TOS Review: Educating the WholeHearted Child


Wow; my first book review!  I am so excited to share this book with you, for many reasons – far more than just the normal book reviewer would probably appreciate.

I know firsthand that this book, Educating the WholeHearted Child, by Clay and Sally Clarkson, is a book of reflection, practice, and prayer – from a homeschooliing family who loves God and has built an unshakable faith within their children.  You see, long ago, I had the privilege of living near the Clarkson family and talked with Sally on several occasions.  Little did I know at that time that God was working through them to introduce and inspire me to homeschool.

Originally, Educating the WholeHearted Child was released in 1996, and then again in 2001.  In this third edition, Clay and Sally have nearly revamped the entire book – adding an additional 130 pages, and rewriting much of the original book.  At a whopping 376 pages, this book is filled in every nook and cranny with insight, tips, and suggestions on how to raise children so that they are faithful followers and have a passionate heart for Christ.  So, if you have previously purchased this book, it is well-worth it to buy this new edition, since it has so much new content in it.

Educating the WholeHearted Child is divided into 5 main sections – the home, learning, methods, living, and resources.  Each section is broken down to several chapters that focus on different attributes.  For instance, in section one, you would find information about building a Christian home and homeschool, nurturing, discipleship, and home educating.  One of the many quotes that resonated with me in this section dealt with my introspectively reviewing my goals for my son, and whether these matched up with how God would want me to teach my son.

“Your goal in home education should be to raise well-rounded, spiritually grounded, truth-founded Christian children whose goal in life is to make a difference for the kingdom of God, whatever life path they choose.” (p. 21)

I also enjoyed reading chapter 6:  the WholeHearted Learning Model. The chapter begins with a brief summary on the types of schooling (public, private, home, etc.) as well as the types of homeschooling.  This leads into a wonderful description of the major schools of learning (classical, unit study, Montessori, etc.), and finally into the WholeHearted Learning Model.  This model is a compilation of several educational theories, and is summarized in their 12 pillars of learning.

What I love about this book is that it not only lays out a clear Christian perspective on home educating, but these ideas also backed up with scripture (often found in the side notes on each page) as well as suggestions and ideas on how to implement them.  In the later sections on the book, Clay and Sally specifically address the methods of teaching the Bible, the 3 R’s, geography, history, and even the fine arts.  Each topic is thoroughly discussed, from teaching typing at an early age, to booklists, to music, memorization, and even creative play and study groups.  The number of topics discussed is utterly awe-inspiring!  I also love the fact that their suggestions have been used on their {wonderfully sweet} children and have been proven effective!

This book will remain on my night stand, as I read and re-read many of the sections over and over again – there truly is SO much information to glean from these pages!

Educating the WholeHearted Child can be found in Apoligia’s online store for $22.  Click here if you would like to see what other reviews say about this amazing book!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of Educating the WholeHearted Child, in return for an honest review of the product, whether good or bad. I was not otherwise compensated for this review.


  1. The Hemleys Blog says:

    Leann, wonderful review. I so want to get this book now. One of my most difficult struggles is how to light up God’s love for my children into their hearts. Fortunely Bookdepository has this book in stock. They do free worldwide delivery!


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