How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids {TOS review}

I love to read even though my night stand would not necessarily indicate that by how bare it often is on any given evening. Every once in a while when I do get to sit down and read a book, I want to be sure that it is one where I am going to learn something and/or be encouraged in some way. How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids by Rachael Carman, which is published by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc., answers both of those needs and also provided me answers to the question, “How does a mother truly have a heart for her children?” I had never posed that question to myself because as a homeschooling mother, I thought I “knew” my kids very well especially since most of our waking hours are spent together.

Rachael Carmen was the most unlikely candidate for becoming a homeschooling mother…

  • She was already eager to “get her life back” and return to a career as a high school teacher even before her oldest was born.
  • She didn’t like the idea of “being stuck at home with the children” while her husband got to go to work all day, and
  • She believed that any woman who chose to homeschool “lacked passion, drive, and had no dreams or anything better to do.”

Many women who homeschool their children have done so eagerly and without any question and then there are others like Rachael who believed her “key to happiness” was to be found in the salvation brought by a yellow school bus that would pick her children up and take them to school. She soon learned that God had another path for her to take and that the plans she had made for herself would be detoured as He led her along on a new journey that involved building a stronger relationship with her children and also allowed her to “reclaim her God-assigned place” as their mother.

In her book, Rachael has put together the many lessons she learned from the early days of when she denied her calling as a homesooling mother, then unwilling and half-heartedly accepted the task, on to when she eventually opened her heart and placed her trust in God realizing the blessing (and key to happiness) she had been given. You may see similar experiences in her and already learned


  Rachael made the word heart into an acronym and came up with key points that she believes mothers need to remember to truly have a heart for their kids. The book is written in just five chapters, but they make an impact with the content each contains where she thoroughly covers the points and also shares examples of her challenges as well as her successes in these areas. At the end of each chapter, she presents a “HEART CHECKUP” which are a list of questions that focus on your life in regards to the point discussed in the chapter. They are good questions, that cause you to think.

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids is a very easy read and I found myself sadly closing the book after having read through the final three chapters in one sitting, which I have not done with any book in a long time. It was just what I needed to read at this point in my life. When my daughter Lily saw me reading the book, she asked me why I was reading it because she thought I should already know “how to have a heart for my children.” After having read this book, I believe that now, I have a better idea.

As I read through the book, there were quite a few passages that stood out to me, but I will only share a few with you to give you an idea of what to expect when reading this book.

Chapter 1: H – Have a heart for the Things of God
Rachael and her husband had prayed for specific qualities in a teacher for their oldest son. Having been disappointed earlier on with the teachers they had met, the Holy Spirit spoke through Rachael’s husband who realized Rachael was the one who contained those qualities. She was the teacher they had been praying for to teach their son.

Rachael had been “trained to teach the mind, not to reach the heart.” She needed God to lead her way on her path of homeschooling.

Chapter 2: E – Enrich Your Marriage
Wives, do not neglect your marriage relationship! Be intentional and strive continuously to strengthen and enrich your marriage because it is “pivotal to developing a heart for our children.”

Chapter 3: A – Accept Your Kids
God likes to show off!” Our children are not here to make us look good or bring us glory. God gave them to us for a specific reason, to glorify Him, and He has plans for our children even if we don’t quite know what they are now. Our responsibility as parents is to prepare them to be ready when He calls.

Some of the “flaws” we see in our children may be just the characteristics God has given them to do His work.

Chapter 4: Release Them to God
Trust God and allow Him to fulfill His dreams for your children. They are only on loan to us and we must also let go of our selfish dreams for them and “seek His plan” for their lives.

Chapter 5: Teach Them the Truth
You have heard this one so many times, but have you taken it to heart? Your children need to know the enemy is out to destroy them and we must equip them with the tools they need to survive the attacks. When they know the truth, they have the knowledge and understanding for the foundation that is going to be the base for their lives.

As a fan of Apologia Press books, I have to say that this is just another wonderful book. Although the book does not necessarily present a lot of new ideas in regards to homeschooling and nurturing your child, it does serve the purpose of being a very good reminder of your calling as a parent and as a homeschooling mother. Since so many of us are beginning a new school year at this time, you will find this as a good read and possibly be the encouragement you may have been looking for to have a successful school year.

You may purchase your own copy for $13. Also, enjoy reading sample pages of the Introduction which will only intrigue you more.

AW Web site Buy Now! Like AW on Facebook Find AW on YouTube Tweet with AW

You may read more about Rachael who is currently part of the Apologia Live Retreats in Chicago, Austin, Baltimore, and Atlanta and author of another book title.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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3 Responses to “How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids {TOS review}”


  • Comment from Jamie Bee

    Thanks for this review. It sounds like just the right book for me to read right now. I feel deep down inside that homeschooling my children is EXACTLY what I should be doing (and will be doing for many years to come). But I have struggled with feelings of….the closest word I can think of is yearning. Yearning for more time for myself. Wondering if putting them in school part time would be all that bad. Feeling slightly jealous of my friends who are all talking about the joys of back to school. I need to read something that supports the decision we’ve made. I was raised to homeschool my kids. My path was paved by God for this calling. I know that. But I could truly use a boost right now. I’m going to go look for this book at the library. Thank you!

  • Comment from Rebecca

    Truly a GREAT review…I love the way you pulled me into your review. I read it and reviewed it (I am a newbie on the crew and found you through the Blog Hop)…but, love the way you wrote yours…truly from the HEART! Rebecca

  • Comment from Jennifer

    I love to read, too, and agree that this book shared quite a few good reminders.
    Jennifer recently posted..CD review: Ginny Owens’ I’M DRIVING and giveaway


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