Monday, August 29, 2011
Review - How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids
This is my first review for the TOS Homeschool Crew this year. I was happy to be selected to review this particular book because it came at an opportune time - right when we are getting ready to start our homeschool year. Having a heart for my kids is one reason I homeschool, but there are certainly times when I lose sight of that.
Rachael Carman is a mom who backed into homeschooling kicking and scratching all the way. Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but she readily admits she saw her kids starting public school as a time for the freedom to do what she wanted to do. When public school wasn't working, she, with many reservations, undertook the task of homeschooling her first child. Now with seven children, she has learned valuable lessons about the role of motherhood as God intended it and the many blessings that come from homeschooling all of them.
Rachael's title is actually an acrostic:
H - Have a heart for the things of God
E - Enrich your marriage
A - Accept your kids
R - Release them to God
T - Teach them the truth
Having a heart for the things of God means revealing your love for God and His creation in your daily walk. By acknowledging the majesty of creation, immersing ourselves in the Word, and trying to live life according to God's commands, we not only shine the light of Christ for others to see, but, more importantly, we shine that light for our children to see. Easier said than done some times, but having a heart a heart for God makes us want to strive toward that goal.
Enriching our marriages is a key I know I lost sight of for a while. Sometimes we get so involved in our children we forget the marriage that made it all possible. Loving our spouse and nurturing our marriage are integral to raising our children with a healthy understanding of relationships. As Raechel tells us, "It is from our marriages that they learn grace."
Accepting our kids - what a concept. Maybe Billy isn't meant to be a doctor, or Joey a football star, or Sally an Olympic gymnast. Raechel states that "When we attempt to rewire our children, we are rejecting them." Wow! Powerful stuff. Sometimes we push thinking we are doing what is best when we are actually undermining God's wonderful plan for our children. She finishes by saying, "God loves you. These words will teach your children that there is a God, He created them, and He has definite plans for them."
Releasing them to God is a tough one for many of us. We want to hold on tight. I know I do. But, these aren't OUR children - they are God's children. I say that and part of me wants to disagree. We love them SO much, they must be ours. But - God loves them so much more. "Release them to God. They are His, and He will take great care of them."
Teach them God's truth. Raechel spoke to my heart when she said, "We give them understanding of the one true and living God. This is the foundation upon which all other knowledge is built. If we focus on anything else, then we doom our children to lives of emptiness and hopelessness." By educating our children in the Word, exposing them to fellow Christians, giving them opportunities to worship and praying with and for them, we are giving them the greatest gift of all - knowledge of God and His son Jesus. There are days or weeks when I find myself remiss in this area, I'm so glad for the encouragement and reminder.
Yes, I really liked this book. It uplifted me, convicted me, cautioned me and encouraged me to give my all this homeschooling year. I want to raise my boys as God would have them raised so that they can serve Him according to His purpose.
To see other reviews by the TOS Homeschool Crew click here.
*** I received this book free as part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest review.