Thursday, October 20, 2011

Educating the WholeHearted Child

Educating the WholeHearted Child: A Handbook for the Christian Home Education by Clay Clarkson with Sally Clarkson was one of the first books on homeschooling that I bought and it helped shaped my homeschooling philosophy. I was very excited to have the opportunity to read and review this newly revised and expanded version and it did not disappoint. If I could only have one book about homeschooling this would be it.  I was blessed to have been introduced to it when I started homeschooling and blessed to read this new updated version as well.  This is the kind of book you don't read just one time. You will want to keep this book forever. (OK I might have issues with getting rid of books...but really, this one is a keeper.)


Educating the WholeHearted Child covers everything you would want to know about Biblical homeschooling.  Click to see the complete Table of Contents.   Following the 18 chapters, there is a 3 part resource section: Books for the WholeHearted Family, Books for WholeHearted Learning and Forms for Whole Hearted Learning.

The publisher's description:
God did not forget to include "school" in his biblical design for raising children:home education is a natural expression of all that God intended for parents and their children. Clay and Sally Clarkson's Educating the WholeHearted Child is about rediscovering God's original design for the family. What you'll find in this book is a homeschooling model that makes sense. It's an approach that is based on sound biblical principles of nurture, discipleship, instruction, and learning. Newly revised and significantly expanded, Educating the WholeHearted Child is about much more than homeschooling; it is about life. Effective Christian homeschooling must begin with the sure foundation of a Christian home, and the Clarksons' uncomplicated, common-sense approach to life and learning will provide you with the tools you need to experience God's abundant blessings for your family.
Reviewing this book is a bit overwhelming because it covers so much.  A few of the things you will find include: Ten Good Biblical Reasons for Homeschooling (with multiple scripture references), 12 Pillars of WholeHearted Learning, How to Build a Home Library, Qualities to Look for in a Good Book, Creating a Home You Can Learn Within, Learning Styles, Discipleship, Living Books, Holidays, Keeping the Home and just so, so much more.

You can read the first chapter here.  You will note that the margins have quotes (many of them scripture) and space for writing your own notes.

I liked these quotes from the first chapter because they sum up the purpose of this book:

"You will find some content in this chapter and throughout the book that sounds like a defense of homeschooling, but in reality it is there to provide insight and perspective that you can use to gain confidence as a Christian homeschooling parent that what you are doing is God's will for your family and is a sound biblical choice for building a Christian home." p.22
"We wrote this book to give Christian homeschooling families not just a reasoned justification for their choice for bringing their children home but a truly biblical vision and foundation for it." p.22

As I mentioned earlier the book is divided into 4 sections.

In Section 1: HOME there is lots of information on why to homeschool from a Biblical perspective along with lots of charts and answers to your questions (or questions others may ask you!) There are 5 chapters:

The Christian Home-Learning to Be at Home with Christ
The Christian Homeschool-Learning at Home to Be with Christ
Home Nurture-Shepherding Your Child's Spirit to Long for God
Home Discipleship-Shaping Your Child's Heart to Live for God
Home Education-Strengthening Your Child's Mind to Learn for God

In Section 2 there are 4 chapters on LEARNING

The WholeHearted Learning Model-Living and Learning Together at Home
The WholeHearted Learning Home-Creating a Home You Can Learn Within
The WholeHearted Learning Child-Understanding Your Child
The WholeHearted Learning Youth-Beyond the WholeHearted Child

In Section 3 there are 5 chapters of different METHODS

Discipleship Studies Methods- The Study of the Bible
Disciplined Studies Methods- The Study of the Basics
Discussion Studies Methods- The Study of Ideas
Discovery Studies Methods- The Study of Learning
Discretionary Studies Methods- The Study of Living

Section 4: LIVING

Family: Keeping the Vision Alive
Structure-Keeping the Homeschooling Together
Order-Keeping the Home Together
Support-Keeping the Spirit Strong

At the end of this section  is a 4 page postscript challenge to Keep the Faith in the Family.

Throughout the book there are sections called, In Our Home where the authors share things they have done in their home to give you practical ideas. I absolutely love the Resource section with list of books in categories for you to enjoy with your family and to whet your appetite for another book written by Sarah Clarkson that is on my wishlist (and mentioned below).

The old and the new.  You can see how much thicker the new one is
and how worn my older copy is.

Before receiving this new version I wondered how much different the new book would be.  There are over 120 NEW pages in this edition. There are a few more pages in the appendix of this book. They are nearly all new (or improved) forms in the last section including a Bible reading plan, devotional pages and even My 24 Family Ways lists covering godly character and Biblical values along with blank calendar pages for monthly and weekly planning.

This book really has it all for the Biblical homeschooler that wants an organized Christian home and offers practical methods to equip you along the way.  The only thing I don't like about this book is that it can be overwhelming and I sometimes feel like I definitely do NOT measure up. However, you do not need to be overwhelmed.  Just read it in bits and pieces.  Skip around to what attracts you.  It's not a story book.  It truly is a complete handbook for Christian Home Education.

Educating the WholeHearted Child is recommended for ages 4-14 but I think anyone even considering homeschooling should read it (don't wait until your child is 4) and I don't think it would hurt anyone homeschooling a highschooler to read it though admittedly it has less to offer to the older set.

About the authors:
Clay and Sally Clarkson found homeschooling to be the natural expression of their desire to disciple their children for Christ. After six years of post-college ministry and missions, they married in 1981 and began homeschooling their first child at the age of four in 1988.  In 1994 they started While Heart Ministries to encourage and equip Christian parents to raise wholehearted Christian children.  They have written numerous popular books for parents, taught dozens of parenting conferences in North America and ministered internationally.  Clay is a graduate of Denver Seminary and Executive Director of Whole Heart Ministries.  Clay and Sally are blessed with four wholehearted children-all homeschool graduates who are serving the Lord.

You can purchase Educating the WholeHearted Child for just $22 (I think this is a VERY fair price) at Apologia where you will find many other titles to enjoy including How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids which I reviewed earlier this year and other titles by members of the Clarkson family, (I want to get Read for the Heart soon), Diana Waring (LOVE her!) and more.  Apologia also offers science curriculum, an online academy and MUCH more!

Read what others are saying Educating the WholeHearted Child on the TOS crew blog.

P.S. Don't forget to go read that sample chapter!


disclaimer: I was given a free copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child in exchange for an honest review.


DaLynn said...

Nice! Thanks for the review - this is a book that I had heard the title of, but there are so very many homeschooling books out there it is hard to know which ones are worth reading. I will add this one to the list!

Karen said...

I think you will enjoy it DaLynn. It's really good. I know what you mean about trying to figure out which ones are worth reading!

Debra said...

I've seen the older version... it was really nice to get a grasp of what is actually new and improved in this recent one! Thanks!!

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