HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance: Nurturing Your Marriage through the Homeschool Years
Author: Heidi St. John
Publisher: Real Life Press, 2010
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: For moms
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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St. John, Heidi. The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance: Nurturing Your Marriage through the Homeschool Years (published in 2010 by Real Life Press, % First Class Homeschool Ministries, 1400 NE 136th Ave., Ste. 201, Vancouver, WA 98683). How many homeschool moms does it take to screw in a light bulb? Heidi St. John, wife, homeschool mom of six, the oldest of whom is now in college, author, and speaker, doesn’t answer that question, but she does offer good suggestions and advice to every homeschool mom on how to be “That Girl” whom her husband loved and married. In the normal order of things, before there can be a “homeschool mom” there has to be a “homeschool wife.” Therefore, the best homeschool mom is one who makes her marriage a priority, especially since a stable family unit is the bedrock of society. Heidi also reminds homeschool moms that the best homeschool wives are those who don’t neglect their relationship with God. In fact, she says that “in the setting of homeschooling, having my devotions with the kids has turned out to be the single most impacting thing about our homeschool journey.”
The ten chapters in this book deal with such subjects as the need for quiet time, romance, “white space,” the dangers of too much social networking, “homeschool headache,” the importance of communication, parallel living vs. partnering, and related topics. Her emphasis is upon the necessity of making the marriage work, not being “all homeschool mom all the time.” This is important not only for mom and dad but for the kids as well. Heidi paraphrases Mark 8:36 saying, “What does it profit a homeschool mom if she homeschools her children and then gets so wrapped up in the busyness of life that she forgets that her primary purpose is to cultivate the hearts and souls of her children for the Kingdom?” (p. 58). She also reminds us that “we’re modeling marriage for our children. Our children will learn from us how to communicate (or, how not to) with wisdom and love in their own marriages. If we educate our children in the academics but fail to live out the principles that are laid out in God’s word in our marriages, we will have missed the most amazing part about homeschooling. That opportunitythe greatest benefit of Christian homeschoolingis discipleship. Pass it on” (p. 119).
Many homeschool moms who are facing special trials in their lives will find Chapter 9, “When It Hurts: Hope for the Brokenhearted,” especially helpful and encouraging. Remembering a period of struggling in her own life, she shares the wisdom that a friend gave her. “You must learn never to question in the darkness what God has shown you to be true about Himself in the light.” Heidi and her husband of over twenty years, Jay, are the founders and executive directors of First Class Homeschool Ministries, an organization that is dedicated to helping churches start homeschool cooperatives. Heidi is a popular conference speaker as well. Her schedule can be found at www.heidistjohn.com , where you can also order the book. This book is recommended by Gena Suarez, publisher of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine; Michael Smith, President of Home School Legal Defense Association; Steve and Jean Lambert of Five in a Row; and Diana Waring. I can’t imagine a homeschool mom who couldn’t benefit from reading it.