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Educating the Wholehearted Child

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,500 ratings  ·  88 reviews
A handbook for Christian home education. A commonsense, disciple-based biblical approach to home schooling using real books and real life. Filled with Scriptures, anecdotes, insights, ideas, methods, lists and charts to make living and learning at home natural and enjoyable.
Paperback, Revised & Expanded, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Whole Heart Ministries
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Average rating 4.33  · 
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Lori Watson
Jan 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
In my sixteen years of homeschooling I have read a lot of homeschool how to and encouragement books. Educating the WholeHearted Child is one I have seen throughout the years but never picked up. The day this new edition came up for review, I was feeling rather discouraged. I'd followed the supposed formula and I wasn't seeing the promised results. I needed encouragement to continue despite disappointment, disillusionment, and fear. Unfortunately, that is far from what I found.

When the book
Matthew Hodge
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hard-copy, christian
As an all-in-one guide to Christian homeschooling (I'm not sure how helpful it would be for non-Christian homeschoolers), this is pretty comprehensive.

The core of the Clarkson's approach is to create a love of learning in children by helping them interact with solid books. This, to me, makes sense. How many times have we been put off a topic by a dry textbook, but then had a turnaround when we came across a book that was written in a way that fired our imagination?

The book starts with the
Jan 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic resource and workhorse book for anyone who homeschools or is looking to do so for any extent. It is a very concise, comprehensive guide; very well organized and a highly accessible format. Covers everything from personalities to foundational learning blocks to organization, etc. It takes principles and makes them simple, clear, organized, and PRACTICAL for easy application. I LOVE IT. I consider it a foundational book to faith and scripture focused education, and one with the ...more
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lots of great encouragement that I’ll come back to again and again!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Good advice, esp for those just starting out or needing a refresher. but it is outdated and the format is very it was printed from a Word doc while using as many fonts available way back when.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
All time favorite homeschooling book!
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
I had mixed feelings about Educating the WholeHearted Child—I REALLY wanted to like it, because I’ve heard so many good things about the Clarksons, but unfortunately I struggled with it a bit. Starting from the beginning:

I’m a second-generation homeschooler, so I was homeschooled myself as a child and now am homeschooling my own child. Despite that, I am definitely *not* a person who believes homeschooling is the only or primary way to follow the Bible while educating your kids, so there was a
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool, 2018
I have maybe a couple of quibbles with this book, but overall it’s a fantastic homeschooling resource. It covers just about everything related to homeschooling and has tons of practical advice. Highly recommended.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mom
Checked this out from the library. It is so big that if it was the first book I read to find out about homeschooling I would have been overwhelmed! Skimmed through the book and it has some very good chunks of information, just too much for me and I've been homeschooling for years...krb 9/26/19
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An absolute wealth of knowledge.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When my oldest child was two, I began to research homeschooling. This book was in the pile I checked out from the library, and in reading it, I found that someone had put into words what I had been envisioning for our family. It encouraged me at the beginning of the journey. This book has since been updated and is due for a re-read.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book and a great resource for homeschoolers. It will be a good one to add to our home library. Though there are certain attitudes contained in the methods of education the authors advocate that I won't be adopting (see icky geography quote below, which is indicative of a recurring attitude herein), there is also much to be gained in a reading of this book. As I get deeper into reading work by authors who are currently practicing classical education with their children, I ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but certainly can't say it's the best homeschooling book I've read. There was something about the tone I just can't put my finger on... The husband/wife authors come off to me as a bit legalistic and unrealistic. They don't address making time for ministry and service. I found the focus early in the book, falling mainly on obedience to the parents and discipline, overbearing. Now I have read many helpful and sound parenting books that are Biblically based, but I figured this ...more
Karin Breidenthal
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite overview on home education! The Clarksons do a wonderful and thorough job of discussing what home schooling is and how to make it a part of your life. It is a book that I've shared w/many folks and they usually hand it back and say "I just ordered it, b/c it's so good" is a book that I've revisited every few years. A must read for the home educator, no matter what style of home schooling you prefer. They also have an excellent family devotional, "Our 24 Family ...more
Aug 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
The worst homeschool book I've picked up yet. As soon as I read the first page, I knew this book was not for me. It's written to a very narrow audience, and even as Bible-believing Christian, I did not enjoy this book AT ALL. The "we do it the RIGHT way" tone and legalistic nature of the book caused me to want to scrap this one right away. I skimmed the entire book and could not find anything useful until I reached the book list in the back.
Rachel Hodge
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and thorough but very dense. Don't plan on skim reading it.
Laura  Lane
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Teaching children at home is not just a commitment.
Teaching children at home is not just an alternative educational option.
Teaching children at home is a lifestyle.
Clay and Sally Clarkson have captured the essence of the homeschooling lifestyle that many of us desire- one of discipleship as well as academics.

This is not a quick read. It's a big book, 376 pages; but, that's not why it's not a quick read. Educating the WholeHearted Child is a read a little, selah, think about it, read a little
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Great homeschooling resource, from a Christian point of view. I don’t think there is one “right way” to homeschool, but I do agree with a lot of the Clarksons’ views, seeing as Christianity and becoming more like Christ is already the aim of our family’s lifestyle. Integrating that into schooling your child makes sense, and gives teaching and learning a broader perspective. You’re raising a PERSON, teaching character traits, helping them become the best they can be, not just making them memorize ...more
Highly recommend - not just for home schooling families - but for all families. I read this book when I first started on my home school journey in 1996. I have read it many, many times since. What a great reference, resource and God send this book has been for me and everyone else I have shared it with.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this book really inspired and directed the next steps I took in homeschooling. It also did more than that it helped me see the roles and parts in motion in my home and how to handle them responsibly and with the grace of God. Definitely a must read for any parent even if you are not thinking about homeschooling.
Mindy Burnham Hedvall
This book is one I'll probably keep on my shelf and grab for resources occasionally. I didn't particularly like the tone of the book. The first few pages especially are very legalistic sounding...but being familiar with other writings by the Clarksons it didn't bother me enough to stop reading it. Its less stories and more practical offerings which I liked.
Jennifer VanderPloeg
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book; packed with practical and inspirational ideas. It took me a year to read through it, really thinking through the ideas presented. A fantastic book for Christian homeschooling parents. I think there was a lot in there that would benefit non homeschooling parents too.
Tina Cook
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had been on the fence about homeschooling (due to fear) for quite a while but after reading this book I was certain I should do it. I ended up homeschooling both of my children through high school and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I am so thankful for this book!
Meghan Davis strader
May 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
If you are a conservative Christian looking for ideas to make your house a place of discipleship, I’m sure you will find this book useful. As a secular homeschooler, the only part I found helpful was the “Living” section as that provided some helpful ideas in managing time, chores and schedules.
Bj Urzua
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the number one book I recommend to homeschoolers. It perfectly explains the difference between public school, private school, and homeschool. She then demonstrates how to develop a lifestyle of learning.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite homeschooling book. Full of practical advice and encouragement.
Ashley Williard
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is one that I pull out frequently, to be reminded of the bigger picture, and also for helpful tips and encouragement along this homeschooling journey.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My very best homeschool resource. I love this book!
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the great influences of our homeschool experience!
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books about homeschooling and one I often refer back to and recommend to others.
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Clay Clarkson is director of Whole Heart Ministries, a nonprofit family ministry he and his wife, Sally, started in 1994 to help Christian parents raise wholehearted children for Christ. He is the author of Educating the WholeHearted Child, Our 24 Family Ways, Heartfelt Discipline, Taking Motherhood to Hearts, and The Lifegiving Parent (with Sally Clarkson). He writes online about Christian ...more