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Educating the Whole Hearted Child: A Handbook for Christian Home Education Review by Amy M. O'Quinn

Clay and Sally Clarkson
Whole Heart Ministries
PO Box 3445
Monument, CO 802132

We began our homeschooling journey in 1997, and the book Educating the Whole Hearted Child was one of the first resources I read during that time. It helped me realize that I really COULD do this and still enjoy the whole process! Before my life as a homeschool mom, I'd been a classroom teacher, and I still had the 'let's do school at home' mentality--as in raise your hand to speak, please turn to page forty-nine and put your finger on number one, and (most especially) please sit still and don't wiggle in your desk. Educating the Whole Hearted Child was liberating for me, and it opened up new doors to a different kind of education for our whole family--a lifestyle of learning!

One of the subtitles on the front cover is: How to use real books and real life to make your home a vibrant center of living and learning for you and your child. And in a nutshell, the Clarksons have provided a resource that really does fit that description. This revised and expanded 256-page paperback manual is full of how-to ideas, information, inspiration, recommended resources, and even charts and forms for organization and record keeping. There are also dozens of Scriptures, personal anecdotes, quotes, and notes from the Clarkson's own experiences and insights. It's truly a treasure trove of must-have information for both new and veteran homeschoolers. However, this resource is not a curriculum--it's more of a guidebook to help the home educator enjoy the journey while keeping an eye on the ultimate destination.

The chapters are:

1. Home Education . . . A Step of Faith Toward Home

2. Discipleship . . . Shaping Your Child's Heart

3. Education . . . Strengthening Your Child's Mind

4. Teaching Models . . . Learning At Home, Naturally

5. Teaching Methods . . . Instructing Your Child

6. Learning Styles . . . Understanding Your Child

7. Home Management . . . Getting It Together

8. Lifestyle . . . Making It Work

9. Support . . . Keep It Going

The comprehensive appendix includes:

• Home Schooling Directory (for publications, catalogs, organizations, etc.)

• Home Education Resources

• Our Family's Favorite Books (from the Clarkson Family)

• Home Education Planning Forms

I really liked this description I found on the Clarkson's website:

"Our heart's desire in Educating the Whole Hearted Child is to give Christian parents who desire to homeschool a detailed and trustworthy map that will enable them to confidently and joyfully follow the path of biblical home education from beginning to end."

I couldn't have said it better myself! The book sells for $20.95, and that's a bargain for all the excellent material included. The Clarksons have done a marvelous job with Educating the Whole Hearted Child. It's a comprehensive resource that will "grow" with the home educator and address different situations and various seasons of life within the family. A true homeschool classic!

Product review by Amy M. O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2009