life Press Review

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