Flourish: Balance For Homeschool Moms ~ Apologia Educational Ministries #Review
As homeschool moms, we have a ton on our plates; there’s no getting around that. Between educating our children, taking care of our households, and achieving our financial needs, us homeschool moms have precious little time to take for ourselves, let alone stop and evaluate how we can improve the our lives. Apologia Educational Ministries ministries understands our challenges, and they’ve given us a tool to guide us, someone to take our hand, lead us down a path already tread, and help us fulfill our needs just a little bit easier.
Titled Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms ($15), Mary Jo Tate’s new book is written for every homeschool mom. It doesn’t matter your marital status, your employment or financial situation, or how many kids you have; we’re all at risk for burnout.
Burnout, you say? Sure, I’m tired, and I’m sometimes frustrated with all that’s on my to-do list, and I have projects and plans of my own that I never quite seem to get to… but I’m keeping everything going. All the balls I’m juggling are still in the air.
And that, my dear, is exactly the problem. How does juggling end?
When a ball drops.
It’s possible to not even realized it’s happened; the kids are doing school, the house is mostly clean, the bills get paid… but are you flourishing? Is you family stretching out tendrils, reaching for new experiences that will help them to grow and learn and succeed? Are you?
We’re starting our tenth year of homeschooling, I’ve just graduated one child, so it’s safe to say we’ve been doing this a while and have a pretty good handle on things. At least, it looks that way from the outside. The kids are learning, the housework is mostly kept up, everybody gets fed, and we manage financially.
All the balls are in the air.
Or at least, I thought they were. Truthfully, though, I’ve let one drop, and it’s been on the ground so long that I’m not even sure where it went to. Know which ball that is? The one with my name on it.
I don’t take quite as good care of myself as I should; I’m usually tired, busy, with way too many things on my to-do list, and not enough time, especially for those “optional” projects that are “things I want to do”. Trouble is, some of those things I want to do have the potential for improving our financial circumstances, at least eventually, and while the results are iffy once they’re done, it’s a guarantee they won’t improve anything if they never get done!
So, how we change things?
We Learn To Flourish
Mary Jo Tate doesn’t write for one particular type of homeschool mom. It doesn’t matter if you’re single or married, working or not, a mom of one or of many, a veteran or a newbie – this book is for YOU, and will reach you where you are right now. It’s crafted expressly so that you can do a read through, use the information you need *right now* and keep the book at hand for next time, when your family’s needs or priorities change… or you simply need a refresher.
Whatever you’re feeling right now, chances are, you’re in your comfort zone. It feels safe there, because you know what to expect, right?
But you know what I’ve discovered?
That my comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable!
Just a note – I definitely do NOT mean to scare off those thinking about homeschooling. Yes, there will be hard days, but it’s never impossible. This isn’t about merely surviving as a homeschool mom – it’s about how to absolutely thrive and live the life you want to be living!
My Comfort Zone Isn’t Enough; What Can I Do About It?
Flourish has sixteen chapters, each of which end with questions for you to work through; these will help you understand yourself, your needs, and where you need to apply yourself to move forward. Be honest, and don’t skip them; understanding of the concepts in each chapter is best learned when you use and apply them. If you’re at all like me, you tend to figure you’ll think about them as you go.
Don’t do that to yourself. Take the time, even if you just have a few minutes a day. When you actually write down the exercises, you’ve done two things: you’ve given your thoughts form, made them concrete and actionable, and you’ve given yourself a resource to look back on, both so that you can see what your plan was, and also so that you can evaluate how much progress you’ve made.
How Am I Flourishing?
I’ll be honest; I’m pretty firmly entrenched in my comfort zone. It’s *hard* for me to make changes.
That said, 2014 appears to be the year of something new, because my desire to find my way out of this uncomfortable zone is getting stronger and stronger.
Some of the tactics mentioned in Flourish are things I’d discovered on my own; you can’t get through ten years of homeschooling, keep most of those balls in the air, and not have a few methods for dealing with the madness. It’s the rest of the book that’s going to help me, some now, some later.
Will it work? I don’t know. You’ll have to ask me after some time has gone by; making life changes isn’t an instant process.
But I can tell you this: It feels right, and I’m more optimistic about my goals than I’ve been in a long, long time.
I can say with certainty that my life would probably be very different now if I had encountered this book ten years ago. I highly recommend it to both new and veteran homeschoolers – this is one for the keeper shelf.
Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms is a 320-page paperback. (It’s also available for Kindle.) Buy a copy for yourself – and one to gift to a homeschool mom who could really use it. Can you imagine the power of us homeschool moms if we were all Flourishing?