Much as I love reviewing things with my kids, it's fun to occasionally get to review something just for me. So when Zondervan gave us the chance to review the Homeschool Mom's Bible, I was pretty excited. We were given the choice between the KJV and NIV versions, and I chose the NIV.
The Homeschool Mom's Bible - NIV is a beautiful hardcover NIV Bible PLUS 365 one page devotionals written just for homeschool moms, by veteran homeschool mom, Janet Tatman. These devotionals are dated, and interspersed throughout the Bible.
I have been using this Bible for my daily quiet time, and have enjoyed many of the devotions I've read. I love that, in addition to the devotions being dated so that you can use them as a daily devotional all year long, there is also a topical index, so if you are struggling with some specific area, you can go read a devotion on that topic. I think this could also be useful if you chose to use these devotions as a short worship reading for a homeschool co-op or mom's group.
A "small thing" that I absolutely adore is that the beautiful cover art is printed on the hardcover binding itself, not just the paper slipcover. It might just be me, but I hate, hate HATE paper slipcovers on books. They look pretty, but they slide around and annoy me when I'm trying to read, so I almost always remove them, and that means that I have many very plain books on my shelf because I haven't kept track of the "pretty" paper slipcover. When I got annoyed and removed the paper slipcover of this Bible, a few minutes into my first day of using it, I was thrilled to see that it's just as pretty without the slipcover!
While I love homeschooling, and think the benefits FAR outweigh the challenges, and homeschooling is much more "mainstream" than it used to be, it can still feel like I'm the only one doing this. Or at least one of the only ones. Especially since I haven't found a local homeschool community that fits well with our overall philosophy and lifestyle, sometimes a mom can wonder if anyone else understands our specific challenges. Having devotionals written by a veteran homeschool mom can be a wonderful reminder that we're not alone, and that, while God doesn't command homeschooling, and the word "homeschooling" isn't in the Bible, He DOES speak to homeschool moms throughout scripture, we just have to be paying attention to "hear it". These devotions can help draw our attention to God's words for homeschooler moms, WHAT A BLESSING!!!
One thing that I feel the website should have made more clear, is that this is a newly updated version of the NIV translation. Apparently, the "agreement" is that the NIV can be "updated" whenever it's deemed necessary and they can just keep calling it NIV. While I haven't come across anything . . . disturbing about this new NIV version, I do think the website should more clearly state that it's not going to be the same as the NIV Bible you already have on your shelf from several years ago.
Also, not surprisingly, considering our eclectic homeschool approach, some of the devotions assume a much more structured, "school at home" approach than we take, and similarly, there were some discipline philosophies suggested, assumed, or recommended, that I disagree with. Obviously, since one of the beauties of homeschooling is that each family can make it their own, it's not surprising that it would be impossible to write in a way that consistently speaks to each homeschool mom. Nothing that I disagreed with surprise me, per se, it was all typical of the beliefs and homeschool approaches that seem most common within the conservative Christian homeschool community, and wouldn't keep me from recommending the Bible. It does mean I'd want to pre-read any devotion before sharing it with a group.
This beautiful Bible is available for $34.99. Christmas is quickly approaching, and I think this would be a great Christmas gift for any homeschooling moms on your Christmas list!
To see what other members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew thought of both the NIV and KJV Homeschool Mom Bibles, click the banner below:
All prices are accurate at time of posting.