Homeschooling a Child’s Heart, Mind, and Spirit
Educating the WholeHearted Child: Chapter 6
If you are at all confused by all the different ways of homeschooling that you read about, this chapter alone is probably worth the cost of the entire book. The Clarksons do a wonderful job of explaining the differences between curriculum-centered, content-centered, child-centered, and home-centered approaches to homeschooling, even breaking down those four main categories into smaller divisions and giving examples of well-known books, curriculum, and authors that follow each method.
I’ve been reading about homeschooling since my oldest was a baby, and it’s taken that long to sort through all the information and advice that is out there to get to the point where I feel fairly settled as far as what methods I want to draw from and what I want our educational experience to look like. This chapter really helped me organize all that information in away that made sense and helped me evaluate the choices I have made.
“Homeschooling is not only about one part of your child’s life, as though you can raise a mind; it is about their whole life—heart, mind, and spirit. Whatever model you choose, make sure it enables you to raise a whole child” (page 96).
Part of why I wanted to homeschool was to help my children to experience God in every part of their life rather than mentally filing spiritual matters into a separate category from academic subjects, sports, music, and anything else that occupies their minds and hearts. My own experiences growing up were always so divided. I chose to follow Christ when I was 14, and I distinctly remember feeling so proud when I gave any thought to God on a day other than Sunday. He wasn’t a part of our conversations at home, and I attended public school until I went to college, so it took a lot of intentionality on my part to bring Christ into every part of my life.
I love being able to point my children to God as we go through our days, whether reading classic literature, exploring the world around us, or interacting with kids in the neighborhood or at their gymnastics class. I want to be focused on God not just at church, but in our home. I want homeschooling to be a lifestyle, a mentality that guides us throughout our day, not just for a few hours each morning as we get through our schoolwork. I want to raise my children to be Christ-centered learners whose quest for knowledge brings them closer to God because they see His hand in everything they do.
Each Mentoring Monday I share my reflections on what I’ve been learning from my “paper mentors.” I am currently joining in a book discussion of Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay Clarkson (with Sally Clarkson), so my Monday posts are all being sparked by things I’m reading in this fabulous book!