Monday, October 17, 2011

TOS Crew Educating the WholeHearted Child Review

Educating the Whole Hearted Child, an incredible, home-transforming,   inspirational and encouraging homeschool book!
Educating the Whole Hearted Child, an incredible, home-transforming,
 inspirational and encouraging homeschool book!   

Homeschool encouragement books are a lot like hamburgers.  Some are just a huge bun with very little meat.  Some look appetizing, but leave a bad taste in your mouth.  And some are just plain sloppy.

Educating the WholeHearted Child is an example of a colossal, juicy, mouth-watering, double-decker all condiments included, super-sized burger served up neatly on a whole-grain bun!

YES,  it's THAT good!

Hands down this is the most incredible, home-transforming, inspirational and encouraging book AND TOOL I have ever read.

This is THE book I would recommend to all homeschool families and one I desperately wished I would have had 9 years ago when we started our journey.

In its' third and improved edition, Educating the WholeHearted Child takes you through the life giving sections of Home, Learning, Methods and Living which focus the reader on the one true reason to homeschool:

"to be wholeheartedly devoted to our God and to have willing minds that seek and serve Him.  That is what we mean by the "WholeHearted Child".  It is not difficult today to set our parenting goals on making our children successful by the world's stands.  But if their hearts and minds are not turned wholeheartedly towards God, we will miss the mark by God's standards.  While the world may judge our children against the temporal standards of intelligence, appearance, money, power and fame, God will judge them by their hearts."

Authors Clay and Sally Clarkson pour out their hearts with Godly wisdom, Scripture references and quotes from past educators to encourage you to understand that you ARE especially equipped by God to be your child's teacher simply by default.  God choose you to be their parents and only you can

"raise spiritually mature children who have both the will and the skill to learn and the desire and ability to keep learning.  That is the goal of WholeHearted learning.  Your goal in home education should be to raise well-rounded, spiritually grounded, truth-founded christian children whose goal in life is to make a difference for the kingdom of God, whatever life path they choose.  You are actually raising future Christian adults."

Anyone can teach your child how to read or how to multiply.  But only YOU can nurture them and show them the way to Jesus in a relational way while building a love and curiosity for learning.

"God has given you all you need to train and educate your children at home - it's in real book, real life and real relationships."

I mentioned earlier that we've been at this for 9 years.  Why would such a book help us now?

Well, as with many parents, our original reason for homeschooling was to provide a positive, Christian learning atmosphere where our oldest could learn at an accelerated pace.  Over many years, homeschooling morphed into a learning lifestyle where the lines between education and living are blurred.  Through much learning on OUR part, we see that the ultimate goal is to produce children that love and want to serve the Lord wholeheartedly with their gifts and talents.  Our desire is to help them expand those gifts and talents into a way to support their future families while serving the Lord.

"Men designed schools, God designed the home....A home-centered, wholeHearted approach to learning is a biblical lifestyle, not an institutional experiment in education."

Reading this book years ago would have changed our heart motives and relieved so much pressure to compete with the world and its standards.

Chapter 7 entitled,  "The WholeHearted Learning Home:  Creating a Home You Can Learn Within"  set me free in another area that I've struggled with.  That is the concept of not having a "proper" school room.  An area where all learning takes place filled with all our books, materials and a desk for each child.

The authors note: 
"WholeHearted Learning, in contrast, asks you to add faith and freedom to your vision - to see your entire home as a dynamic living and learning environment, designed by God to work for you to help you achieve your home education goals.
Learning is something that goes on all the time and in many places.  When you see your entire home as a means for learning, home education takes on a whole new meaning.  It is not education done at home;  it is education done with the home.
Your entire home should reflect your homeschooling values from the way your arrange your furniture to the books you leave out on the tables to the pictures and verses you hang on the wall to the way you use your kitchen.  There should be no discernible dividing lines between home and education.  The natural atmosphere of your home should be alive with learning and life."

WOW!  So, we had been doing it right all along!  Due to limited space, we were unable to have everything in one area, so we have multiple, comfy learning areas set up throughout the house.    Amazingly this lack of space has caused my children to grow up in an environment where they believe learning can happen anywhere! And does!!

In addition, instead of a precise curriculum to follow, Educating the WholeHearted Child is broken down into a model of learning:  discipleship, disciplined, discussion, discovery and discretionary studies.  Each of these sections are broken down further and discussed in detail.

This section really encouraged me in the weak areas of our homeschool and how to strengthen them in order to unify learning to effectively move into the "Discretionary Studies Stage" where each child can begin to use his/her own unique gifts and skills.

I also enjoyed the section on "Preparing your child for a calling and career".  As our household enters into the high school years, this following statement truly puts the future into proper perspective.

"We have become convinced-not just in theory but by actual practice with four teens - that our primary purpose with our children in the high school years is not just to prepare them for college but rather to prepare them for a calling......Calling is about stewardship - investing God's gifts for God's glory.  Our commitment is to prepare our children to make a life that will please God and then prepare them to make a living with God's help."

Also included (but not limited to) in this book is information on:

*Living Books vs. Text Books
*The Homeschooling Father
*Keeping the Homeschooling/Home Together
*Evaluating and Considering Curriculum and Supplies
*The Value of Support Groups
*Personality evaluation and learning styles

Educating the Whole Hearted Child retails for $22 and is well worth the price!

Check out the Table of Contents  or  a sample chapter for yourself.  Apologia offers many resources such as:  Science, Geography and HistoryLanguage ArtsBible Studies, and  Homeschool Parent Helps.  

Here's what other crew members are saying.

Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


  1. You are so funny double decker! Great Review!
    Kelly K

  2. Love the hamburger analogy! You are right! :o)

  3. is his name really Clark Clarkson? Thought it was Jim or something. Anyway, that was a great review of a great book! I'm passing your blog link on to my group of young hs mothers whose kids I teach. Thx!