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Lessons in this Homeschool Life Review by Heidi Mosher

Amanda Jones
Faith & Home Publishing, LLC

Faith & Home Publishing released Lessons in this Homeschool Life: If I Knew Then What I Know Now by Amanda Jones. Readers will be delighted with this powerful piece of encouragement delivered in a small package. Though this book would be ideal for mothers new to homeschooling, the content will resonate with homeschoolers at any stage in their journey. In the first chapter, "What Was Happening Then," the book introduces the author and her family and tells how they came to answer the call to homeschool. Each of the following chapters focuses on an area of homeschooling: learning styles, homeschooling methods, curriculum, teaching, having a schedule, and resting (and living) well. Finally, each chapter ends with reflections under three headings:

  • What we did well
  • What we could have done better 
  • Why is this so important?

At the time of this review, the product is available through Amazon in three forms: Kindle for $3.49, hardcover for $16.99, and paperback for $8.99. 

The book consists of eight chapters over seventy-five pages, plus these appendices: 

  • Appendix A consists of a weekly schedule to fill in.
  • Appendix B is titled "It's Not About Religion, It's About Relationship." This appendix simply explains who Jesus is and why people need Him. Amanda Jones offers a "BASIC" plan for how to make Jesus one's personal savior. BASIC is an acronym for Believe, Admit, Submit, In Prayer, and Change.
  • Appendix C is called "Ideas for Reading Your Bible Daily" and is full of valuable plans to do so and ways to make Bible reading and prayer into habits. For example, ideas the author suggests include reading a Psalm a day or a Proverb a day.
  • Appendix D is titled "Is that You, God?" Here, Amanda Jones shares insight on how to know, as a Christian, if you are hearing from God. 

The inviting cover of this book drew me in. It is irresistible, really. The chalkboard font and background, together with hand-drawn icons, including a question mark, notepad, and pencil, work together to convey a lighthearted approach. Credit is given for cover art design to Ashley M. Jones, and the author also mentions her daughter Ashley herself within the book. Therefore, I suspect the author's daughter designed the cover—and she did so expertly.

In addition to the lovely cover, busy homeschool moms will also find the book's size appealing. Since it is slim, it will not overwhelm the reader. This is the perfect book to tuck in a purse for access on the go or to pack on vacation to refresh the homeschooler's heart.

The author used a reflective structure for this book. She reviewed several areas of her homeschool experience in a positive way while also being honest that some things could have been done better. That in itself is encouraging. For example, Amanda Jones said on page 10:

"This isn't to say I walk in regret; rather, I firmly feel God allowed our challenges not just to grow me but also to give me a testimony—a story to tell today which I pray will encourage others who may struggle with trying to find their way through the details of homeschooling or simply through the self-doubt which seems to spring up in bundles for homeschool moms everywhere!"

Readers will appreciate learning that despite things they wish they could change, there is hope. The author turned reflection into a way to serve others by sharing what she learned. Her honesty is a gift and also a model. Readers may be inspired to incorporate this review model into their own homeschools. 

One of my favorite reflections from this little treasure of a book can be found on page 22:

"I identified early-on how some of my frustrations came from them not learning by how I was teaching because I was teaching by how I learned best. I could use my learning style for self-education, however, when teaching I needed to be able to lay my style aside in order to get on their level and help them make connections with the material and information to be learned."  

Amanda Jones took the time to record her homeschool experiences—even what did not work well. Through and through, she acknowledged God's hand in her life. She lovingly shared her thoughts like a gift from an experienced homeschool mom. Readers will benefit from the author's honesty and conversational style and will likely come away wishing for a friend like Jones or enabled to be that kind of friend to another homeschool mom. Additionally, the mission-minded author filled the appendices with simple resources with eternal value, making Lessons in This Homeschool Life: If I Knew Then What I Know Now is a quick, uplifting read with the potential for a significant impact. 

-Product review by Heidi Mosher, The Old Schoolhouse®, April 2023