Sunday, October 23, 2011

Raising a Whole-Hearted Child

I have a friend who simply does not understand our choice to educate our children at home.  For many years she argued with me about it -- the "unfairness" I was doing to  my children by not "allowing" them to attend school.  One day she asked yet again WHY?  WHY did I choose to homeschool and WHY did I think I should/could teach them all the way through until graduation?  My response that day was simply this:  It was our desire to give our children a biblical worldview --

For them to look at EVERYTHING around them through eyes that were steeped in GOD's WORD --

to make ALL decisions based on what GOD would have them to do.  AND we knew that we were called by GOD to teach them these things at HOME.

I have KNOWN that we are doing the right thing by educating our children at home, and it was wonderful to read affirmation of that in the newly revised book Educating the Wholehearted Child published by Apologia Press.  Educating the Wholehearted Child is one of the "old faithful" of homeschooling resources.  It is NOT a "how-to" handbook, but rather provides a wealth of knowledge to make YOUR home a "vibrant center of living and learning."  After 12 years of homeschooling, that's just what I needed -- a reminder of why we were called to educate our children the way we do . . . at HOME!


As the parents of four homeschool graduates, Clay and Sally Clarkson are the perfect authors. Their words of wisdom and encouragement struck deep chords in my heart.  In my quest to make sure that my children know what they are "supposed" to know, I sometimes find myself freaking out if we fall behind where I think we should be.  I begin to allow others to compare us to what they see in the public education arena. These are the times when I begin to question myself, my children and my commitment and calling.  I NEEDED to read these words:

Children made in GOD's image are prewired to be intelligent, creative, and curious.  No matter what you do (or don't do!), GOD has already put within your children the drive to question, explore, discover, and learn.  They do not learn because you enable them to make sense of things; they make sense of things because they are able to learn! Your role as a home-educating parent, then, is to provide a rich and lively living and learning environment in which your children can exercise their GOD-given drive to learn and then to biblically train and instruct your children within the natural context of your home and family life.

It is the Clarkson's vision to help CHRISTIAN homeschooling families be truly faith-based and faith-building and that is JUST what my heart's desire is for MY family.  This has been the ONE thing I have talked to my MainMost about most often during the past year.  You know that our oldest is a Senior this year -- and you also know that it is killing this mama! I am having the hardest time believing that the sweet newborn I brought home from the hospital over 17 years ago is THIS CLOSE to leaving my nest.  We prayed SO HARD for that child having been told I'd never be able to have children.  Like so many parents, we brought home a baby that we were afraid we'd break.  We spent hours just watching her sleep.  AND NOW I spend hours praying that we've done it right -- that we've adequately prepared her HEART for what she'll find out in life.

I'm not sure WHY I had never picked up Educating the Wholehearted Child before but I'm so glad to have it my parenting arsenal now.  With 376 pages, this is not a book that I sat down and read from cover to cover.  Instead it is a book that I have been spending MUCH time with -- devouring each and every morsel -- skipping around to read and learn from the topics that I most desperately feel drawn to at the moment.  It is a handbook that I will reference for many years to come (especially since I have 3 other children to disciple before college comes around) and is a veritable wealth of REAL LIFE {YES! I'll REALLY use this!} information.

Filled with scripture references and insightful quotes, Educating the Wholehearted Child contains 18 chapters divided into 4 sections (Home, Learning, Methods and Living) followed by the Challenge to keep FAITH in your family, a prayer over your home, and more resources than I can adequately cover in this review. Every word is worth reading and studying and applying to your home life.  I especially enjoyed Chapters 3 & 4 (Shepherding Your Child's Spirit to Long for GOD and Strengthening Your Child's Mind to Learn for GOD), Chapter 10 (The Study of the BIBLE) and Chapters 16 & 17 (Keeping the Homeschooling Together and Keeping the Home Together) as they each covered areas where I sometimes feel most inadequate.  {Make sure to read over the entire Table of Contents and read a sample of Chapter One.}

Of the Resources offered at the end of Educating the Wholehearted Child, I am most excited about the Books for the Wholehearted Family list.  I love to read and I guess I thought my children would all inherit that love from me.  Unfortunately they do not all share that same passion with me.  I've spent the last year and a half sharing great literature aloud with my younger two children (and have noticed that the older two stop what they are doing to be in the room while I read, as well).  We've now read quite a few of the books the Clarkson's recommend in the list -- and are now trying to work our way through many more.  Good stuff we're finding!

Written by Clay and Sally Clarkson and published by Apologia PressEducating the Wholehearted Child costs only $22.00 and can be purchased by clicking RIGHT HERE.  In this third edition of the book, the Clarksons have added over 100 pages of been-there, done-that testimonial to help us get on and stay on the right path in discipling our own children.  While Educating the Wholehearted Child does not a offer a blanket program or plan to make your home perfect, it does offer advice and encouragement to help you find out how to reach the hearts of those GOD has placed under you parental care.  We could all use their help!



~~I was given the opportunity to use and review  Educating the Wholehearted Child published by Apologia Press free of charge as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  The opinions stated are mine and mine alone.  I was not paid to share my thoughts and feelings with you.  I encourage you to check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the TOS Homeschool Crew thought of  Educating the Wholehearted Child HERE.~~

  Pin It Now!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!