Thursday 10 October 2013

Homeschool Mom's Bible {Review}

Years ago for my 21st birthday I was given an NIV Student Study Bible which I absolutely loved.  Sadly it was stolen in 1997. When I saw that Zondervan publishing were offering to bless us with a Homeschool Mothers Devotional Bible {NIV} I honestly couldn't wait for September to roll around. Needless to say once I knew this product was in the mail winging it's way to me I stalked my post box daily till it arrived. I was over whelmed with gratitude when it arrived.

The first thing that I noticed are the beautiful covers that Zondervan have made for these bibles. This bible has been made available in two translations: New International Version and The King James Version.  They are available in hardcover with jackets, Italian duo-tone and ePub.

Product Details
A portion of the purchase of this bible is donated to Biblica to support and enable them in their mission of  Transforming lives through God's Word.

This bible contains 
  • Table of Contents - one lists all contents and one is the alphabetical order of books in the bible.
  • Foreword by Vickie Farris encourages us to spend time in the word no matter how busy our day.  "As we reorder our priorities by carving out time to enter into his holy presence, we'll find strength for what matters most. Trust me, the laundry can wait 15 min more ...
  • About section.  In this section there is a write up on Alpha Omega Publications who have co-published this devotional bible. Janet Tatman the author of the devotional readings. She home educated her four children for over 25 years.  The devotionals contained in the bible were borne out of her experience writing the Daily Focus encouragement devotionals while working for Alpha Omega Publications.
  • Preface. I was particularly interested in this part of the introductions. I enjoyed the insight and explanation on how this version of the WORD has been translated and updated over the years. Did you know the first NIV version was published in 1978?
  • Entire updated NIV bible text, including footnotes.
  • 365 daily devotions interspersed at regular intervals throughout the bible (there is no devotional page for leap year)
  • Table of Weights and Measures containing biblical units, approximate American and Metric equivalents.
  • Topical Index covering main biblical characters, teachings and devotional topics arranged in alphabetical order.
  • 7 blank pages for your own notes
  • Dust Jacket This is a standard paper dust jacket.  One of the crew suggested laminating to increase it's life but I am going to cover it with clear plastic film (Duraseal self adhesive covering).
The Devotionals
These are written by a veteran home school Mum Janet Tatum. She has over 25 years of home school experience and has been writing daily devotionals for home school Mom's for more than six years.  Janet writes from the heart, you can see in her devotions she has been there, felt what we as
home school Mom's feel: our frustrations, our fears, our struggles and our desperate hopes. She speaks to the very heart of our day to day struggles. I loved reading the daily devotion at morning tea time.

God's timing never fails to astound me.  I had been stalking my mailbox waiting for the devotional to arrive. I had been struggling with a self focused woe is me attitude.  Why doesn't anyone care for me! I am so tired of all of T*H*I*S ! Midday arrived and so did the Postie with my special delivery.  I excitedly opened my new devotional to the days reading.

September 6th
Homeschooling's Price ... Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me... 

I start reading ... yes that's me that's how I am feeling. Yes today I want to have all the wonderful benefits without any of the responsibilities. Yes I am feeling trapped ...  Yes please I want a break from this constant house work ...   

Janet challenged me: "Sorry, but it doesn't work that way. If you want your children to achieve both academic and spiritual success, you have to give 100 percent and commit to homeschooling... Yes, God knows  when you need to rest and will show you how to catch your breath, but He also asks His disciples to carry their cross. So who will you follow today, yourself or the Lord? Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 " Then she led me in a small prayer. 

It was as though a home school Mum had sat there with me and spoken directly into my personal circumstance and feelings. She didn't lecture or shame me. She shared her struggle with me.  Challenged me to my calling. Encouraged me to look to the one from Whom all life flows. Pointed me to the plum line of His word and then prayed with me. Blessed and Refreshed is how I felt. 

Each and every devotion is this way. I would love to spend hours studying and researching the word.  The reality is that during this season of homeschooling my young one I do not have the time available to do this. Janet has done the work for me. She daily lays out a minimum of two to three scriptures pertaining to an aspect directly associated with my home school journey. Shares her experience and encourages me to look to Him. Model my life on Him and pray. At the end of each devotional page there is a little note telling me where to find the next day's devotional.

Some days the need is different to what is being spoken about and on those days all I need to do is open up the topical index and search through an alphabetical listing of the devotional topics to find something to encourage me or point me in the direction I need to take.

Each day at morning tea time I am learning to turn back to His Word and refocus.  I am so grateful to have this devotional and will continue reading it for years to come.  

Final thoughts
I am really happy with this bible.  If you are looking for a study bible this is not the bible for you.  It is as it's name says a Devotional bible

If there was one thing I would add it would be a presentation page. A group of us purchased an Italian Duo-Tone™, Hot Pink leather copy for a friends special birthday and it would have been lovely to have been able to write her name and a note about the occasion along with our names and the special date/occasion before giving it to her. 

If you have a special wish list somewhere I would encourage you to add this one to the top of the list you will not be disappointed.




  1. Thanks for reviewing this bible .. I've been tossing up about purchasing the KJV.
    Could you tell me if it has a 'guided prayer' included with each or most excerpts (hoping!!!!! it doesn't )

    Blessings and smiles

    1. You are welcome Chelle :) I really enjoy my bible/devotions.

      Each one ends with a prayer focus prayer. For example on September 6th

      Lord, forgive my attitude and help me refocus on the call you gave me to homeschool. Teach me again that your will and your way are better than any life I can conceive. I love you and thank you for my family. In jesus' name,

      You could easily skip these in your reading though :)


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