The best way for me to get my day started is to get focused in the Word of God. It is like cleaning your glasses first thing so that what you see becomes a bit cleaner and crisper. During the last month, I have spent some of this time rejuvenating with the Homeschool Mom’s Bible from Zondervan. While reviewing this new resource from Zondervan, I was using the NIV translation. This new devotional Bible is also available in KJV.
About the Homeschool Mom’s Bible:
First and foremost, the Homeschool Mom’s Bible contains the full text of God’s Word. It comes in two versions: NIV and KJV. The book itself is a hardbound binding, which helps with durability if you are a mom with little ones that are apt to knock things off the coffee table. There are other aspects of this copy of the Scriptures, which were created with the homeschool mom in mind.
- Foreward – The folks at Zondervan have included a short inspirational foreward written by Vickie Farris. Vickie is the wife of Mike Farris from the Home School Legal Defense Fund and a homeschool mom as well.
- Table of Contents – Like many other Bibles, there is a sequential listing of the books of the Bible and their page numbers as well as an alphabetical listing of the books in the Table of Contents section in the front.
- Daily Devotions – There is a devotional page for each day of the year spread throughout the Scripture. These devotionals are a compilation of the writings of Janet Tate who writes the Daily Focus devotional for Alpha Omega Publications as part of their ministry to homeschool parents. I will share a bit more about the devotions below, so keep on reading.
- Topical Index – In the back of this volume, there is a topical index. This index links major topics you may be dealing with to specific devotions. The topical index is not a concordance to God’s Word. However, on those days when you are feeling blindsided or just run down in your homeschooling journey, this is a great place to turn for encouragement in that specific area.
Each of the 365 devotions are labelled with the date. They are complete stand alone devotions, which means no guilt for having missed a day. Just pick up on the current day and get back on track. Under the date, there is brief title of the devotion followed by a short scripture passage that the devotion rests upon. The scripture passage is generally 1 to 4 verses. The author then reflects upon the verses and their relationship to homeschooling.
The devotions really span a huge breadth of the things that we will encounter as both moms and educators of our children. This can be seen in the array of topics in the Topical Index. There are devotions written specifically to encourage your heart as a woman and parent, to guide you in developing the character of your children, and yes, to let you know that you are not alone when you face a crisis point in discovering that your child has been cheating on tests, fighting incessantly with a sibling, or rebelling against your authority.
Each of the devotions closes with a brief prayer related to the devotion and the page number of the next devotional entry.
It is very apparent that the devotions were written by someone who has been there and done that. They are truly balm to an open wound and waters of peace that sustain. Many days when I was done with this devotional time, I definitely felt more focused in starting my day. On these days, my heart and mind were on my relationship my children and who we are to be in Him rather than worrying over that math lesson that brought us all to tears the previous day.
With the various devotions that I read, I never had one of those moments when you cringe, because you hear more of the world or the author rather than Godly counsel. Each of the devotions was solidly based in scripture with an uncompromised message.
My encouragement to the publisher would be to create an even greater link back to scripture. The devotions were definitely grounded in Scripture, but felt disjointed in just being piecemealed in throughout the larger volume of the Bible. For example, the devotion of September 19 Broken Promises was based on Matthew 5:33, yet was embedded in the book of Ezekial. It would have been great for this devotion to be placed right in Matthew as close to Chapter 5 as possible. It would lend itself much more to flipping a few pages and really devouring a larger amount of Scripture and gaining a more contextual view. Another recommendation would be to have some sort of reading schedule to encourage the reader to read through the Bible in a year. As the Homeschool Mom’s Bible is currently set, it would be very easy to just skip from devotion to devotion and completely skip the reading of the text of the Bible outside of the verse(s) printed at the top of each devotion.
All in all, I loved the devotions in the Homeschool Mom’s Bible published by Zondervan. It is a wonderful addition to the various devotional Bibles that they have available. The topical index is a great reference when you need encouragement on a specific topic. No, there is no specific reference to teaching math, but in the end the patterns we write upon our children’s hearts is really what it is all about.
The Homeschool Mom’s Bible currently retails on the publisher’s website for $34.99.
Check out what others from the TOS Review Crew have to share about this new resource.