Real Life Press Review
When I started homeschooling, I just had to teach Bookworm and do some light work with the girls.  Now, two years later, the girls are about to enter K and 1st grade, and I find myself spread thin trying to teach each child a different curriculum.  My homeschool strategy for teaching one child clearly does not work for teaching three children.

When I was offered the chance to review Heidi St. John’s The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight published by Real Life Press, I jumped at the chance, and I’m glad I did.

I received the e-book, which is $10.00.  You can also opt for the printed version, which is $12.95.

If you’ve spent any length of time homeschooling, you’ve probably heard of Heidi St. John.  She is a mom of 7 kids, and has homeschooled all of them.  She also frequently speaks at homeschool conferences.

About The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight

The first message St. John sends in her book, loud and clear, is that marriage should be the first relationship you nurture.  Then nurture your relationship with your kids.

She asks, “It’s so easy to get busy doing the wrong things, isn’t it?”

Amen to that.

This year we got so busy doing extracurricular activities that we struggled to fit in our homeschool time, and we all got stressed.

St. John then argues, “When you think of homeschooling, scheduling, housework and dishes, ask the Lord to give you His perspective.  Everything else falls into place when we know we’re doing what He’s asked first.”

After the introduction, the book is divided into eight main chapters:

Intentional Daylight

Ask yourself why you’re homeschooling, and that will guide how you homeschool.  A P.O.A (Plan of Action) will help you be able to homeschool throughout your children’s entire education.  But, be willing to be flexible!

Organized Daylight

Lack of organization can ruin your P.O.A.  This meaty chapter covers a myriad of ways to organize, purge your space of stuff, and get your children to help with chores.

Scheduled Daylight

St. John makes time in her life for three things every day:

  • To spend time in God’s word each day,
  • To spend time alone with her husband each day,
  • To schedule her days.

Of course, this is what she’s found works for her.  You don’t have to make her priorities your priorities, but choose your own.

One of the most valuable parts of this chapter is the sample schedules and charts from other homeschoolers.

Hungry Daylight

Feeding a family takes time.  St. John discusses strategies to feed your family and maintain your sanity.

Discouraged Daylight

Getting discouraged is normal.  Remember to lean on God and your friends.  If you’re struggling, let others know so they can help you and pray for you.

Consolidated Daylight

After one particularly stressful homeschooling period, St. John developed this acronym for how she chose to homeschool (and maintain her sanity): L.I.F.E.

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.

St. John was frazzled trying to teach different kids completely different subjects all day long, so she looked into unit studies.  She used the one room school house approach with a main history, science, and missionary story.  She also included Bible study and notebooking with age appropriate assignments for each child.  The older ones engaged the younger ones.  Only three subjects couldn’t be studied as a group—math, reading and handwriting.

By changing to this way of homeschooling, her “teaching” day was done by 2 p.m. and she had time to focus on individual relationships with her kids.

Wasted Daylight

The Internet is a wonderful tool, but it can also be a dangerous time suck.  Practice self-control and have good girlfriends keep you accountable.  If the internet is really a problem, she suggests avoiding going online until you’ve accomplished everything you wanted to in your day.

Surrendered Daylight

Homeschool parents are under pressure to produce the smartest kids, to join the plethora of activities available.  But they also feel pressure when they compare themselves to other homeschool families.  All homeschooling families should work with each other, not judge one another.

How I Used This Book

While reading this book, I was inspired by several of St. John’s ideas.  First, I started having the kids do more work together.  In the morning, we all work together to read the Bible and say some prayers.  I’m also looking at ways next year that I can teach more subjects with the kids together, but especially with the girls.

I’ve also put myself on a strict internet schedule so I don’t waste time on unimportant things like checking e-mail endlessly or clicking on Facebook.

I’m also on a mission to cut the amount of time it takes to feed our family.  Thanks to our food intolerances, almost all of our meals have to be cooked from scratch, but I’m looking at easier ways to get that done such as using the slow cooker or using freezer meals.

Final Thoughts on This Book

Whether you’re a new homeschool mom, a frazzled homeschool mom, or one on the verge of sending her kids back to school, you can likely benefit from St. John’s wisdom.

I was one of 100 reviewers to read one of St. John’s books.  (Reviewers were allowed to choose from six different books.)  To read more reviews about St. John’s books, click on the link below.

 

Real Life Press Review
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