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Whole Heart Ministries Review by Jennifer Pepito and Diane Wheeler

By Clay and Sally Clarkson
Whole Heart Ministries
Water Brook Press

Educating the Whole Hearted Child

I was having a week of school days that caused me to second guess my ability to teach my children. It was one of those "Would they be better off in traditional school?" moments. At the end of that week, I came upon a book by Clay and Sally Clarkson called Educating the Whole Hearted Child. What providential timing, and what a fabulous book. It was so inspiring to read the information they have compiled on why homeschooling is the right choice, and creative ways to develop a learning environment. If I could own only one book on homeschooling, this would be my choice.

This volume is packed with information, Scripture, and ideas relating to every area of homeschooling, from learning styles to legalities. There are book lists, reproducible planning forms and a wonderful directory of homeschool resources. The Clarksons lay out a list of character traits, with Scriptures to reinforce them, and provide a section refuting common objections to homeschooling. Every area of teaching your children at home is covered. There are even notes, quotes and Scripture verses in the side bar to enrich and expound on the main material. Extremely readable and incredibly encouraging, Educating the Whole Hearted Child was just the thing to renew my commitment to, and excitement for, teaching my own whole hearted children.

-- Product Review by: Jennifer Pepito, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Heartfelt Discipline - The Gentle Art of Training and Guiding Your Child

The goal of Whole Heart Ministries, started by Clay and Sally Clarkson in 1994, is to equip parents to raise godly children that can lead in the next generation. Through their ministry, Clay and Sally have written and spoken to thousands of parents, offering encouragement and vision for discipling their children.

Clay's new book, Heartfelt Discipline, has the same goal in mind. This is a fresh look at parenting, emphasizing that we must parent in God's Spirit and by faith, not plug in a prescribed formula. The emphasis is relational, rather than applying a certain method at all times, or expecting a certain response from our children without considering the circumstances.

The book is divided into four parts: Heartfelt Discipline, Directive Discipline, Corrective Discipline, and Protective Discipline. Clay sets a foundation for the book's philosophy, looks at Biblical passages that have been used to defend certain parenting strategies, provides options to use that will strengthen the relationship between parent and child, and reminds us of things from which our children need to be protected.

There are many parenting resources available for Christian parents and some just give us our "to do" list or promote their ideas as the only Biblical option. What Heartfelt Discipline emphasizes is that we cannot shut down our dependence on Christ or our need for the Holy Spirit's help when we walk in our front doors. With the uniqueness of each family member and the different circumstances that impact each of our days, we need to rely on God's strength to reach our children's hearts. Good behavior is important, but hearts that are reached is our deeper and more lasting goal.

To order Heartfelt Discipline, or to learn more about Whole Heart Ministries, please see their website at Clay and Sally have a newsletter that may be of interest to you, and their daughter Sarah is an author as well. You can see all of their resources on the web.

Heartfelt Discipline is sure to give you much to think about in your own walk with Christ, and in your ideas about disciplining children. There is a welcome emphasis on developing a relationship with your child, rather than just plugging in a formula, as well relying on God to supply the wisdom required in this important role of parent. No matter where we are coming from in our parenting experience, there is wisdom to glean and encouragement to be tasted in Clay Clarkson's writing, and reassurance to be found in the steadfast character of the God we depend on for the journey of parenting.

-- Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Journeys of Faithfulness

"Our daughters need to know that God is calling them to faithfulness, and that He will be their companion on the journey." -- The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

Sarah Clarkson is the 17-year-old daughter of Clay and Sally Clarkson. Having grown up in a family that is dedicated to ministering to homeschooling families, Sarah is joining the Whole Heart Team with a book of her own. Journeys of Faithfulness is a lovely book, and a treasure or girls who are pursuing the Lord as young, faithful women.

Four women from the Scriptures are highlighted in this volume. Mary of Bethany, Esther, Ruth, and Mary, the Mother of Jesus are all shown to be women who are models of faithfulness for young women today. Sarah uses fictional narratives to tell their stories, and finishes each section with her personal reflections. Through honesty and with a commitment to spiritual growth, Sarah eloquently shares her own pursuit of God's best. Sarah also provides questions for further study and room for girls to write their own thoughts.

Our daughters need to know that God is calling them to faithfulness, and that He will be their companion on the journey. In the Introduction, Sarah shares with her readers, "Let's learn together from these women, and let God's word shape our hearts. And maybe, just maybe God will use us to change the world." He has called our daughters to great things, and Sarah Clarkson does a great job of challenging young women to cling to Him.

If you are interested in ordering Journeys of Faithfulness, you can call Whole Heart Ministries at 1-254-797-2142, or you can visit the Whole Heart Ministries web site at I am excited to see that Sarah is developing her own web site,, "where faithful girls share the journey."

Sarah Clarkson has a heart to encourage young women and to remind them of God's truth. Her book, Journeys of Faithfulness, can inspire girls to seek the Lord in deeper ways and with that relationship they can know that they are never, never alone. What a gift!

-- Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine

The Mission of Motherhood-Touching Your Child's Heart for Eternity

If you ever wish for a friend to peek their head around a corner and say, "You are doing exactly what you should be doing; keep up the good work," then I recommend that you read The Mission of Motherhood. That is the kind of encouragement that Sally Clarkson offers to mothers. In the introduction she writes, "It is my heart's desire to encourage each precious mom who reads this book by affirming the significant role a mother plays in the lives of her children. I hope to remind moms of the value God places upon their lives and to help them respond wholeheartedly to his call on their lives."

The book is organized around five sections: A Mother's Calling, A Mother's Heart for Her God, A Mother's Heart for Her Children, A Mother's Heart for Her Home, and A Mother's Heart for Eternity. Taking us through passages of Scripture, mixed with humorous or heart-warming reflections on her own life, Sally does a beautiful job of building a firm foundation on the premise that motherhood is important - something our culture seems to have forgotten. At the end of each chapter, there are Scripture verses for reflection and some suggestions for ways to apply what is taught.

As a speaker and writer, Sally is well known to homeschoolers, so it is important to note that this is a book that could be given to any mother. Sally has a heart to reach all mothers, home educating or not, and there is plenty for mothers of all sorts to glean from this encouraging book.

You may order The Mission of Motherhood from the Whole Heart Ministries website, at Sally also has tapes from conferences where she has spoken to mothers and to home educators. These are great resources and they will give you a chance to laugh, to learn, and to reflect.

I recommend, as I often do, that you grab a cup of tea or coffee, find a quiet spot, and take some time to remind yourself that the calling to motherhood is a high and holy one. The Mission of Motherhood is a good book to have on hand for those quiet moments when we need a boost of confidence. Sally points us to the Lord and reminds us that He will empower us for this great task of mothering our children.

--Product Review by: Diane Wheeler, Senior Staff Writer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine