Friday, October 21, 2011

Educating the WholeHearted Child

I always have my head buried in a book.  This month, our book club is reading "The Help", which I finished in two days flat.  This gave me a chance to pick up "Educating the WholeHearted Child" by Clay & Sally Clarkson, published by Apologia.  Already a huge fan of Apologia's science books for Young Explorers, I knew ahead of time that this would be something of quality.

This 372 page reference book on homeschooling children with a Godly focus is something you will want to refer to over and over again through your family's home education journey.  It has so much information and resources tucked in the pages, you will surely miss a few treasures the first time around.  The book is divided into four main parts:  Home, Learning, Methods and Living. 

The "Home" section sets forth biblical examples of what a Christian home and homeschool look like, what it means to disciple and shape your children for a Godly life, and how to transfer your faith into a blueprint for a faith-based classroom.  It gives proof that Yes, you are not only an adequate teacher for your child, but the best possible teacher for your child because you are their parent.

The "Learning" portion of the book not only breaks down the various homeschooling methods in a nutshell, but provides recommendations for curriculum, publishers, quality "whole books", advice on setting up a home classroom and discovery centers, and much more.  I personally liked this section the best.  Possibly because I am a list-maker.  I was underlining, highlighting and dog-earing like crazy in the "Learning" section.  It had so much practical advice.  My favorite quote of this section is "Don't be fooled--labeling twaddle as "educational" or even as "Christian" will not make it any less twaddly."  Twaddly:  now there's a word I can't wait to use on my friends!  I found myself nodding and "amen"-ing throughout this section.  Nothing steams me more than mass-produced junk-food literature for our children.  Give me classics all day long, but please don't give me a series of books based on the latest garbage on Cartoon Network.  It drives me crazy to see the Twaddle Fest at school book fairs.   This area of the book also delves deep into learning styles.

Would you like to see the table of contents?  Click here.

"Methods" asks the questions "What to teach?  And how do I teach it?"  It covers everything under the sun that you would want to include in your lesson plan book and practical ideas on how to put plans into action.  For instance,  the authors give tips on teaching scripture memorization and then give us simple verses that even young children could tackle.  If you are looking to plan some field trips, there are a long list of recommendations.  If you are interested in incorporating nature study, this book will give you some direction.  That's really what I love about this book.  There is no wasted space.  Nearly every page's margins are packed to the gills with extra resources, bible references to the section or recommended booklists. This section praises the arts of poetry recitation, narration and read alouds.

"Living"  explores the roles of each family member and also helps the reader with home management, time management and other topics for running a smooth household.  

Would you like to see a sample chapter?  Click here.

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend this as a must-have for every homeschool family.  It is something that you will want to read over and over as you move into new seasons of homeschooling.  The theme throughout the pages stays true.  How can I remain focused on my child's heart issues and how can we work together to glorify God?  A wonderful reference from a trusted source.  And priced at $22.00 here,  Apologia Press has provided us with a gem.

**Disclaimer:  I was provided a copy of "Educating the WholeHearted Child" in exchange for an honest review, which I have provided here.

See what the rest of my Crewmates had to say here


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