Educating the WholeHearted Child

I have been absolutely giddy with excitement looking forward to telling you about this amazing resource. The 3rd version of Educating the WholeHearted Child should be on every homeschooler’s bookshelf (or at their bedside where mine seems to reside).

Some time ago, I checked out the 2nd edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child from the library, and I have to admit that I was completely overwhelmed. Here was all this wonderful information – and I was at a loss as to how to implement any of it.

This new version supplies all the specifics I was looking for and more – I almost cried with relief as I read it the first time because this is the book that I have been searching for to help me put it all together.

Clay and Sally Clarkson approach homeschooling from the viewpoint that our primary job as Christian parents is to train our children’s hearts to love God so that they are willing and ready to accomplish the tasks that God has planned for them. If we train their hearts while they are young, then they are ready for God to use for the Kingdom.


From the Publisher:

God did not forget to include “school” in his biblical design for raising children: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.

There are 18 chapters that are divided into four sections covering everything you need to know to train their hearts.

  • Section 1: Home – Why train their hearts
  • Section 2: Learning – How do they learn
  • Section 3: Methods – What to study (and how)
  • Section 4: Living – Putting it all together

And, if that wasn’t enough, there is also a HUGE resource section including:

  • Books for the WholeHearted Family (broken down into different genres)
  • Books for WholeHearted Learning (books on Christian family, parenting, and homeschooling)
  • Forms for WholeHearted Learning (18 forms to help you plot your course)

***italicized notes are my interpretation of the section

My Thoughts (including some comparisons to the 2nd Edition)

The first obvious difference is purely size. The new book is amazingly thick. Part of that can be attributed to the slightly larger type size (which made it so much easier to read), but also by the addition of a lot of new information and ideas. Whereas the 2nd edition had 9 chapters, this one has 18. I also find the new version to be much better organized with the information being grouped into sections that makes more sense for me.

There is an entire section on Understanding Your Child (Chapter Eight) that covers Personality and Living Styles and also includes a “Learning Style Indicator” to help you better understand how your child learns and where they are coming from.

What is their Learning Style? Do they rely on

  • Facts & Logic
  • Facts & Values
  • Insights & Values
  • Insights & Logic

What is their Personality Type? Are they a

  • Doer
  • Helper
  • Mover
  • Shaper

Is their Mental Focus ACTIVE or REFLECTIVE?

Is their Life Orientation towards TIME or EXPERIENCE?

And, after the Clarksons have helped you figure out these traits, they don’t just leave you there to figure it out for yourself. For each personality style, there is a two page spread that covers

  • Thinking Modes
  • A Description
  • Life Motto
  • Personal Encouragement
  • Personality Profile
  • Chart of Strengths and Weaknesses (SO helpful!)

They’ve also added a section on the WholeHearted Youth (beyond the child) that discusses planning for high school as well as covering the purpose of the high school years.

In Section 2, you will also find a one page synopsis of each of the Five Focused Study Areas that includes

  • The Focus
  • The Content
  • The Purpose
  • Specific Learning Objectives
  • Suggested Methods to accomplish those objectives
  • Suggested Materials to use

And, then, in Section 3, you’ll find an entire chapter devoted to the methods for each of the focused areas:

  • Discipleship Studies
  • Disciplined Studies
  • Discussion Studies
  • Discovery Studies
  • Discretionary Studies

I also really like the addition of a table of contents at the beginning of the Methods Section which makes it super easy to find the exact method you are looking for within a specific study.

All of the forms included at the back of the book are cleaner and more modern than in the 2nd edition. Some of the forms have changed, some have been added, and some have been removed. Also, some of the original forms are still there but may have a new name.

Removed Forms

  • My Homeschool Work for this Week (I thought this covered duplicate info anyway.)
  • My Assigned Reading List
  • “Fish and Bread” Character and Values Planner
  • Bible Study Notes: Book Study

Added (and changed) Forms

  • My “Get It Done” Project Planner
  • My “Read for My Life” Book Report
  • My 24 Family “Ways to Be” – Godly Character
  • My 24 Family “Ways to Go” – Biblical Values
  • Family Devotional ARTS Planner
  • Bible Reading Record
  • Family Chores Chart
  • My “Check it Out” Disciple Sheet: more focused for topical Bible study (replaces Bible Study Notes: Topical Study)
  • Devotional Journal: has only 3 on a page (instead of 6 in the prev edition) – much friendlier for a child with large penmanship

While I do wish that there was an index in the back of the book, the Table of Contents is nicely organized making it fairly easy to find exactly what I’m looking for.

Final Verdict

Educating the WholeHearted Child is my new go to resource. The amount of information they have packed into this book is nothing short of amazing. There are so many nuggets of pure gold that I imagine I will still be gleaning new information well into their college years – and maybe, dare I hope, with my homeschooled grandchildren?

This would absolutely be my gift of choice to any new homeschooling family. It almost makes me wish that I were back at the beginning again.

And, as if that wasn’t enough to get you all excited – how about the opportunity to win a copy for free?!? You know we love Apologia around here, and they have been so generous by not only providing a copy for me to read to write this review, but they are also offering one copy of the 3rd Edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child to one of my lucky readers!

Just follow the directions in the rafflecopter below to enter to win! There are lots of different ways to enter – with only one mandatory – click on the “Do It” button and answer the question in a comment. The deadline is midnight,Thursday, March 15th. Find out more about rafflecopter. (Fine Print: valid for US mailing addresses (including military) and you must be 18 yrs or older to win. Void where prohibited.)

And, if you can’t wait to see if you won, you can purchase a copy directly from Apologia for only $22. A real steal for all of the information included!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Note: I was provided a complimentary copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child by Apologia for my honest and unbiased review. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own, and I was not compensated by Apologia for sharing them.

Giveaway Day

53 Thoughts on “Educating the WholeHearted Child

  1. I have never picked up a copy yet, but went to one of Sally’s conferences last month. Would love to win one!
    Marisa recently posted..Mothering Through (Physical) PainMy Profile

  2. Kristin on March 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm said:

    I have been wanting this book forever!!!

  3. I have an older edition. I’d love to have one that doesn’t refer to tapes and vhs. LOL
    Cindy recently posted..Pinewood Derby, Here We Come!My Profile

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