Balancing Home, School, and Family in the Real World
According to a study done by Susan A. McDowell, Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University, lack of organization and housework worries rank as the most stress-inducing concerns for home educators – not the expected issues such as curriculum choices, homeschool methods, learning styles, or teaching multiple ages. Author, speaker, and veteran homeschool mother Marilyn Rockett explains: “Over the years, I have seen more women quit homeschooling because of a failure to balance their home and school than over academic concerns.”
Don’t give up, there is hope! If you are a wife, mother, and home educator struggling to balance home, school, and family, Homeschooling at the Speed of Life is the perfect book for you! This book offers practical strategies useful for any homeschool family. Much more than a home organization handbook, Homeschooling at the Speed of Life could also be titled “Home Management for Real Life,” because it is a complete guide to hospitable homemaking as well. The author, Marilyn Rockett, is like a homeschool version of Martha Stewart! However, she does not expect you to achieve a perfectly arranged magazine-quality home but to simply attain what is described as “functional neatness.”
Marilyn Rockett homeschooled her children for fifteen years, from 1981-1996. She has four grown sons and six homeschooled grandchildren. She has been speaking to homeschool groups and contributing articles to homeschool magazines for almost twenty years. In this new book based on one of her workshops, Marilyn shares simple and practical organizational principles that come from her own experiences. It is clear from the first chapter that her foundation for organization is God’s Word. Since Homeschooling at the Speed of Life is not written by a professional organization consultant but by a real homeschool mom, readers will surely be able to relate to and appreciate her sensible advice for having an orderly, God-honoring home.
How good are you at maintaining order and harmony in your home while you homeschool? Do you simply have trouble deciding between grading the math test, making lunch, or hanging up the laundry? Or are you frustrated because you’re always losing things and can never seem to get anything done? Even worse, do you hardly ever invite guests over because you are too embarrassed to let them see the cluttered condition of your home? No matter how organizationally challenged (or totally clueless!) you are, this book offers encouragement and practical advice for creating the peaceful and relaxed home that you long for. More importantly, it tells how to make wise use of the time that God has given you, so that you can enjoy being with your family without being preoccupied with things.
If you are turned off by traditional homemaking books that assume you must maintain an old-fashioned way of living complete with self-sufficient homestead, you will enjoy Homeschooling at the Speed of Life because it is totally in tune with today’s fast-paced lifestyle and modern households. This book shows that you don’t have to be “Supermom” or “Mrs. Incredible” either! It is written in a friendly, gentle manner by a mentor mom who has “been there, done that” – thus reassuring readers that even though we’re only human, we can still keep our lives organized without being a slave to our possessions.
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life provides an introduction to basic home management principles, common sense suggestions for clutter control and tackling those piles of papers, creative ideas for developing life skills in your children, encouraging ways to build relationships by using the home as a center for hospitality, and practical tips on how to keep organized records. Each of these diverse topics ties in to the theme of bringing order to your home while increasing productivity and decreasing stress.
Upon reading this book, it was amazing to discover how like-minded the author and I are. Although we’ve never met and I had never read any of her works before, I was delighted to realize that Marilyn and I are kindred spirits who offer much of the same advice on home organization. She even intersperses inspirational quotations and Bible verses throughout the text just as I like to do in my writings. In fact, some of the quotes that she uses – and many similar ones – can be found in my book, Learning for Life: Educational Words of Wisdom.
Homeschooling at the Speed of Life is unique among organizational books in that it is Biblically-based and can be used as a devotional or Bible study. This could ideally be done with a group of friends who support each other’s attempts to get their respective homes in order. At the end of each chapter you are prompted to stop, think, and reflect. There are Scripture references to look up, questions to discuss, practical exercises to reinforce what you just read, and thoughts to ponder. Don’t just skip over these parts but take the opportunity to apply what you learn in each chapter to your own personal circumstances.
This book will have a calming effect on even the most harried homemaker. Instead of just focusing on the practicalities of organizing, Homeschooling at the Speed of Life simultaneously focuses on issues of the heart which are just as important – if not more so. While de-cluttering your home with the help of this book, you can de-clutter your mind at the same time. The author explains how she earned her homeschool “PHD” – by “Praying for Help Daily.” This book will leave you convicted and encouraged to focus on God’s advice for staying organized – for your own sanity and for the good of your family.
The $17.99 retail price of this book includes a CD-ROM, which in itself is worth the cost! The bonus disc contains Marilyn’s easily adaptable File-a-Plan organizing system with 32 useful forms to help you get started. Choose which forms apply to your household and/or homeschool from titles such as: Attendance Record, Clean Room Chart, Daily Works, Grade/Goal Report, Health Record, High School Plan, High School Transcript, Individual Evaluation, Master Household Routine, Menu Minder, Standardized Achievement Test Record, Student Assignments, Study Plan, Subject or Unit Worksheet, Weakness/Strength Evaluation, Weekly Lesson Planner, etc. These will assist busy homeschool moms in keeping up with activities and records.
Some people need more help than others, but anyone can improve upon the organization of their homes and lives. Homeschooling at the Speed of Life has something for everyone, regardless of where you are in your homeschool journey. No matter how organized you are, you are bound to gain some valuable insights from this book. Homeschooling at the Speed of Life would be an especially great gift for a new homeschool mom on how to run an organized homeschooling household. Even non-homeschoolers will be able to benefit from much of the advice in this book!