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Monday, October 24, 2011

Apologia's Educating the WholeHearted Child TOS Crew Review

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    As I talk with many homeschooling parents, either at our co-op or at Church or anywhere really. I find that parents homeschool for many different reasons. Most I find may be for more than one reason like us. We were faced for many years with our Special Needs kids not fairing well in the public school system and struggling with what to do about it. We often let others guide our decisions and we were not listening to what the Lord had in store for us. When we made the decision to finally jump the proverbial fence to homeschool it was because we had finally given our lives to Christ fully and we were letting him guide us and our family in what was right for us. There were many things that were simply not working for us in the public school system and one of them was not being able to have control over the spiritual side of our children's learning. 
   Whatever your family's reasons for homeschooling are, if you are a Christian homeschooling family, you have come to the right place today for guidance as I was blessed with the opportunity to review Educating the WholeHearted Child from Apologia. I was given this wonderful opportunity because of my place on the TOS Crew.

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      I know that we often struggle with educating all areas of our children's lives, and that does not always mean school work. I often find myself feeling overwhelmed with where to start and how to fit it all in. I will start by saying I am blessed to live in one of the states with very relaxed homeschooling laws and this helps give me the freedom to teach my children what I want to teach them. Also what I feel the Lord wants them to learn without the pressures to get certain busy work done. At the same time I often feel like there are just not enough hours in the day and how am I going to possibly get it all done.

  One thing was for sure "school" does not need to take all day. Learning happens in life all around us.
When we first started homeschooling, I felt the need to structure our learning time just like the public schools and I struggled with what I felt was right when that just did not seem to be working for us. We still have a schedule but I have learned that it is OK to be a little more relaxed about it. Educating the WholeHearted Child helped me to know that I was doing a great job as long as it was right for our family.

   This book is a huge 400 page book at a full 8 1/2 x 11 size. Chock full of inspirational stories, Bible verses that relate to the material it is teaching. The book takes you through aspects of having a well rounded Christian family both in schooling and life. Section 1 is Home, then it is broken down into chapters throughout the section. I was a little overwhelmed when I saw the size of the book, but quickly learned that it is OK to skim through it the first time and then read chapter by chapter from then on. This book is so easy to navigate and is written by Clay and Sally Clarkson and tells it like it is and supposed to be by writing about their life's adventures in homeschooling. This makes it so much easier to relate with as it is real people telling their story in a friendly way. The topics in the section "Home" are: The Christian Home, The Christian Homeschool, Home Nurture, Home Discipleship, and Home Education.

   Reading just the first section seemed to life such a huge burden I had put on myself to be "perfect" in our homeschooling adventure. Next was Section 2 Learning, the chapters in this section focus on the WholeHearted Methods. The WH Learning Model, The WH Learning Home, The WH Learning Child, and THE WH Learning Youth.  These chapters focused on what needs to be learned as a whole and how to break it down to teach it.

    Section 3 Methods: Discipleship Studies Methods which is mainly focusing on the study of the Bible.
Disciplined Studies Methods, showing how to study the basics. Then it moves onto Discussion Studies Methods, Discovery Studies Methods and lastly Discretionary Studies Methods which is The Study of Living.
God did not forget to include "school" in his biblical design for raising children&mdash:home education is a natural expression of all that God intended for parents and their children. Clay and Sally Clarkson's Educating the WholeHearted Child is about rediscovering God's original design for the family. What you'll find in this book is a homeschooling model that makes sense. It's an approach that is based on sound biblical principles of nurture, discipleship, instruction, and learning. Newly revised and significantly expanded, Educating the WholeHearted Child is about much more than homeschooling; it is about life. Effective Christian homeschooling must begin with the sure foundation of a Christian home, and the Clarksons' uncomplicated, common-sense approach to life and learning will provide you with the tools you need to experience God's abundant blessings for your family.




Here is a sample chapter for your enjoyment. You can also find the complete table of contents, be sure to check them out to see for yourself.

     What I love about his book is how it teaches the principals of the lessons for that chapter but always included how in their home this principal was put to use. This is what made it real for me and showed me that this truly works for real people like me. It is not just a text book but a true life application study. Section 4 really hit home for me and I think has helped me more than anything, the title of the last section is simply put, Living. This section focuses on Family, Structure, Order and Support.  The book finishes off with a Postscript, this is The Challenge: Keeping Faith in the Family. The most profound statement that jumps out at me from this is "The true ideal of home is not defined by human experience but is found in God's design and in his word."  Which leads me back to my one of my favorite Bible verses, ""With God, all things are possible", Matthew Chapter 19, Verse 26
With reading this book, Educating the WholeHearted Child I took with me this.

  If you keep God in the center of your life, home and homeschool, then you will be doing it the right way. There is no true wrong or right way to do things as long as you are following the plan the Lord has laid out before you and your family. Follow him and all will be right.

   The very end of the book has Resources for The WholeHearted Family, such as books and also wonderful worksheets for you and your family. There are some other wonderful  books by Apologia by the Clarkson Family featured on The WholeHeart Ministry. They also publish books under Whole Heart Press and WaterBrook Press as well. I am sure any book by the family will be a book to treasure. I know I will read Educating the WholeHearted Child over and over for many years to come to help keep me focused on this journey God has laid out for my family and I.

   If you are a veteran homeschooler or a family just starting this wonderful journey, I recommend this book to be the next book you add to your library, at only $22.00 this is a must have for you and your family. You can purchase it straight from the Apologia website. Be sure to check out their other wonderful books and Apologia Curriculum while you are there. Apologia Educational Ministries offers many resources for the homeschool family, from science, Geography and History, to language arts, to Bible Studies, to Homeschool Parent Helps. All are written from a Christian Worldview. They also have retreats for homeschool moms. You will not be disappointed when you turn to Apologia for homeschooling needs.





  Please be sure to check out what my other Tos Crew mates have gained from reading Apologia: Educating the WholeHearted Child.
   
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