The photo above was taken back in April – see the hundreds of children ready to charge up the hill in search of Easter goodies? Parents standing behind the line pointing to where the children should go – urging them to find “the Good Eggs”. Bold, Shy, Eager, Hesitant, Fast and Slow – when the Fire Engine sounds – it’s a race to finish strong at the top of the hill.
I was standing on this very hillside on Sunday afternoon – chatting it up with a woman of Faith, an Awana Commander, a leader and encourager of homeschool families, a helper to her husband, a teacher, a servant to her dad, a giver to anyone who calls. She has just graduated her first daughter, and they are learning to live out their new roles. I drink in the conversation. Mentally taking notes. Hearing the wish we would’as, glad we dids, and still learning to’s that came pouring out in sweet words.
It reminded me of the book I have been re-reading from Clay and Sally Clarkson called Educating the WholeHearted Child . This particular copy is of their Third and newest edition – given to me by The Old Schoolhouse – but it is also the fifth copy that I have had in my home. I keep lending mine out, and never receiving them back. I told hubby this one might get chained to my desk. Ha!
I first read this book when starting out our journey – the scriptures, challenges and encouragement directed my path. My little 4 year old is now 13, over 6 feet tall, a quiet spirit, introspective, adventurous, a loyal friend, holds a love for the Word and for the Lord Jesus Christ. He is kind and obedient to his parents, only slightly impatient with his little brother, and growing into a fine young man.
I can tell you – now without a worry in my heart – that if the list stopped there for his development over the last 8 years – I would feel that he has been 100% successful in the ways that we wanted him to go! However, day by day with planned discipline and discipleship, he has added mathematics, language, history, science, geography and much more academic achievements as well. I don’t chat it up much on this blog – about Character – Biblical Manhood – A Servant’s Heart – a devotion to the Word – but it is central to our home. My friends and long time readers – know the angst that runs through my veins each fall as I try to balance academic pursuits and character growth. A desire for rich organic learning with the felt need to spoon feed academics.
And on this Sunday– I talk about our First Day of No School Day here at the park – with a group of moms, so eager, afraid, timid, bold, excited and fearful – and I pray for them. Their decisions to teach their children at home. Their choices of academic materials. Their need for the children to “be like the public schooled children” “be at the right level”. And I wonder – have they brought their needs before the Lord? Have they taken the time to bring their whole home under His guidance?
So I say it today – I lay it out there. Politically correct or not.
If you are trying to homeschool as a way to get out of paying for private school, a way of keeping your kids out of crowded classrooms, to keep them away from whatever stereotypical kid you don’t want them hanging around – then your focus is off – you will work them too hard – you will purchase way too many expensive products – you will get burned out – and they will beg to go back to public school with their friends.
I’ve seen it, my friend has seen it, we’ve witnessed it over and over. This book? Educating the WholeHearted Child? Find a copy. Order one from Apologia. Borrow one from a seasoned homeschooler. Walk through this third edition, written from Clay’s heart, as one who would have been standing on that hill with us, with the would’as, should’as and did’s. Walk with him as he lays a solid foundation – see that he starts in the home – then moves towards how kids learn – before discussing the methods and tools available. Have you started backwards my friend? Has your focus been on finding the right tools?
I am writing this for homeschoolers – but it is for every parent. You are in charge, been charged and set forth by the Lord – to be instrumental in the development of your child. This book has text in the middle with side bars filled with scriptures, quotes, and examples. Page after page of biblical direction – not opinion – but fact. Straight from the Word of God.
And I say another thing that I don’t mention a lot in mixed company – among my friends struggling to train up their children with their own family circumstances -
But I do believe – that you – the parent – you alone – have been charged to educate your child. Whatever tutors, helps, or classes that you choose to use as tools – you are responsible. It’s not the teacher’s fault, their brother’s fault, the state’s fault or the school district’s fault. It’s yours. And I beg you. Urge You. Implore? To Read. This. Book. Get your direction on track, or feel at peace with the direction you have chosen. Soak it in. Allow the Spirit to speak truth to your heart. Take out your excuses – and be filled with The Word – and comforted by the guidance of the Clarksons. We are friends right now who use Private School and Government School as tools – but they train the Whole Heart of the Child at home – don’t let “I can’t homeschool” be an excuse not to read this book.
If you are a new parent, of those younger years, standing at the line of education – ready to bolt, all geared up – telling your child which direction to go – nudging and urging his heart – I applaud you. This book will help you know where the Good Eggs may be found.
Sunset on the same lake – Please – if you have questions, personal, private, I encourage you to call, email, write, – I am not always straight forward and courageous with my message of Biblical Authority over the Home here on line – but it is the #1 reason why we homeschool.
Links to help you
- Order a Copy from Apologia Live for $22.00,
- Read a sample chapter on line,
- Read the entire Table of Contents or
- Read what my fellow TOS Crewmates have gleaned from this nearly 400 page volume.
I received a free copy of Educating the Whole Hearted Child as part of my The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew – in exchange for a frank and honest evaluation.