"Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, a Life."

EWHC Study Guide


This page is the study guides written for our Charlotte Mason group's recent study through the Clarkson's book, "Educating the Whole Hearted Child". Several people contributed to the writing, so please consider each chapter as the copyrighted work of that individual. Please ask for permission before copying, publishing, or extensively quoting. Notice that after the first two chapters, the revised version contains much more material and the chapters are numbered differently. This guide may be used with either edition.

 If you don't have a copy you can order one for $20.95 plus $4.00 S&H from :
Whole Heart Ministries PO Box 228 Walnut Springs, TX 76690
1-254-797-2142. (M-TH, 10 AM-4 PM CST)
Whole Heart Ministry website

email them at: WHM


 First, a comparison of the chapters in the two editions.

Original Edition
> Chapter one-Home Education and You .. it's the Right Thing to do
> Chapter two-Discipleship and Education..You Start with the Heart
> Chapter three-Learning and Life..You Center on Your Home
> Chapter four-Learning and Methods..You work on your teaching
> Chapter five-Learning and Personality..You focus on your child
> Chapter six-Planning and Organization..You Set up your systems
> Chapter seven-Lifestyle and Creativity...You find your way
> chapter eight-Resources and Support...You Reinforce your resolve

1998 Revised Edition

1 Home Education...A Step of Faith Toward Home

It's the right thing to do/ be sure you have counted the cost/ be sure it
is Gods will for your family/ be confident as a home-educating family/ be
ready to live by faith

2 Discipleship...Strengthening your Child's Heart

Shaping your child's heart to live for God/ Five heartbeats of
discipleship/ it all starts in your heart

3 Education... Strengthening your child's mind

strengthening your child's mind to live for God/ building mental muscles/
you set the pace for learning

4 Teaching Models... learning at Home, Naturally

home centered learning- giving your child a designer education/ Schools of
home schooling/ home centered learning- ten distinctives for home
education/ the home centered learning model/ setting up your house for home
centered learning/ selecting the best materials

5 Teaching Methods...Instructing your Child

making methods work for you/thinking about methods/ home centered learning

6 Learning styles... Understanding your Child

Personality and learning styles/ the reality of personality/ the reality of
learning styles/ learning style and personality type indicator

7 Home Management... Getting it together

Keeping it all together.. all the time/ he science of home management/ the
routine ups and downs of home life/ three sources of stress in home
management/home management "by the box"/home management and parenting

8 Lifestyle...Making it Work

Mother- the heartbeat of your home/ know your purpose/ know your
priorities/ know your plans/ know your principles/know your personality/
know your breaking point/ know your provider

9 Support... Keeping it Going

What you see is what you'll get/ Get with the program, Dad!/ Get in the
homeschool network/ get on the right mailing lists/ Get out the books/ Get
off to a good Start/ Get your heart right before God

Home School Directory
Home Education Resources
Our Family's Favorite Books
Home Education Planning Forms
and information on their newsletter- the whole Hearted Mother. Over 200
pages in all.



Study Guides



Introduction/ Chapter One

Originally from: "Harold and Cindy Rushton" 
Originally dated: Sun, 14 Dec 1997 22:26:52 +0500

Alas...Alas!  It is now time to jump into Educating the Wholehearted
Child!!  I am going to begin today by assigning the first chapter for you
all to read in the next day or two!  Please share any favorite quotes,
ideas, or your own input!  I do expect you all to join in and keep this
great conversation going(this is not to interrupt the conversation on the
articles...just to keep us studying!)!  I will not post my post until all
of you star students get yours in! hehe!  Lynn, you be quiet too!  That
will make them get busy! :-)

I will share a little on my background with Educating the Wholehearted
Child and the Clarkson's.  The Clarkson's are a homeschooling family living
in the grand state of Texas!  They are co-authors, publishers, and
homeschooling parents.  We were so blessed in North Alabama to have Sally
speak here 1 1/2 years ago.  I was personally challenged by her maturity
and godliness.  If you want to turn green with envy, I was able to have
dinner with her with other support group leaders of North Alabama the night
before the workshop.  Her casual, down-to-earth manner drew me to her
wisdom which is barely tapped in the book.  I came to that weekend rather
weary, but Sally was able to share wisdom that fueled me up and fired me
back up to minister to families!  That is exactly what this book will do
for you!  They also do workshops around the country...you will not want to
miss them!  I have her Wholehearted Mother Workshop which would also bless
you all!  For any of you wanting to request their catalog with wonderful
products by them and also lots of awesome read alouds that are all
gorgeous!, order any of their products, or to get their speaking schedule, 
just call 1-817-797-2142.    

Now about the book...I found their book the first year it came out!  This
book is exactly what I would write on homeschooling!  Clay and Sally have
tied in the best approach to homeschooling (OK, I *am*
prejudiced!!!!!!!!!!!) with the Biblical Mandates which helped to develop
this approach!  If you do not know why you are homeschooling, you will very
soon!  We will be studying through the Scriptural basis of homeschooling,
discipleship of our treasures, how to encourage our children to really
learn, the models for learning, teaching methods, learning styles, home
management, lifestyle of the Christian homeschool, and how to get support! 
This will be a great study through the one book that all homeschoolers, not
just Charlotte Mason moms, should read!  Not to mention, we will be
studying it together...so the discussion will be awesome!  Well, go curl up
and get inspired so you can come back and bless us!  

Love IN Christ, 
Cindy Rushton; Tuscumbia, Alabama

"And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work
with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward
them that are without, and that ye may lack nothing." 1 Thess. 4: 11-12


December 28, 1997

Educating the Whole Hearted Child, Chapter two: Discipleship and Education - Study by Robin Poppy

This is a real "meaty" chapter so please feel free to jump in with your
comments and discussion.  

1.) We can't teach our children without discipline.  
        Proverbs 1:1-7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but
fools despise wisdom and discipline.

2.) Shaping our Child's heart:  How do we do that?!?
        A.) Discipline, without this there is no training.
My question to you is:  What is discipline and how do YOU use it?
        B.) Influences
                        "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."
Prov. 4:23

(Notice how most of these verses are from Proverbs??  very interesting...

My questions to you are:  How do you guard your children (and yourself)
from unwise relationships?  How do you KNOW when your children are becoming
involved with someone who is a _fool, unbeliever, immoral, or a false
teacher_??  What about unbelievers within your extended family??  

Do we protect our children from television, movies, bad music (classical is
ok :) magazines and the 'net??

I think those questions and the discussions I'm hoping they will start are
enough for now.  Please remember NO FLAMES, this is a Christian, loving list.

My answers to the above:

I'm still working on the discipline thing at my house, this chapter really
hit me over the head!  I have a problem realizing what is blatent
disobedience and what is normal kid-type behavior.  Usually I let things
build up until I blow a gasket and we have a few days of great behavior.  I
need to be more consistant and diligent about what is acceptable and
unacceptable behavior.

The influences are easier because my children are the only children on our
street and we live way out in the country.  My biggest problem is an uncle
who is proud of being rude, obnoxious and crass with my children around.
They see very little of him NOW that I've realized it was his bad behavior
influencing them.  He is an adult too, which makes it worse!

We do not own a tv, they only listen to Christian praise music or Classical
and we don't go see movies.  Am I sheltering my children?  Yes, God tells
me to.  I don't want them to be the ungodly, abusive, un-thinking children
we occasionally come into contact with (usually at a birthday party for
another homeschooled child)  

Ok, let's here your comments and Monday night I will post the rest of the
chapter questions.  (If the ape at the zoo doesn't keep me :)

Robin Poppy

Chapter 2 Part 2

We've pretty much discussed the OUTSIDE influences on our children and
homeschools, now let's get to the real influence:  The Heart- ours and
theirs!  The INSIDE influences.

Mrs. Clarkson uses an acronym to explain/suggest training our children

G=Grace  the desire to relate personally to God and people
I=Inspiration  the desire/ability to view life "through God's eyes"
F=Faith  desire/ability to study and apply God's word to all areas
T=Training  desire/ability to grow in Christian maturity through

S=Service  desire/ability to minister God's love to the needs of others

Each of these has suggestions for training, instruction and modeling.  I'm
not going to go into each little thing or we'll be here till the cows come
home :)  Each of us has our own way of doing things in our particular homes
and we praise God for people like the Clarkston's who share of themselves
so willingly.  If you would like to share how your family lives these
things... feel free!  :D

Education~ Feeding your Child's Mind

I have a personal saying that my children are apt to tell people if someone
wants them to watch or listen to something they know I would not allow:
"Garbage in -- garbage out"  

In this section we find and learn that education does not stop just because
class is over.  "Education is a life" said Cmason.  Within this "education"
are several things that must be addressed or we have failed at being
educators (educated).

1) Language: being able to communicate whether oral or written.
2) Will:  being able to choose right from wrong and/or "must I?, I must".
3) Reason: being able to think logically (to persuade between good and bad)
4) Conscience:  the power of PERSONAL conviction.  This too can be trained
for good/evil.

I personally know people who have never learned any of the four above
points.  They are very sad-indeed, no job, no family, no future.  What it
boils down to is Jesus.  Do we know Jesus, are we willing to allow the Holy
Spirit to guide us and grow us??  Do we allow our children to reason God
out of their lives (public school)?  No, we don't if we are homeschooling
for Godly reasons.  But have we allowed God to have His will and way in our

Next we must work on HABITS:  Someone said that habits can be changed in 21
days.  Also, habits can be as weak as a spider's web or as strong as a
spider's web.  (I don't recall where I read that or I would cite the source)

ATTENTION:  How do we teach attention to our children?  Narration?
Speaking only once instead of five or six times??  What about our own habit
of attention?  Do we look our children in the eyes when they speak to us?
Do we get down on their level to tell them something?

EXCELLENCE:  Do we expect the best from ourselves and children?  Do we
excuse poor workmanship?  Do we praise good work?  Think about this:  If we
were building a house, would we pay the contractor if he left holes in the
roof, or forgot the carpeting??  We can't hold others up to standards
higher than we would hold ourselves to.

ORDERLINESS/NEATNESS: Are we sloppy?  Do we allow our children to be
sloppy?  God made everything in order, there is an order to our world.
Everything needs to have a place and everything in it's place.  De-clutter,
organize, toss out, have a garage sale...Read a few of Don Aslett's books.
Do we pile or file??

TRUTHFULNESS:  Do you always tell the truth?  What about little white lies?
 How can your child trust God if he/she learns they can't trust you?  

Personal story:  This Christmas my brother in law gave me a gift I didn't
want, need or could use. It was a table he had made and painted/varnished.
(an angel table, his wife is on the verge of worshipping angels) I thought
it was the ugliest thing... plus the varnish was giving me a migraine.
Well, I gave it to my step mother because no one had given her a gift.  (we
gave her photos of our children)  I started to write and send my brother in
law a Thank you note.  After reading it aloud to my dh, my daughter said:
"you can't send that, it's a lie!"  I wasn't thankful for the gift and I
didn't like it much.  (I did say that I had given it to my mother.)  Well,
I tossed that note in the trash and asked forgiveness to God and my
children.  We figured no note was better than sending a lie. This was a
HARD lesson for me to learn especially in front of my children.
(I don't make lying a habit, I just didn't want to have hurt feelings in
the family.)

SELF-CONTROL: Doing something even when you don't want to do it.  What
about those thankless tasks that no one else can do....??  Do we have/teach
the ability to govern our inner selves??  

All of this starts in our hearts.  We can't teach what we don't know.  (I'm
talking heart issues, not school subjects.)

Deuteronomy 6:1-9
2 Peter 1:3-11

Sally gives us two more acronyms to help us remember Christian character
and values:

S=Self discipline

E=Eternal perspective

How we practice and integrate these things into our hearts and lives can
only be done by the Living God.  We cannot become more like Jesus without
Jesus.  I've learned in my life that I can't put God up on the shelf to
dust Him off when I need something.  I'm a Christian (Christ-like) and I
need Jesus (Holy Spirit) on a daily, minute by minute basis to help me

Until next time,
Robin Poppy


Chapter 3 (Revised Edition only)

Originally dated: Sun, 3 May 1998 15:37:21 -0500

Good Morning Dearies!

Today we begin our new chapter in Educating the Wholehearted Child by Clay
and Sally Clarkson!  For those of you new, we are going back to Chapter 3
today to study the last chapter in the book!  It has been so much fun...I
have gleaned lots!  Even if you do not have the book, just jump in on these
discussion questions because we want to know all! ;-)

Education...Strengthening Your Child's Mind

This chapter sparked some thoughts on the great work of Charlotte Mason...

Well, I guess here that my post last night of my workshop notes was pretty
applicable!  The learning process is so vital to learning!  The process
includes taking in information, processing that information by thinking it
out and questioning that information and discerning truth from error, and
then communicating that knowledge in some form or another.  Yes, the
problems that we are trying to remedy by homeschooling are caused by this
process being shortened in favor of the student just spitting out the
information!  As the process is shortening, learning is
shortening...retention is shortened...the mind is dulled...the interest of
the student is lost...and thinking/discernment is non-existent!  This is
what Charlotte Mason wanted to get away from in teaching children!  

Charlotte Mason worked with Parents and Teachers to simplify learning so
that children were truly able to strengthen and develop their minds!  She
shortened the lessons to 15-20 minutes (in skills...Copywork, Math,
Dictation, Phonics, Language Studies) for the very young so that their
minds would stay fresh and attentive and so that they would strive for
excellence in their work! She allowed their afternoons to be free to
explore nature, PLAY, develop interests, enjoy their fathers, do real work,
and get into real life!  Charlotte Advocated that  children be given time
in real books so that they could develop relationships with characters,
time periods, and authors.  Not only did her students read whole books to
give them more time taking in information, but they also were asked to
narrate back information so that they would make the information
complete...using their own minds to communicate back the information while
using their own words (some of which were new because they picked up new
and unique vocabulary in their reading!) and using a story
line/characters/plot provided!  They were able to make the story come alive
to stay in their mind!  Thus, having a process of learning that aided real

Charlotte Mason wanted for all children to be given time for the
beautiful...poetry, fine art, and classical music!  She used poetry for
Copywork, memorization, and recitation.  By doing this, she allowed the
child to get closer to the hearts of other humans!  She introduced all her
students to the great art of history, letting them have time to enjoy the
art prints much as they would their special reading books!  All of her
students were given the beautiful music of the great composers so they
could develop relationships with all the beautiful, uplifting, and
inspirational things in our lives!

Although the days of Charlotte Mason's students were filled with lots of
ideas from all areas of learning, they were still limited to the morning
hours so that children could be children!  Charlotte new that children
needed a full life and that is what she sought to give them!  Because of
her views of giving the children the best, she gave her students plenty of
time to learn about nature.  They did nature walks all year round, studied
the creations of God, and worked on their very own Nature Notebooks.  As
they went along, her students learned to be attentive to the even the small
things of beauty around them while developing the discipline of

Charlotte's focus was not on test scores...as matter of fact, Charlotte did
not even use artificial means of motivation such as grades, stickers,
awards.  Instead she motivated them from their soul with admiration of
them, faith in them, and love for them!  

Her learning tools where not flashy.  She simply used a good does of
discipline for the student, an atmosphere of learning, and real life!

This chapter is also the heart of learning Charlotte Mason style.  The
following questions are to further develop and share our ideas on
strengthening the minds of our children...

In this chapter, they share that in order to strengthen the mind of your
children you must build their mental muscles... (remember as you comment to
change your subject heading to let us know what specific area you are

How are you instilling habit in your home?  What helps you instill
Attention/Concentration, Excellence, Orderliness/Neatness, Truthfulness,
Self-control, Diligence?  Yes, ALL of these ARE habits that we need to
develop...how do you do it??

How do you encourage the development of an appetite for beautiful
literature, Living Books, Fine Art,  Excellent Music, and Decent

How do you encourage language development in your home...great discussions,
a "print-rich environment," reading, writing, limiting Television and video

How are you building the mental muscle of creativity in your home? Which
tools are you using?  How do you encourage them to use their free time? How
do you develop their REAL imagination...not that which comes from TV??  How
do you guide your children to express their creativity in different areas
of their interest?  How are you modeling creativity?

What about curiosity?  how do you develop their curiosity while teaching
them to discern?  Which resources do you use?  how do you direct their
studies to areas of special interest?  How do you use field trips or
influences of others to answer those questions?

Reasoning Skills...how are you training your children to dialogue, problem
solving, develop opinions, and thinking skills?

how are you developing their muscle for wisdom?  What is important in
teaching Discernment and  Understanding?  How do you encourage your
children to be around wise people, to pray, and to become a good steward?

This chapter is ended by challenging us to set the pace for learning
ourselves!  Yes, it is easier for the children to catch something you
really do, than to learn something you simply say!  How are you developing
your own muscles in the areas of habits, appetites, language skills,
creativity, curiosity, reason, and wisdom??

Well ladies, jump on in!  I am really excited to hear your comments!  

Love IN Christ!
Cindy Rushton
Tuscumbia, Alabama



January 12, 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child: Teaching Models...Learning at Home, Naturally
Chapter 3 in original edition, Chapter 4 in Revised Edition.

The first part of Chapter 3(4) lists different approaches to
homeschooling.  We have already covered this and are continuing
with the same chapter through February 8.

Questions on Chapter 4...Teaching Models...Learning at Home, Naturally

I will skip the discussion of the different approaches!  Plus, I think that
you all have a pretty good idea of the basics of the Charlotte Mason
Method.  Let's look at how each of you are implementing the approach in
your homes to make learning natural!

The Elements of a Home-Centered Learning Model...How have you worked these
elements into your homeschool??  What about into your daily life??  How
does this affect the atmosphere of your home?  How does this affect your
goals?  How does this affect your priorities?

The Model for Home-Centered Learning...On pages 66-72, we learn about a
model for Home-Centered Learning!  This model has neat ideas for
implementing these elements into our daily lives.  Describe "Your Day" and
how you are working in some of these elements.  

Your Home...How have you set up your home for learning to take place at all
times?  Do you have a learning room or are you like me with a whole
learning home??  Describe it??  What about Discovery Corners...what
learning activities are available to encourage your little ones to learn at
all times?  What about your home library...how are you organizing it...how
are you building it...tips?  How have you created a learning environment in
your home?  How do you document learning such as this for reporting...if
you are required to report it to a cover or the state??

Let's discuss Living books...How do you define a living book?  Where do you
find ideas for great books?  How do you judge/discern books which are not
best for your family?   

Curriculum...It is going to soon be curriculum fair season!  ALREADY!  What
are some tips from you old timers for how to choose curriculum?  What are
some tips for how to attend book fairs...conventions??  Discuss Convention

Supplies for the perfect homeschool...Ok, we know you cannot homeschool
without binders! :-)  I have now been named the binder queen...deservingly
I must say!  What are some other essentials that you all think we all need
for the perfect homeschool?  I know bookshelves rather than minks are the
dream of all "true-whole book" moms, but what else can we NOT live without?
 Give tips for implementing these ideas??

This should keep you all busy!  Just reply on one question at a time and
don't forget to change your subject heading for us to file it in our
"binders" easier! hehe!  Go girls...and guys!

Love, Cindy...your co-mama who is now going to step off her podium and give
all of you a chance to jump in!



February 9, 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child: Teaching Methods
Chapter 4 Original, 5 in Revised Editions.

This chapter is a continuation of the previous chapter but really
getting into the nitty gritty of teaching each of the subjects Charlotte
Mason style!  Now, you all jump in and share how you do what you do in your
home!  We do not want a lot of chit chat about curriculum...it will suffice
to share what you like and why...all other discussion can be OFF the list! 
Deal?  Now, here are some questions to get you going...keep in mind that
when you reply to change your subject heading to the exact topic you are
answering for all of us keeping notebooks!!  Also keep in mind to make sure
that you do not send attachments or signatures on any replies! :-)

What are you doing with your Discipleship Studies?  How do you encourage
and teach your children to study the Bible/Devotions/Quiet Times?  Any tips
for family worship?  Any tips for journaling during their studies?  Any
favorite resources?  What are some ways that you are discipling your
children for worship at church??  Any ideas for training your children in
the services?  I know this one will bring you lurkers out! ;-)

Disciplined Studies...Ok, you moms who have plodded through Phonics...Give
us your tips!  Any favorite Curriculum that is truly Charlotte Mason
style??  Let's not get off on CURRICULUM...just share what works and why! 
Any questions that are more detailed can be OFF the list! ;-)  What about
encouraging reading in your home?  How have you specifically encouraged
reading with your little ones?  What are your standards for choosing books?
 Language...Let's discuss what you are doing in the area of narrations,
notebooks, Copywork, dictation, and creative writing...again, let's not get
distracted discussing curriculum...if you want to share a resource, then
share what you like and why...all details more than that need to be OFF the
list!  Math...hum...any tips on those tough areas?  How did you get through
Multiplication, Division, etc.!  If you have a curriculum or resources that
you especially like...again share and tell why briefly...any questions can
be taken OFF list!  

Discussion Studies...
Family Reading...Share what your benefits of Family Reading have been??? 
This should be interesting!  Also, share what you have done to set aside
enough time to read aloud...how you choose your books to read aloud...which
resources help you choose books (in the book they suggest Books Children
Love, Honey for a Child's Heart, A Family Program for Reading Aloud, Read
Aloud Handbook, Books that Build Character).  Share what incentives
encourage your reluctant readers!  Share  what you do to encourage your
children to develop their listening skills...especially those of you with
little interrupters!  Share any great books on tape that you have enjoyed! 
Share why you read to your readers...especially those of you with OLDER
CHILDREN!  Any ideas or neat sites on the web?  
Narration...We will skip narration since we just discussed that unless any
of you have anything more to share!  
History...which read alouds/tapes/videos/ speakers/field trips are your
favorite?  Any ideas for any that we might want to hunt down??  What about
period clothing?  Do you have any ideas for the non-sewing moms...or any
great resources for costumes?  What are you doing for your time lines?  Any
ideas of great web sites for us to check out??
Church History...What are you doing here for read alouds or study
materials?  Just list your favorites...if anyone has questions, then they
can contact you OFF the list!  Any ideas of web sites?
Family History...Anybody dug into your family history?  Want to share your
Geography...What are you doing for this area?  If you have any great
resources...share and tell why...again any questions from anyone can be
answered off the list!  What are some ideas for teaching Geography
Fine Arts...this is a repeat but dig in and share what you like to
use for Art, Music, and Poetry and why you like to use it!  Any great tips
are more than welcome!  Any neat web sites are welcome!
Context Studies/Unit Studies...share any studies that you may have created
and enjoyed with your family!  How do you create your own studies?  
Memorization and Recitation...go ahead and share on this one!  Any ideas? 
Any tricks of the trade?
Speaking and Presentation...How are you all training your children
practically in this area?  Any support group ideas?  Any tips by any of you
Storytelling...What about it here?  How are you all documenting any
storytelling...taping it?  Dictation?  Writing?  SHARE ALL!
Asking Questions...How are you encouraging your children to ask good
questions AND answer questions thoughtfully?

Discovery Studies...OK, let's turn you all loose on sharing what encourages
your little ones in the area of the creative arts??  What are you doing to
encourage your children to draw and color and paint??  Any ideas for
dummies (me!) who are wanting to teach their own children but do not know
how??  What are you doing to encourage your children to play creatively?? 
What about Nature Studies...isn't that the topic now??  Jump in and share
what you do or hope to do this spring...field trips, hikes in your area,
web sites, resources!  How are you teaching hands on for science? Any
suggestions for us book worms who would love to be more hands on??  What
about Creation Science?  Any ideas...favorite resources?  What about
computer time??  What are some of your favorite programs for your
children...their favorite web sites...any curriculum or classes on the

Discretionary Studies... Are any of you doing a home business...ministry? 
How do you balance the demands?  How do you use that experience to teach
your children?  What about homemaking?  How are you training your children
to do homemaking?  What about finances?  Any ideas for training these
future millionaires?  Field trips...list your favorite ideas for field
trips??  Library...give suggestions for cultivating the relationships with
your librarians...how do you use your library to the max...how do you keep
up with all those library treasures??  Multilevel teaching...how do you
balance all the ages of your children?  Give all those great suggestions! 
What about home workshops, study groups, lessons, and traveling?  How are
you creating balance/how do you choose what to do with so many options?? 
Sensory teaching aids...how do you appeal to your child's senses while
teaching?  How do you hook them??  One last question...what do you do about
scope and sequence?  Grades?  Achievement tests?

OK, you guys...there is plenty to discuss from this chapter!  Do not get
off on CURRICULUM!!  I really do not think that is what Charlotte Mason is
about at all!   If there is one thing that I DO NOT like about Educating
the Wholehearted Child...it is the emphasis on resources which looks like
you need curriculum to teach your children!  I have preferred the ideas
from Karen Andreola on how to teach Charlotte Mason style without all the
curriculum!  I believe that this approach can be as simple as using nothing
but the resources in our homes to teach children or it can be as elaborate
as you want!  If you have some great resources that you would love to
share...do it!  BUT any discussion that would chase rabbits about a
curriculum really needs to be OFF the list!  Also, give us  a good look at
your Charlotte Mason Day!  There are so many new on this list, it would be
neat to share what each of you are actually doing in your typical day! 
Share even the errands...chores...lessons...ALL!  This is the time that all
of that is ON TOPIC!  hehe!  So dig in!  

Love, Cindy...who is now firing the gun signaling that it is time to start!



February 23, 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child: Learning and Personality
Chapter 5 in Original, 6 in Revised Edition.

On to Learning Styles...Understanding Your Child.

Questions for discussion...
1...What differences do you see in how the personality of your children
affects their learning styles?
2...How have you shaped your activities around the personality of your
children and your family?
3...How are you tempering the strong aspects of your children's
personalities while strengthening the weak areas of their personality?  How
do your values influence the behavior?  How do you underguird your children
to prepare them for any deficiency in character due to Weaknesses, Sin, or
4...Spiritual Gifts...(this is one of my favorites!)...How are you helping
develop your child's spiritual gifts?  Any specific uses of those special
giftings in ministry as a family?  What are the strengths and weaknesses
that you see in their personality due to their spiritual giftings?  How do
you deal with the struggles between the giftings in each of your
children...we all know that in the church you see struggles between the
operation of giftings...what about at home??
5...How do you protect your child from life experiences which threaten
their budding personalities? (spend the nights...peer groups...support
groups...reading materials...church influences...family influences??)
6...Masculine/Feminine...We have this one in our house!  How do you help
your boys be boys and girls be girls??  How do you encourage Masculinity
when you are a MOM??  How do you encourage your girls to be young ladies? 
To develop the graces of womanhood?  How are you teaching God's design for
7...How has the realization of learning styles affected your teaching
style?  How do you balance teaching the various children ALL with different
learning styles?  How do you stretch yourself with appealing to the
differences?  How do you stretch your children into learning beyond the
style which is their preferred mental task?  How do you specifically teach
your different children to their styles...or do you??
8...How do you see the Whole Book Approach meeting the various needs of all
the learning styles?


March 10, 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child: Planning and Organization, Home Management Systems
Chapter 6 Original, 7 in Revised Edition.

HI!  Good Afternoon from COLD Alabama!  Just when I was ready to get
outside in the gorgeous weather observing God's Gorgeous Creation...it gets
Icy Cold again!  Wellllll, this means time to curl up with some hot tea
*and* all my wonderful books!  So, I am going to give out our discussion
questions so all of you can get to thinking about this discussion during
your quiet time! 

1.  The Clarkson's share in EWWC "it takes a lot less energy to live with
established routines than it does to live without them."

Routine...how have you set up your routine to make homeschooling great? 
How are you able to better balance the extras (home businesses, ministry,
crafts...etc.) because of your routines?  Any ideas on getting back into
your routines after interruptions?  

2.  Chores...Now, this is one that we believe will make the homeschool
lifestyle work for anyone!  How do you distribute the work in your family? 

3.  On page 161, we learn that there are 3 sources of stress in home
...stuff management
...information management
...time management

Share with us how you are managing all the "stuff"...in small homes?  with
a large family? soooo you can find it? ;-)

What about all the organization of all your information?  Are there any
other "binder" queens out there? Anybody else keeping Rubbermaid in
business? How DO you organize all the info?

Time...WHEW...Can't wait to hear on this one?  Time seems to get snatched
in so many areas...how are you all managing to balance the activities,
distractions, interruptions, crisis'???

4.  Home Management...the HOMEMAKING...share some ideas on what you are
doing in the area of homemaking to make your home special and create
memories of home.  Share about cleaning...cooking (any easy recipes that
are low prep/high nutrition/great taste??)...how are you able to spend that
TIME  the little ones and of course, Dad?

Ok, guys and gals...jump in and share all!  I am looking forward to the
discussion on this area!

Love, Cindy



March 29, 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child ch 7 Original= ch 8 Revised : "Lifestyle...Making it Work"
Mother- the heartbeat of your home/ know your purpose/ know your priorities/ know your plans/ know your principles/know your personality/ know your breaking point/ know your provider
Mother~The Heartbeat of Your Home!
If there is one thing that I I think of when I think of Sally Clarkson it
is her emphasis on valuing our position as wives and mothers.  This chapter
makes me think of her workshop The Wholehearted Mother and her new book
Seasons of a Mother's Heart...both of which are fantastic!  If we truly
value the influence which we have, then we will be able to make our
lifestyle of training our treasures work!

There is one quote on the first page of this chapter which I wanted to
point out...

Elisabeth Elliot, The Shaping of a Christian Family
"There is no nobler career that that of motherhood at its best.  There are
no possibilities greater, and in no other sphere does failure bring more
serious penalties...To attempt this task unprepared and untrained is
tragic, and its results affect generations to come.  On the other hand,
there is no higher height to which humanity can attain than that occupied
by a converted, heaven-inspired, praying mother."

As Sally shares in this chapter our influence in the lives of our children
will come from our faithfulness.  Our faithfulness to God's design for
motherhood.  Our faithfulness to simply see all the opportunities for
influencing our children...shaping their attitudes and values, building
their faith, disciplining their disobedience, inspiring their genius,
nurturing their emotions, training their habits, cultivating their
character, and setting their  feet on the path of righteousness.  

Yes, this is the goal...but how do each of you accomplish this goal?  
How do you handle the day to day challenge of being a faithful mother?  
How do you stay faithful as you deal with the unpredictable?

In this chapter are some really practical ways to stay the course as a wife
and mother  let's look closer...

Know Your Purpose...

Have you ever thought much about your purpose in God's Design?  It is a
heavy order!  Some of the purposes that are shared in this chapter are...
...To bring order(subdue) to the home...What are some practical ways that
you are presently bringing order to your home?  Children, Meals, Decor,
Schedule, Environment?  Jump in and share your insights and ideas!
...To nurture your children...Isn't it such an awesome thought that WE are
the ones in which our children will come to know God?  How challenging! 
What are some practical ways in which you are passing down a heritage of
KNOWING God?  How are you caring for their spiritual and emotional needs??
...To cultivate relationships...Another tall order!  How are you developing
the relationships in your child's life?  Are you teaching them to minister
to others by ministering to them in your own home...by teaching them to
quietly minister to the needs of their own family?  What are some of *your*
practical ideas for building relationships within your home...through
hospitality...through ministering to those in need...or through showing
kindness in Christ's name?
...To grow in maturity and obedience...this is I think the key to all else!
 If we are growing in maturity and obedience to Christ then our children
can see our failures and KNOW that we are really trying!  What are some
ways in which you are seeking to grow and how do you see this affecting
your children?
...To respect and help your husband...How are you modeling submission to
your husband?  What does submission really look like?  What are some of the
fruit of your submission?  This should really be a good one! hehe!

Know your Priorities...

OK!  This one always challenges me!  Sally says, "If someone wants to know
your priorities, they need only observe how you spend your time.  It makes
little difference what you SAY your priorities are--it's what you DO that
reveals your true priorities."

I have been really challenged in this area lately by LOTS of my reading
materials!  In Sally's new book, Seasons of A Mother's Heart, she shares
her heart about limiting some of the good things like her newsletter for
this season so she could minister to her family now.  Her commitment is so
catchy!  What a wonderful example to all of us!  I would also
wholeheartedly recommend that you all check out the last chapter of
Wisdom's Way of Learning, "The Secrets of Solitude" or order Marilyn
Howshall's book, "The Secrets of Solitude" for a real challenge in this
area!  I will probably share some quotes from that to challenge you all.  I
also loved this current issue of In Keeping with The Faith by Jeff and
Susan Zakula.  Everywhere I have turned I have read more about my

One thing that sticks in my mind from all my reading lately is that satan
would love to have us busy with all the "good" things because he knows that
it keeps us from doing the "best" thing...our purpose from God!  Well, how
do we do this?  You all share some ideas on establishing and keeping on
track with your priorities...how do you prune the good for the best in your

In this chapter here are a few ideas...
Limit your expectations, your commitments, objectives, and activities.  

Jump in and share how you have practically done this and the results!

Know Your Plans...

The key to keeping on keeping on through the good and the bad is in this
part of the book!  If you want to succeed, then you simply must plan!  As
said in this chapter, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."   
Sooo...What has helped you in planning in order to help you accomplish your
purposes?  How do you plan out your school year objectives?  What are your
long term goals?  How do you plan to get there?  How do you have your home
set up to accomplish these goals...school year(Is it year-round or do you
follow the school calendar?  What benefits do you see to schooling this
way?)...home atmosphere (What are some practical ways that you have found
to create a lifestyle of learning?)...environment (What about your
home...is it creating an atmosphere of learning and how?  Accessible books,
creative options, music, art...  Is it stimulating and challenging your
children?)  What about special days, holidays, special traditions, special
touches for each day??  Give us a look at your home!

What about your record keeping?  Give us some ideas for how you keep
records of attendance, curricula and reading, Health, Standardized

Know Your Principles...

This will be a wonderful discussion which we have touched on several times
OFF TOPIC! :-)  NOW...It is on topic!  What are your principles and how do
you handle opposition about....homeschooling, church activities,
companions, media exposure?  This should be really good!!  Remember gals
that there are many of our ladies struggling with these areas as God
convicts them.  They are feeling very alone in their convictions...so this
is the perfect opportunity to underguird them with your ideas, insights,
and convictions!

Know Your Personality...

Do you really know YOU?  What an odd question, huh?  Well, as shared in
this chapter "You will never really relax and enjoy home schooling with
your children until you free yourself to be who you are before God, not who
you think you should be.  They recommend that you Accept Yourself, Be
Yourself, Help Yourself, Enjoy Yourself.  I love this counsel!  I think
that so often we are pressured by all that we are surrounded by...our
friends and what we THINK that they are doing...our UNREAL expectations of
what is IDEAL for us to be doing...Our OVERDOING it with all the things
that we think cannot go on without us...it goes on and on!  In the Bible we
learn that a double-minded man is unstable in ALL his ways!  If we do not
get a real good look at who we are and what God wants to do in and through
us, we will always be unstable in all of our ways.  

Instead, let's be real with who we are (our strengths, our skills,
knowledge, abilities) because God did know all about us when He gave us our
children!  He knew that our children would need exactly WHO we are to be
who He wants them to be!  That is so deep and I am afraid that we could
talk on that for a long time!  Relax if you are not a Science whiz...God
knew that and it is in HIS plan!  Just pass on WHO you are!  Also, don't
get impressed by what you find others doing.  Enjoy your children and your
pace!  Enjoy learning, teaching, and training your children without looking
at the crowd!  Take time for you!  If it is just that morning coffee and
quiet time...or that afternoon nap...or time off to clean the house...or
that new book...or that time to read before bed...or that nice, long hot
bath with your hot tea and Mozart...or even that time with your email each
day...take time to nurture yourself!  Find that certain daily ritual that
will sustain you in the midst of the heavy demands of mothering!  Share
some of the ways in which you all nurture yourselves and enjoy your

Know Your Breaking Point...

OK...Burn Out!  In this chapter it is recommended that in order to prevent
burn out we lower our expectations, accept life's limitations, learn to
wait, and expect adversity.  What about you all?  How do you deal with burn
out?  How can it be prevented?  How can we bring that fire back to
homeschooling?  What do you do when you are weary and tired?

Know Your Provider...

This is sooo good!  I think that this is the most important part.  We know
that as we grow to get to know God better we find that we can trust Him
with all the little details in our lives.  He really does care about our
needs, our children's needs, and our heart's desires! So, what is
recommended in this chapter?  First, to faithfully trust God.  How faithful
are we to really trust God?  Do we really trust Him to be take care of all
the details?  Is He faithful to supply all of our needs?

Secondly, they shared that we are to trust God's faithfulness.  As we take
a look at our Bibles we can see that in spite of the unfaithfulness of
God's people, He was still faithful!  How has God been faithful to you in
spite of your faithfulness?  In which ways do you need to be more faithful
to trust God in your homeschooling?
May God bless you all as you study through this chapter and share with one
another the great things that God has shown to each of you!
Love IN Christ!
Cindy Rushton



Sat, 11 Apr 1998

Educating the Whole Hearted Child ch 8 Original= ch 9 Revised: "Support... Keeping it Going"

What you see is what you'll get/ Get with the program, Dad!/ Get in the
homeschool network/ get on the right mailing lists/ Get out the books/ 
Get off to a good Start/ Get your heart right before God

Hello!  It is such a gorgeous morning...very quiet as my crew is sleeping
in!  Soooo, what better time to jump into the next chapter!

Support...Keeping it Going

Your Vision...

This is an important area of the homeschool.  So much so, that I probably
would have used this as my first chapter! :-)  During this chapter, really
take the time to look at where you have been, where you are going, and what
God wants to do in each of your children.  Ask God for a vision of what He
wants for each of those children.  For those of you with WWOL, you know the
focus on developing a vision for your children.  It is vital to see God's
vision for those children if you are to set worthy goals or get on the path
He wants for you to walk upon!  So....here are some questions for
meditation and discussion...Would you all share what God has shown you all
about the vision He has for each of your children?  How did He use their
natural giftings and talents to direct you?  How are you setting goals to
get there?  How does this change your homeschool?

Roles of Dad...

This will probably be a blessing to discuss this with one another.  It is
here that so many moms are busily comparing themselves (and their darling
husbands!) to others!  It is in the home-centered/lifestyle of learning
that we begin to really see the roles of the Dads more clearly!  Each home
will be different!  Dad is to be dad... just himself with all of his
giftings!  He is to pass down to his children WHO HE is!  So, how does your
husband fit into your homeschool?  Is he teaching? Providing? Protecting?
Encouraging? Helping? Teaching Recess...hehe!? Instilling Direction in the
Children?  Please share...but all of you remember that every home is so
different...look at what your husband *is* really doing in your home
instead of what he cannot do! ;-)

Homeschool Groups...

We all have shared so much about our support groups already...they come in
all different shapes and kinds!  This chapter has many ideas about Support
Groups.  Jump in and share how your groups are set up, what you did to
begin the group, snags along the way and how you handle them, and ideas for
things you feel are important in the support group!  For those of you with
Karen Andreola's new book, please share some of those ideas and thoughts
that you feel are important too!  In this section, they stuck in about
Conferences and Curriculum Fairs!  This is the perfect time to share some
of your ideas for making this experience great!  I know that on our list we
have several moms who are professional book fair/conventions junkies! hehe!
 Me, for one!  Give us your ideas!

Mailing lists...

What are some of your favorite Publications...share how to subscribe!
What are some of your favorite Catalogs and Suppliers...share how to get in
touch...websites are great too!
What are your favorite businesses and ministries?
Where do you find out about great activities?
What are some of your favorite newsletters...How do you get in touch?

Finding the books to encourage you...

What are your favorite books/resources which encourage you as a parent and
homeschooler? Please review these briefly!  Example...A Charlotte Mason
Companion, A Charlotte Mason Study Guide, Hints on Child Training, For the
Children's Sake, Shaping of a Christian Family...

Getting off to a good start...

Share your testimony of how you got started homeschooling and how God has
led you through it all?  What do you think are important for people to know
who are just now beginning to homeschool?  How can they begin homeschooling
on the right track?  How do you recommend that others begin homeschooling
with Whole books?

Finally, Our heart's right with God...

Now, we end this book with another look at our heart!  All of the good
things that we do will never produce the fruit in our children that we
desire!  It is going to take our own heart being right with God.  We are
going to get weary on our journey if we do not stay fueled up with God's
Word, Prayer, and Fellowship with Him and His people!  When things get to
feeling awry...go to God!  When things are confusing...go to His Word! 
When you feel lonely...take time to draw near to Him!  Then, you will find
yourself flying above the circumstances.  It is then that you will find
yourself truly ready to pour into relationships with your family and to
fellowship with others!  Yes, all we do will be to no avail if we do not
have a whole heart to pass down as an inheritance to our children!  May
this be your focus...a whole hearted child...as you train your children!
Blessings!  Looking forward to all of your fantastic answers!
Love IN Christ!
Cindy Rushton
Tuscumbia, Alabama


Apr 19, 1998

Good Morning!
On to the Appendix of Educating the Wholehearted Child...

In most books, we tend to skip the appendix...but not Educating the
Wholehearted Child!  This is one of the most detailed listing of great
resources, books that you do not want to miss, Organizations to know about,
Catalogs!!!, and Planning forms!  Don't skip this chapter!

For some questions...

I would love for all of you to share...

*Addresses and details of your favorite periodicals (this continues from
the last chapter!)

*Tell us the secrets of where you find your favorite homeschool resources
whether supplies, books, etc.!

*List the books that have been the most helpful to you as you have been
learning to homeschool with a home-centered learning approach!

*What are your favorite books with reading lists?

*What are some of your favorite books just to encourage you as a mother? 
Any reviews to help us??

*Make a list of your favorite resources that you are using for each of your
studies!  Share!

*List some of your all time favorite books that you have used for read
alouds!  Any reviews or narrations??

*PLANNING...I am busy with this time of year as I plan my new school year! 
Share some of your ideas for record-keeping, planning, and creating
notebooks for your children.

Well, this ought to keep you guys busy!  Have fun!

Love, Cindy...who is now caught up and getting ready to go south for a week
of vacation! :-)  Yes, this is the life!

E-Mail Us! Let Cindy know what you think by E-Mail!


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