Monday, August 29, 2011

TOS Review: How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids

Have you ever come across an answer to prayer that you didnt even know you were praying for? Have you ever received an answer to a question that was so deep that you hadnt quite been able to to even ask? This is exactly what happened to me when I first heard about the book, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids, by Rachel Carman.

When I first heard about this book, my answer was the same as most other 'adult books.' I dont read books. I know, some of you avid book readers are asking how on earth that can be. I just dont have time! I read blogs, I read magazines, I read children's books to my kids. I dont have a lot of uninterrupted time to focus on a complete book, and I hate to be interrupted because-ironically-I LOVE reading. I just hate reading three pages only to come back 3 days later and not remember what the 3 pages were about and having to start over again. Unless, however, the book is about to change my life.

The introduction of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids by Rachel Carman is online. In fact, you can read it here: To see if I would be interested in reading the book, I read the introduction. To my complete surprise, within just a few pages-I was crying. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I realized that God was speaking to me through Mrs. Carman. Telling me things I didnt know I needed to hear, telling me in such a way that it went straight to MY heart.

Rachel Carman had never intended to homeschool her children. She counted down the days until her children were on the big yellow bus, headed to the great world of school, and she was handed her ticket to freedom. Her ticket to hours each day that she could pursue the job she had left behind to become a stay-at-home-mom. When the big yellow bus repeatedly left her son at the WRONG HOUSE, the wheels were set in motion to change Mrs. Carman's life forever.

Our stories are not the same, our reasons for homeschooling are not the same, honestly very little about how we 'started' homeschooling is the same, but yet our hearts had found the same place.

I love homeschooling. I love the books, the pencils, the planning, the organizing, the manipulatives, the pretty school room, the crafts, the curriculum....notice something missing? Yeah, I didnt. Not until I started to read How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids, did I realize that I love everything ABOUT homeschooling, but had somehow left my kids out of the list.

Does this mean I dont love my kids? No. But it does mean that my motives for homeschooling had slowly changed over the last few years-or maybe they were never right to begin with. My husband had told me a few weeks before that homeschooling isnt everything. I didnt understand this statement because I had always heard that homeschooling is a lifestyle. What he meant is that I had made 'homeschooling' into its own separate 'thing.' It took lots of time and energy and had slowly become my focus instead of my children and family. My heart had not been for my kids, it had been for an activity that involved my kids. But, these are not the same thing.

God sent How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids into my life at just the right time. He helped me, through Rachel Carman, to realize my heart problem. Through her compelling and challenging words, Mrs. Carman has given me ways to change my focus and begin making my children my focus again. She uses scripture, humor, and great life examples that kept me entertained enough to stay up past my children's bedtimes and read this book.

I think that every homeschooling mother needs to read this book. Even non-homeschooling moms could benefit greatly from How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids. It is too easy to lose our focus and chase rabbit trails in our attempt to be the perfect teachers and mothers. The most important part of motherhood is loving your kids, plain and simple. And, if your heart isnt in the right place, things tend to fall apart.

How to Have a H.E.A.R.T for Your Kids is written by Rachel Carman and published by Apologia Educational Ministries, Inc. It currently retails for just 13.00. She and her husband, Davis, own Apologia. Yes, the mother who didnt want to homeschool now owns a homeschool publishing company-doesnt God have a sense of humor? I HIGHLY recommend making this book a part of your homeschool library, I think you'll be glad you did.

You can read more reviews for this book by checking out the TOS Crew Blog.

I am part of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Review team. Thank you to Apologia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.


learning table said...

What a great review! I am going to put this book on my wish list--it sounds good. I know what you mean about finding the time to read for "me." It doesn't seem to get any easier, but I know I'll have time to read when my kids are grown.

Mama Bird said...

That looks really good, I would love to read it sometime for myself. I will also tell my nieghbor about this book, she just stared homeschooling this year and never wanted to but couldnt afford to send her kids to christian schools anymore. This may really help her.Unfortunately if the library doesn't carry it I won't read it only because we are on such a tight budget. Maybe by divine intervention this book will end up in my hand sometime soon. Great review thanks for sharing.

Sweetpeas said...

Great review, I'm adding this book to my wish list!