Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book Review: Educating the Whole Hearted Child

On my vacation I took some time to read, "Educating the Whole Hearted Child." My overall opinion of this book is positive. In fact, I'll be putting it on my wish list.

It is very easy to read and extremely user friendly. There is a wealth of information in the margin of every page pertaining to a variety of topics. This book contains scriptures, encouragement, facts and methods. There were practical tips and ideas for every subject and topic covered.

The overall methodology presented, The Home-Centered Learning Approach, was similar to a Charlotte Mason type methodology. I plan to incorporate aspects of this style in my own home so this will be a great rescource.

There were some topics that didn't apply to me right now. The home organization hints were pretty basic. The "box system" is quite similar to what I have set up in my home, so it was interesting to read but not useful to me.

There is also a section on learning styles. My kids are too young to begin "pegging" them in one style, so I don't want to tread into those waters. I did enjoy looking over the information briefly to be sure our day incorporates a variety of styles. I want to allow my kids to find their style and being able to provide opportunities in a variety of styles is part of that. I'll probably spend more time in this section when I get the book.

There was a sub-section on most pages titled, "In our home". It contained a brief statement from a homeschooling family about incorporating the topic on the page into their homeschool. I enjoyed those tidbits!

The only negative in this book was that there were definite homeschool "arrogant" comments:

Allow your children to check out as many books as they would like to try to read. In many cases, you (and other home schoolers) will be the only families checking out books... (p. 132)

I find it quite arrogant and presumptious to assume that non-homeschooling families don't use libraries. Of course they do. They too care about reading and the education of their children.

Lines like this just make me sigh. But I do like the book and can look beyond comments like this. Hopefully I'll get it for Christmas so I can read and highlight some of the great information!


Momma Roar said...

This is the book that I got the idea for my blog title from!

Love it!!

weavermom said...

I didn't know you had a homeschool site! :) I love this book. My favorite is the part near the beginning where she has several sentences that start, "It is good and right..." One of those sentences is about wanting to be with your children and enjoy them. This was exactly how I felt when Punkin was in K and I was getting a lot of grief about being "overprotective." :)

I agree with you about the parts that make you sigh.

mom24 said...

Uh..... how did I miss that you have a hs blog??!!! I'm shocked and shagrined (sp?) at my ignorance!!! :-o

Well, you can be sure I be missin' another post, Mary! I've heard of this book - haven't got to it yet but your review encourages me to get a move on this one!


onemotherslove said...

I didn't know you had a homeschool site either. Guess I'm not too far into my cave! ; ) I have read this book, though! My sister gave me her copy (her children have now graduated homeschool). She said it was her favorite. I loved it, too!

(BTW, I rarely see other families at the library.)

Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I love this one, too, and totally agree with you that it complements CMason and classical models very well. Making learning fun and exciting and "chasing rabbit trails" is one of the things we love about homeschooling.

Your objection about the arrogant comments are noted, but I think most homeschool books have a hint of that. For over 20 years, homeschoolers have been put in a defensive position, the "world" demanding proof that we're not ruining our kids. Sadly, because we live in a fallen world, this carries over into a bit of arrogance in some materials. There is a tone of that in portions of the Sproul, Jr book I'm reading right now, but still a lot of good there, too.