What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Review~ Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms

When I signed up for the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I knew I would get to review homeschooling products but I never considered that I might be able to review a product only for me! But I have that pleasure today with Apologia Educational Ministries' new book called Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate.

Mary Jo Tate was a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of four boys when she was suddenly left to care, provide for and homeschool her four young boys all on her own back in 2001.  I can't imagine the pain and worry and fear that such an upheaval might induce not to mention the practical concerns of earning enough money to provide for your children and home while still being at home and homeschooling.  How does one do it?!

Well, clearly, by God's good grace and a hearty dose of wisdom- she not only got it done, but FLOURISHED while doing so.  She is now an international editor, a book coach, author of several books, and is the host of the “Flourish at Home” show on the Ultimate Radio Network. She manages to accomplish all of that, while also caring for her household and homeschooling her children going solo...she even makes time to encourage single mothers on an individual basis.  She, of all people, could offer some incredible insights in how to flourish in a hectic, busy and stress-filled life...and she does just that in Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms.

"Find peace in the space between the ideal and reality." 

The book is chock-full of practical wisdom and tips, gentle nudging, encouragement and examples on how to take control of your life instead of it being in control of you.  Scattered throughout are wonderful quotes- so many of which I have previously written in my inspiration book- making me feel quite like Mary Jo may just be a kindred spirit.  :-)

At the end of each chapter, a TAKE ACTION! box includes questions you need to specifically ask yourselves and ways to implement the lessons she has shared in the chapter.

The Chapters:

1. An Invitation to Flourish
2. Change Your Mind to Change Your Time
3. The FREEDOM Toolbox
4. Where Did My Time Go?
5. Aim High: Setting Goals
6. What Do I Do Next? Seven Essential Planning Tools
7. We Interrupt This Program
8. It’s Time for an Attitude Adjustment
9. Oxygen Masks and Monkey Bread Days
10. Training Your Children
11. Making Memories
12. Managing Your Home
13. All of Life is Learning
14. Solo Act: Flourishing as a Single Mom
15. Home Business
16. Moving Ahead

At the end of the book, Mary Jo includes many resources, sorted by topic, that she has found helpful.  Also at the end of the book are a number of planning forms like a Time Log, Yearly Review, Weekly Plan, etc. to help you on your way. Printable, customizable forms are available on her website for those who purchase the book.

She writes as a homeschooling mother, but as a successful business woman as well.  I appreciate so much her thoughts and advice on working from home in addition to the daily responsibilities she has as a homeschool mother.  The book can be enjoyed by homeschool mothers, single mothers, work-at-home mothers...or any Monkey Bread Mother, really.  What is a monkey bread mother? Mary Jo explains...monkey bread mothers are mothers who get many fingers pulling off and devouring little bits of us throughout the day until we are all but gone.

Mary Jo Tate is a list maker and a goal maker, much like myself.  She advocates for writing down yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and daily goals.  She even encourages you to DREAM BIG, nudging you to make a few 'if nothing would stop me' goals that might just be achievable.  My DREAM BIG goal is to write books.  It has always been a pipe dream that I just can't shake~ but it always seemed unattainable for my present reality.  But, in reading this book, I feel very much encouraged that it could become a reality.  Mary Jo Tate's story is not only inspiring but enlightening.

Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms is available here for $15.00.  It may be just the investment you need to make for yourself, your family, your homeschool and/or your home business.

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