**Closed, winner will be drawn shortly!**

Hello my bloggy peeps! Come in and sit a spell, I have someone I want you to meet. (And there’s a giveaway at the end of this, so you’d better not scurry off too fast!)

This week the Apologia media team has paired twelve homeschooling bloggers with twelve homeschooling authors for a great big Apologia Meet & Greet Blog Hop. One of the best things about talking with Apologia over the past couple of months is that I’ve had the opportunity to step outside of my tiny little homeschool bubble and discover some really great homeschool authors and speakers. I know, I know.. and I’ve been homeschooling for how long now?? But I digress.

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Clay Clarkson, husband to author Sally Clarkson, and co-author of Educating the Wholehearted Child. I had the opportunity to interview Clay (via email) and now I have the joy of sharing his answers with YOU!

And now, join me in “welcoming” Mr. Clarkson to my little blog:

First, let me say thank you to Clay for taking the time to answer my questions, and to Michelle with Apologia for setting it up. We’re all very busy and I know you two are also, so thank you for your time.

Clay, tell me, how did you and your wife decide/feel led to homeschool your children?

Our journey into a life of homeschooling was less about home education,and more about home discipleship. Sally and I both served on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ after college so we came to marriage in 1981 with strong values for building disciples. Around 1983, I read an article during my studies at Denver Seminary about “homeschooling at the kitchen table” and brought it home to share with Sally. It was our first exposure to the movement, and we both knew nearly instantly and intuitively that it would be the lifestyle we wanted for our children. It would go against the grain of our family and friends, but we felt it was a movement of God for the discipleship of children. We were “in” before we even had a child to be in it with!

What role(s) have you taken in the education of your children at home?

It would be another five years after we decided to homeschool until we actually began to formally homeschool. Sally read most of Dr. Raymond Moore’s books, and we read others by new Christian homeschoolers rapidly emerging onto the scene. Although I was initially in a default classroom mentality that thought there should be measurability and paper trails, the more we talked the more we realized that the institutional school was not the paradigm for homeschooling. We realized that God had created only one institution for the education of children—the family and the home—and that’s where we needed to start. If the home was God’s design, then learning in it should happen as naturally as living in it. Out of that thinking, the WholeHearted Learning model of home education emerged as the fullest expression of a biblical home. As a father, I was involved in the life of the home whenever I was there. It wasn’t about formal roles, but about natural relationships. The best way to know how I was actually involved in our home is to read the book.

How would you sum up the main message of “Educating the Wholehearted Child” in one or two sentences?

Educating the WholeHearted Child is a faith-shaped, God-centered, biblically-informed, Spirit-led, commonsense way for committed Christian parent to nurture, disciple, and educate the children God has entrusted to them in their own home. Those parenting ideals are not idealistic but are easily and naturally attainable through real books, real life, and real relationships. My book is a call to understand that without a “Christian home” there is no Christian home education. My book begins with a wholehearted Christian home, and ends with a wholehearted Christian child.

If a homeschool mom already has the original edition of “Educating the Wholehearted Child,” should they ‘upgrade’ to the newer Third Edition and why?

I can answer with complete integrity and confidence—absolutely, unequivocally, undeniably, unapologetically…YES! I don’t say that just to sell books. I say that because the new third edition of Educating the WholeHearted Child is everything the book should have been in its earlier incarnation, but could not have been because the book had not written me yet. As I finished this book, we graduated our fourth and final homeschooled child. I have said all that I can say, and I believe it is now the WHOLE WholeHearted Child book. There is an additional 15 years of experience, insight, shaping, and learning that is in this final version. It is 128 pages longer (50% longer than the 1996 version), completely reorganized, extensively revised and updated, with a new book list and new planning forms. It is not just a renewed book, it is a new book. It also got a total makeover in the interior layout to make it easier to read, and a new beautiful cover. I am thankful for how God used the previous edition, but I want to be remembered for the new edition. It says it all.

Clay is the Executive Director of WHM. He accepted Christ at a Campus Crusade for Christ event at the University of Texas and joined the staff of the ministry upon graduation in 1975. He married Sally in 1981. For the first 12 years of marriage, Clay ministered as a worship leader, single adults pastor, and adult ministries pastor with churches in Austria, California, and Tennessee. He moved back to Texas in 1993 to begin Whole Heart Ministries in an old farmhouse on family property in central Texas. In the spring of 1999, Clay was able to move his family back to Colorado, where their life as a family began.


And now it’s time to give away a copy of this book to one blessed blog reader!


Now, I have had the opportunity to hold this book in my hands, look through it, and start reading it. I say “start” reading it because quite simply, this book is HUGE! It is CHOCK. FULL. of goodness. Here’s an excerpt from the book description on their site:

The WholeHearted Learning model of Christian home education presented in this book is a comprehensive, uncomplicated, commonsense, biblical approach to homeschooling that integrates all required areas of study for children aged 4-14. It shows you how to use real books, real life, and real relationships to liberate learning in your home from the tyranny of textbooks, the grip of curriculum, and the rigid rule of school.

After only a few pages I thought to myself, “No, I’m going to need a highlighter for this!” So I started over and started highlighting things that stood out to me. In fact, my “you don’t write in books”  husband looked over at the page and gasped when he saw how much highlighter yellow was on the page. ;0) I have flipped ahead and scanned through the rest of the book and I can tell the whole thing is going to be good. I eagerly anticipate reading through each and every chapter. I want to go ahead and share with you a few quotes from the book, some of the things I’ve already highlighted.

Men designed schools, but God designed the home. p.13

Your home can and should be a warm, vibrant place where your children love to learn as freely and as naturally as they love to play. In fact, education should be the natural activity of every Christian home. p.14

…home education is not our primary goal–home nurture and discipleship are, and home education is simply the natural extension of those biblical priorities. p.14

Children made in God’s image are prewired to be intelligent, creative, and curious. No matter what you do (or don’t do!), God has already put within your children to question, explore, discover, and learn. p.15

A Christian home is never defined by what the children are doing; it is defined by what the parents are doing. p. 20

Rather than being the discovery of something new, we saw homeschooling as the recovery of something old–the recovery of the biblical home as God had designed it to be his primary institution for spreading righteousness from one generation to the next. p.22

You can get just a taste of what you’ll find when reading this book, and you can also see by the page numbers, just how well-stocked this book is. And that’s just from the first chapter! I’m several chapters in already. No fluff and stuff here. Deep, real, wisdom.

AND here’s how I am going to GIVE AWAY one copy of Educating the Wholehearted Child to one of my readers. DO YOU WANT ONE??

Here’s what you need to do, I’ll keep it simple.

1. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post. If you own this book or the original edition, tell me one of your favorite quotes from the book, or something valuable you learned from reading it. If you have never read this book, leave me any other quote or piece of wisdom that has helped shape the way you teach your children at home. If you don’t homeschool and are trying to win this for a friend, or any other reason, just leave me a comment tell me why you want to win this.

2. Comments will be closed at midnight, central time, Friday, August 26, 2011. One random winner will be drawn and notified by email.

3.Giveaway is only open to U.S. participants. (I am so very sorry! Legalese and all that.) =(


Click here to go back to the Hop and see ALL the authors and bloggers in Meet and Greet Blog Hop.

Click here to visit Clay & Sally’s website, Whole Heart Ministries.

Click here to visit Classic Housewife on Facebook, to subscribe to Classic Housewife via RSS or subscribe via email, or to follow on Twitter.

Thank you for joining me and don’t forget to stop by the Blog Hop to meet all of the other authors.

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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!