As a reviewer for the Schoolhouse Crew, I’ve had the opportunity to use and review so many great homeschool products. It has been a real blessing to our family. However, I can’t think of another review that has meant so much to me personally as the Homeschool Mom’s Bible from Zondervan.
What homeschool mom among us doesn’t crave some bit of validation from time to time? A small sign that shows that what we’re doing really matters and does not go unnoticed? That is how I felt when I received the Homeschool Mom’s Bible in my mailbox. What could be more affirming than to see the title of my own life’s calling written on the cover of a Bible?
Since I have so much good to say about this Bible, I’ll start with first impressions on the outside and move to the wonderful content on the inside. Although you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, this one certainly is visually appealing. I received the hardcover NIV, though it is also available in KJV, leatherbound, and e-Bible. The hardcover I received has a dust jacket to protect it, too. It has a scrapbook-type design with paper flowers, buttons, and paper scraps. It’s a very cheery and inviting cover. I keep it on my desk as a bright reminder to spend time in God’s word every day.
So what makes this different from other NIV Bibles on the inside? The difference is obvious from the first few pages, including a foreword by Vickie Farris, homeschool mom and wife of Dr. Michael Farris of the HSLDA. Mrs. Farris goes straight to the heart of homeschool moms with these words:
“. . . I can think of no higher calling than to disciple my own children and teach them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength. However, as I’m sure you know all too well, the homeschooling life can be a bit messy at times. You may find yourself alternating between a grace sufficient for the day and a touch of craziness that is best kept behind closed doors. In those moments, you long for those promised green pastures that captivated the heart of King David. Your soul cries out for a few unhurried seconds spent with the Prince of Peace. You know deep down that you need time to be refreshed by lingering in God’s presence, reflecting on the life-giving words of Scripture. Yet, as I’m sure you’ll agree, far too often it’s tempting to respond to the tyranny of the urgent.”
True words, indeed. That is just the foreword! There are 365 devotions interspersed within the text of the Bible, all written by homeschool mom Janet Tatman from Alpha Omega Publications, a familiar homeschool curriculum company. She understands firsthand what it’s like to be in the trenches of homeschooling and motherhood while searching for and maintaining a meaningful faith in relationship with Jesus. The devotions are taken from her popular Daily Focus email subscription and year-long devotional book.
To make it easier to follow along with the daily devotions, at the bottom of each day’s reading there is a note with a page number to find the next one. In other words, you can easily find the day’s devotion without reading through the Bible from beginning to end.
The devotions cover the issues that homeschool moms face, but sometimes have trouble putting into words or sharing with others. Things like burnout, the pressures of keeping up with the home, planning, organizing, lack of quiet time, raising, teaching, and discipling children, and maintaining our marriage in the midst of it all. Each devotion begins with a focus scripture, then a short life application story. All of it is meant to bring our focus back to Jesus and the peace he offers in the chaos. They are encouraging reminders of why we do what we do.
There is a topical index at the back so you can quickly look up any particular need you have at the moment.
My only “problem” with this Bible is the small print. My tired eyes sometimes have trouble focusing on those tiny words.
I have used this Bible every day for a month now and will continue to read the daily devotionals. As I said, I keep it on my desk and often look up verses in it. It has become my new daily Bible, replacing my previous NIV that was falling apart from years of use. I am so happy to have received this Homeschool Mom’s Bible. It has become such a positive and uplifting part of my day. I look forward to reading it everyday.
Remember, just because it has 365 devotions, doesn’t mean you have to wait until January 1st to begin. They can be read in any order, anytime.