Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate

Posted By Callie Domingues on Feb 27, 2014 | 0 comments



Each time I am offered a book to review I often wonder how it will impact my life. I am a lover of the written word and yes, I sometimes read “fluff” to pass the time. But on recent occasions I have been blessed to read a book (or two or three) that have really made me look at who I am. 

Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms is one such book. Apologia Educational Ministries was kind enough to offer this book to me for my honest opinion. And I am so grateful for the opportunity to share with you this amazing book for Homeschool Mamas.

If you know anything about Apologia, you know it is a company that is dedicated to Biblical truths in their educational materials. This book is exactly the type of product that I have come to expect from them.

The truth is, I was so overly excited to get this book for review. I love to read and lately I have a thirst for anything help related. The take on this book was Balance…something I thought sounded like an idea that I needed to implement in my life.

As a homeschool mama, I sometimes feel like I am running in circles and accomplishing nothing.

How pleased I was to read that this book gave insight into that fact that I am not alone in those thoughts and feelings…..whew…

Mary Jo Tate is a homeschool mom that has her daily life running smoothly (most days anyway). Life happens and she writes her book along that lines of just that, daily life. Perfect…I need way more direction in my life and this book proved to be much more valuable to me that I even dreamed possible.

When I received the book I jumped in with both feet, read the first chapter and then was so unbelieveably convicted that I put the book down and couldn’t pick it up again for almost a week. Seriously.

I thought I knew what I was doing.

I thought that I had everything under control.

I thought that I was following the same game plan as God.

I thought….

Mary Jo made me see that I have way too much going on in my life and that is why I always feel like I am running around aimlessly. Why most days ended with, “Seriously, what did I even do today?!”

The book is so well written that at first I didn’t even realize that it was a “self-help” book, it was more like the veteran homeschool mom that I always wanted to meet because she knew what she was doing and she was headed in the right direction.

By reading this book I came to understand that my way of life is okay…seriously okay. But that I need to brush up on the daily habits that I have come to have.

The book opened my eyes to numerous areas in my life that I was letting flounder and just how to correct that.

  • I seriously must be better dedicated to spending time with the Lord. My life cannot run as smoothly as I would hope if I do not rely more on Him that I do now. I have read so many books in reference to spending time with God and each one of them touches my heart and gently convicts me. But this book, well, it laid it on thick for me. I think some of the words she wrote, she must have been peering in my windows because it was so spot on. The Lord convicts because He knows that there can be improvement. In return that also gives me hope because He sees that my life as a homeschool mom and work from home mom can be better, much much better. I want that and I am trying to implement some of Mary Jo’s ideas into my daily activities.
  • To become a better homeschool mom I need to made sure that my life is in order before I can control anything else that I have on my plate; homeschooling my children included. (A direct result of spending more time with The Lord). Once I have me under God’s control, more than my own control, I can better balance school for the children. I am more routine than schedule but I still need to make better plans and follow through with them. It is possible according to Mary Jo and I must “buckle down” myself and make some drastic changes in how school gets done around here.
  • If I am going to have a home based business I truly need to find one thing and one thing only. I have my hands in some many pots that each pot was only barely simmering let alone boiling to the point of overflowing. Pick one thing and then make it the best thing. Do I need to work, not according to my husband. But do I want to? Sometimes. So I need to clear my plate of frivolous things and dedicate myself to growing my business to the point of active productivity instead of continuing stagnant growth. It is possible to have a home based business and homeschool, I just need to make space for the important and let go of the unimportant.
  • Life at home does not have to be hard, unorganized or hectic. It can run as a well oiled machine runs, smoothly and effectively. With lots of time and dedication, I believe that my household can be like that too. That sounds lovely indeed.

Mary Jo offers scheduling sheets, time logs, calendars and so much more with this book. She makes it almost too easy to succeed! Almost makes it too hard to fail!

If you too have some areas in your life that need work but you just don’t know how to approach it, then I truly believe that this book is one you must get. I was convicted yet so very encouraged at the same time.

This book helped me really look inside and dig deep to see the areas in my life that thought I had under control. Yet, I was so blinded by my own ideas that I could not see what I have become…a mindless slave to self, social media, money and control. None of which is relatively important in the grand scheme of things. By reading this book, I was able to take a major step back from my everyday life and my “rose colored glasses” were removed. I was able to really peer into my life and make some drastic changes to life.

  • I have closed two of my Etsy shops. They were more hobby shops that only produced enough to pay the fees I was incurring. This was a big step for me. I have come to realize that God has been keeping me afloat until I was given the opportunity to have my eyes opened to the facts.
  • I have been through our school stuff. I have donated, throw away, sold and reorganized almost all of it. Less is more. A fact that is still hard for me but I am learning that just because I can get “it” doesn’t mean that I need “it” (whatever the “it” may be).
  • I am planning on chore lists appropriate to each child’s age and abilities. My children do chores now, but I am hoping that this small change will increase the smoothness of running the house with less whining and more being diligent.
  • My time is precious. I am making improvements to finding the time to get the important stuff done: Bible study time for me, better schooling practices for my children, dedicating select time periods for work.

This book has opened my eyes to the plethora of things I have been more slave to than master of.

Even if you do not have a business, read the book.

Even if you are married, read the book.

Even if you are a single mom, read the book.

Flourish, Balance for Homeschool Moms is a book that has turned my life upside down but yet in the same pages I found myself standing upright and having more courage to take matters back into my own hands and the confidence that God knows what is best for me and mine and that I too can stop running around aimlessly.

Yes, this is a book that I will reference often. I have been so blessed by the words, charts, and worksheets and I know that I will be able to go back time and again to find my balance when life begins to lean a little to far to one side. Yes, I have a long way to go, but I now feel I am heading in the right direction.



Would you like to keep up with Mary Jo on social media?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FlourishAtHome
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryjotate



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook free from the publisher . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”