HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight: Managing Your Days Through the Homeschool Years
Author: Heidi St. John
Publisher: Real Life Press, 2012
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: For adults
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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St. John, Heidi. The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight: Managing Your Days Through the Homeschool Years (published in 2012 by Real Life Press, % First Class Homeschool Ministries, 1400 NE 136th Ave., Vancouver, WA 98684). Are you a busy homeschool mom? How much daylight do you seem to have? What do you do with the daylight that you have? Does it feel like too little? Homeschool wife and mother Heidi St. John discusses with frankness and honesty several issues that plague homeschool moms. In her introduction, Heidi says, “No, it’s not always easy, but it’s a journey worth taking. It’s the hardest, best thing you’ll every do with your children. So come on, mom! Jump in with me and let’s seek God’s heart together as we get intentional about how we spend our days.” With chapters entitled “Intentional Daylight,” “Organized Daylight,” “Scheduled Daylight,” “Hungry Daylight,” “Discouraged Daylight,” “Consolidated Daylight,” “Wasted Daylight,” and “Surrendered Daylight,” she offers practical solutions, inspiration, and hope.
Heidi had sent me a copy of her first book, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Romance about making marriage the priority relationship at home, to review. A copy of this new book was given to my wife and me earlier this year at a homeschool leaders’ fellowship during a conference by Steve and Jane Lambert of Five in a Row. Obviously, Heidi doesn’t speak directly to me because I’m not a busy homeschool mom. However, I am married to one, and I’m a “busy homeschool dad,” so I think that I can understand, at least to some degree, the situations and needs that she addresses. By way of warning, let me say that if you are looking for a secular book on how to homeschool “without all that religious stuff,” you don’t want anything by Heidi St. John. She says, “I truly believe that Christian homeschooling is nothing short of a ‘God thing.’ Apart from His leading, we could never do it.” However, for those of us families who are convicted that our homeschooling is an extension of our relationship with the Lord, she provides a lot of wise advice that will help us be successful.
I especially appreciate some of her comments in the last chapter. “My heart has been burdened in the past several years by what my husband and I have seen creep into the homeschool community through organizations and individuals whose well-meaning message has taken on an attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness. Rather than depending on God, we can easily find ourselves depending on the formulas and messages of men. We hang on their every word. We dress the part. We talk the part. We take some measure of pride in following a set of rules, and we encourage others to do the same. According to many, it’s not enough to homeschool any more. We need to wear dresses while we do it. We shouldn’t put our kids in Sunday school. We shouldn’t own televisions. Families who believe in courtship look down on families who don’t—and vice versa….There is so much division within the homeschool community that many moms I meet are afraid to ’admit’ that they buy white bread on sale or that their daughters are going to college. We are arguing over disputable matters. In Romans 14, Paul warned the church specifically NOT do to this.” Amen! With humor and a good dose of humility, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight makes suggestions about managing the day and finding fresh ideas for the to-do list—even if it means occasionally serving cereal for dinner!