Educating the WholeHearted Child – A Go-To Guide for Christian Home Educators {TOS review}

I think we all have at least one book that is like gold. Someone, of course someone who you can’t remember, mentioned it to you as a book that you should own. Regretfully (because I would love to thank the person), I do not remember the person, but I did take their advice and buy the book. It was 2004 and I was in the beginning stages on my path of homeschooling. The book was Educating the WholeHearted Child and it paved the way for the type of homeschool environment I wanted to have in our school.

I was new to Clay and Sally Clarkson, who began home educating the oldest of their four children in 1988, and their ministry. Their background in missions and ministry was an excellent foundation for creating and building Whole Heart Ministries which they started in 1994 to “encourage and equip Christian parents to raise wholehearted Christian children.” Educating the WholeHearted Child soon became the go-to resource for any parent who had an interest or had already decided to home educate their children.

One would think that they could not improve on the first and second editions of this book, but if that is what you thought, then you would be wrong. With more than 130 new pages of content, some of the original pages being rewritten, 15 more years of what they have learned from homeschooling, and having raised four wholehearted, home educated graduates who are also following paths honoring God, there was definitely room for improvement. With that, we now have the third edition of Educating the Wholehearted Child and it is packed (and I mean packed) with so much information that you better find yourself a comfortable corner for reading because you are not going to want to put the book down.

One of the many reasons so many people choose to homeschool (ours at least) is so they can raise and educate their children from a Biblical perspective in a Christian home. Clay and Sally point out that “doing Christian stuff with your children does not make a Christian home,” and I would add nor does it nurture a child “with a wholehearted devotion and a willing mind to seek and serve God.” As parents, our hearts and mission for homeschooling our children may start off with Biblical intentions, but I know from experience that sometimes one can lose their perspective. I will admit that on occasion my desire to seek and serve God while teaching my children has taken a back seat to my desires to see my children excel academically and make mommy look good (an idea addressed in How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids – another Apologia Press book).

The Clarksons share with their readers the WholeHearted Learning model they used for raising their four children that combines educational and learning goals and weaves them into the design God has for the family that can be easily implemented in your home. Using Bible scripture and their personal experiences, they show you the steps to take and provide the tools you need to give you the confidence to pursue your calling as a parent and your commitment to stewardship – your children.

The book is divided into the following four sections:

Home – Home is Where Their Hearts Are: presents a very important fact – the choice to homeschool impacts your family.
Learning – Giving Your Child a Designer Education: discusses the different teaching styles and learning your child so you can better minister to his needs.
Methods – WholeHearted Learning Methods: goes into detail about the WholeHearted Learning model giving you step-by-step instruction on how to implement it into your home.
Living – Keeping the Vision Alive: brings your journey full circle and “back into the home” and how everything fits together living life in the everyday – from caring for the home, seeking support in your journey to family time spent on vacations and during the holidays.

A resources area is also included in the book that has forms for WholeHearted Learning and my favorite, book lists of titles that will not only aid in the learning experience but also nurturing the family. You can see the table of contents to get a better idea of the topics that are covered and also read a sample to see why this may be an excellent resource to have in your library.

Clay and Sally admittedly have included more content in this book then anyone will ever use, but they wanted to give you enough information to build your confidence for the challenging, but rewarding, journey that is homeschooling. This book is written for the homeschool family; not mothers or fathers or children, but the family.

Once again, Apologia Press has brought us another wonderful book. Educating the Wholehearted Child is a book you will continue to reference throughout your years as a homeschooler. The book is available for $22 which would be money well spent for a book that you will go to several times this school year.

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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One Response to “Educating the WholeHearted Child – A Go-To Guide for Christian Home Educators {TOS review}”

  • Comment from Tiffany

    I have an older version and it is awesome. I will look into purchasing the newest edition. Have you been to any of her conferences? She was im my area this year and for some reason I did not make it but if she comes next year I am there. Oh how I can relate about pushing academics.


    I also have an older copy (second edition), but never read it because I was so overwhelmed by all of the information. For some reason (I think it has a better layout), this new edition is so much easier to read and I found myself sitting for long periods of time reading through it. I had to keep a notepad by for taking notes.

    I saw Sally’s oldest daughter speak at a homeschool conference and was so impressed. I really want to read her book Read for Heart where she shares great reads for the family and her experiences growing up w/books and how her mother nurtured the love of reading.

    Tiffany recently posted..Weekly Review

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