The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Educating the WholeHearted Child



     Do you ever wonder if you are homeschooling the “right” way? Do you ever wonder if all you have done is brought the classroom into your home? Would you like encouragement and help to change to a more relaxed homeschooling style, while still being sure that your kids are getting a complete education? The book Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay and Sally Clarkson is the book to answer all these questions and more.

   Way back in time, I was given a copy of the original Educating the WholeHearted Child. I had been homeschooling for about 4 years when I first read it. I loved the book. I found its practical advice and gentle approach to be intriguing, and I implemented some of the ideas. Over the years, I have re-read the book a few times and loaned it out to many people. Now it is 2011 and I have been homeschooling for 11 years. When this book came out for a review I was very excited to be able to review this Third Edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child.

     It did not disappoint. I have slowly devoured and digested the chapters in it. The book has been expanded quite a bit since my original copy was printed. It is now 376 packed pages. I am normally a fast reader, but this book just begs to be read slowly and savored. I have sat with my book and highlighter reading each chapter, and each sidebar.  One of the ways this book is set up is the main information is in the center of each page and down the outside edges are sidebars. These provide even more practical ways to implement ideas, or Bible verses and other quotes to back up what was said.

     Educating the WholeHearted Child comes from the premise that the biblical mandate is for parents to educate their children at home (Deuteronomy 5:16, 6:4-9, Psalm 78:1-8, Psalm 127:3-5, Ephesians 6:1-4, Titus 2:3-5) This theme runs throughout the entire book. 

      The first five chapters fall under the section of Home. This section focuses on the Christian homeschool, nurturing, and discipleship all of which take place in the context of the home.

     The second section focuses on Learning. The overall theme is The WholeHearted Learning Model. This model has five elements to it which can best be described in the form of a house. Discipleship studies are at the base or foundation. In the “interior” are Discovery Studies, Disciplined Studies and Discussion Studies. These studies while separate, also overlap to created a cohesive unit. The “roof” of the learning house is Discretionary Studies.

     The third section of the book focuses on Methods. These chapters are the why’s and how’s of  learning.   The WholeHearted Learning model is explored in depth within this section.

     The fourth section of the book is focused on Living.  These chapters focus on the family as a unit. There are two chapters on the daily structure and order in our lives.

     The book ends with an entire section of resources. Book lists and forms for wholehearted learning are included within the resources section.

     I truly enjoyed reading Educating the WholeHearted Child again. It is jam packed full of information and practical helps.  I like reading new ideas on how homeschooling can be implemented and I truly need to  read and re-read about this “gentle” approach to homeschooling more often.

     As always, even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, I have found a few things I disagree with or that are not a good fit for our family. I think I find this problem in most non-fiction type books. But I try not to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” as they say.  I read the information and keep what is pertinent. I try what may be feasible and throw out what I just don’t agree with. While there was very little in this book that I did not agree with, I did come across a few items.  I also had to keep telling myself that the “In Our Home” sections were not there to brag, but to point out how the book’s principles were put into action in the Clarkson family.

     Apologia Educational Ministries publishes many homeschooling resources. From science curriculums for all ages to WorldView studies to online Academies you can find it at Apologia.


      I am not the only one of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew to read and review Educating the WholeHearted Child. Visit the Crew Blog and read what my crew mates thought about this book.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received Educating the WholeHearted Child  for free from Apologia Educational Ministries, in exchange for my honest review of their product.

1 comment:

Erin said...

hi. I just finished the book Educating the Wholehearted child too. Could you all tell me how you implement this philosophy on a daily basis in your homeschooling? Right now we are doing mostly workbooks and I'm burnt out-LOL. I want to incorporate more of this whole books philosophy and am curious how it looks in other homeschooling families on a day to day routine. thanks Erin