As a Homeschool Mom, I find myself needing a little extra guidance and comfort each day. Teaching my children is wonderful. Yet the road can be tough at times and the world can make you question yourself at least 60 times in a minute!
To top it off some of us knew from the moment our children were born, we wanted to homeschool. Some thought about it and then saw their friends sending their children to preschool and then school and thought: “well, they’re doing it and so should I” While others, thought about and began planning before it was time to begin school…..
Regardless of where you began your journey in homeschooling or where you are in it right now, it is always wonderful to have a great book to sit down and read. Especially one that is written by a ‘real’ mom. One who has been there, done that and wants to share ‘what she did’ without telling you -you have to do it her way.
You want a book that will convict you, but lift you up. Remind you of the one who gives you the strength to do what you do day in and day out, because if you’re a homeschool Mom. You know it’s not just 8-3, it’s 24/7, as we integrate our lives into homeschooling it becomes a way of life.
How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For your Kids is just that. Rachael Carman is a real mom. Yes, she is also the wife of the President of Apologia. But, don’t let that get in the way of the fact that she does not ‘wear that title’. She gracefully and lovingly shares her story of how she was pulled kicking and screaming into homeschooling.
How through homeschooling, God has radically changed her life and her H.E.A.R.T
So, why do I keep writing H.E.A.R.T. instead of Heart? Because this sweet, easy to read book…is written on in Chapters that begin with an acrostic that helps us remember that we are not just here to educate our children…but to get to know their hearts and help the Heavenly Father reach into their hearts and love them!!! Each chapter also begins with one or more Bible verses and they end with a Heart Checkup (questions that help you draw your heart into what Rachael is explaining…and closer to God).
So, what is the acrostic? Here goes! I am including a few ‘nuggets’ of Rachael’s wisdom for each:
H – Have a Heart for the Things of God: Jeremiah 29:13 ”You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
- “In order to reach the hearts of your kids, you must first have a heart for the things of God. If you want to direct your kids on a course of seeking and desiring God above all else, if you want them to worship Him alone, if you want them to obey His call on their lives, then you must set a clear example of seeking, desiring, worshiping, and obeying Him. It starts with the parents.” (pg 31)
E – Enrich Your Marriage: Song of Solomon 2:13 “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
- “We must strive to consciously and intentionally enrich our marriages. We must be investing in the relationship with our spouses. Our children desperately need us to do this.” (pg 63)
A – Accept Your Kids: Phil. 1:4-6 ”In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
- “Genuine acceptance of our kids means a radical change of perspective-a paradigm shift. It means seeing our children as gift from the hand of the living God. It means realizing these kids were not sent by God to drive us crazy. Isn’t that good news?” (pg. 100)
R – Release Them to God: Psalm 127:3-5 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.”
- “These kids we refer to as ours are not ours. They are His. God has graciously loaned them to you and me at this time for His glory. Let that soak in for a moment: Your children are not yours. Initially, this can be a terrifying thought, but I believe it is ultimately liberating. It’s a simple truth, but a difficult one: They are His, and He has assigned each child specifically to you and your family for the purpose of living and acting according to His perfect plan.” (pg 121-122)
T – Teach Them the Truth: Deut 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.”
- “Our culture is so full of lies that it’s difficult to know where to start listing them. Today’s lies have graduated to respectability, having worked their way up through the ranks of ‘make-believe’ and ‘funny stories.’ Not only are they now acceptable in our culture, but they’re even considered reasonable, legitimate, common knowledge. These lies are no longer in stealth mode, they are overt, in your face, confrontational, daring us to speak out publicly or resist their further advancement. Meanwhile, they are redecorating our textbooks, our history, our heritage. (paraphrase from pgs 151-152)
- Today’s culture embraces the idea of ‘relative truth.’ This is the idea that truth changes from person to person, moment to moment, day to day, and situation to situation. But God’s Word teaches us that there is a truth that is foundational, a truth we can depend on and build our lives on.” (pg 158)
I recently attended a luncheon hosted by Apologia Live to discuss their upcoming Homeschool Moms retreat and was blessed with meeting Rachael. When I saw her name tag, I recognized it, but, was afraid to speak up. (remember, I’m an extroverted introvert) However, as she spoke about the retreat and mentioned her book, I knew that God had opened that door. I mean, come on -how on earth would I have the opportunity to meet these amazing women at Apologia, have a wonderful lunch with them and meet the author of a book that I keep beside my keyboard? I shared with Rachael how her book impacted me. How it was so great to read a book by a real Mom….who shared some of the same struggles I had….and how she shared God’s grace and love!
And…Of course, I had to take a picture.
So- this is what I think about this book: I.THINK.EVERY.HOMESCHOOL.MOM.SHOULD.HAVE.THIS.BOOK.
It will help you ground yourself in your marriage, remember why you homeschool and encourage your days!
You can find other inspirational reads for a homeschool family at Apologia Press: Educating The WholeHearted Child, The Ultimate Guide To Homeschooling, Good Morning, God and Coloring Book and many more!
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, as a member of The Old School House Crew. No other compensation was received.
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