Today's Wisdom

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review of Apologia's Flourish: Balance For Homeschool Moms

Flourish Book Review
"Exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout?"  Those are the words found on the back cover of Flourish: Balance For Homeschool Moms published by Apologia Educational Ministries.

If you can or have ever answered yes to those questions and I'm pretty sure we all have then this is a book for your nightstand table.  This book is for moms!

Flourish Book Review

The author, Mary Jo Tate, has homeschooled her four sons since 1997 all while maintaining her own business and on top of being a single parent.  She has much wisdom and insight to offer many homeschool moms.

Flourish can be purchased here for $15.00 plus s/h and comes in paperback.  It contains sixteen chapters consisting of 288 pages.  The chapter titles are:

   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

Inside these chapters, Mary Jo Tate walks beside you and gives you lots of advice and help to set up a plan not only for your homeschool but for housekeeping, training your children, maintaining a home business, and more.  Each chapter walks you through your plan of attack but she often reminds you that just making the plan and not taking action to put the plan in place will not advance you to where you want to be.  So at the end of each chapter, she also gives you a take action plan.  At the end of chapter one, you are given a Pre-Book Self Evaluation.  Then at the end of the book, you are given a Post-Book Progress Check where you will examine areas of growth and areas that still require more work.  

She also includes samples of her own schedules that she used in her home including her daily planning list, weekly planning list, and chore charts.  There are blank forms in the book as well as at her website so you can customize them to fit your needs.

An Inside Look Into a Few Chapters

In Chapter 4's take action plan, you are to keep a time log of what you do for every half hour for at least a week.  The forms are included for you to fill out.  This was an eye opening task.  It clearly pointed out to me that I take the time for what I want to get done.  It's easy to say I don't have time for something but in reality I make the time for what I want to do.  I think I should complete this assessment at least once a quarter if not monthly.

Chapter 8 was a great read and reminder for me on keeping my attitude in check.  It will be an earmarked chapter that I will definitely need to re-read again because it was filled with awesome steps I should take when I'm feeling overwhelmed, fearful, negative, or just down right frustrated.

Chapter 11 gives you an action plan to make the time to spend special one-on-one time with each of your children. Below is how Sarah and I chose to spend our day.  This was another great reminder of how fast my children are growing and how quick these memory making times are fading away. Although, our day out wasn't exactly cheap she does encourage you to spend some time making a list of simple and inexpensive things to do with your family as well.  For us, some of those would include a local dollar movie theatre, spray park, playing skip-bo or any card game, playing chess, and eating a huge slice of watermelon.  

Inside Chapter 13 she shares a day in the life.  I always love "looking" inside other homeschools so that was fun for me to read.  Her writing style is engaging and easy to read.  It feels as though you have your own personal mentor leading and reminding you of what is important.  She doesn't hesitate to challenge you to examine and ask yourself the tough questions.  

I would highly recommend that all moms take the time to be encouraged and inspired by the wise words of Mary Jo Tate in Flourish: Balance For Homeschool Moms.
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