How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids {Review}

Have I mentioned that I was selected to be a part of a review team for The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew?

I was SO excited when The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew announced that one of the books up for review was Rachel Carman’s “How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. for Your Children”!  I KNEW I needed to have this book, and thankfully I was selected to review it.


You see, we have been dealing with heart issues in our house for quite some time now.  WIth the children, yes, but also with my own heart.  Some days I feel like going to my bosses, squatting down in front of their sweet faces and handing them my resignation (while picking up the 324 millionth cheerio off of the floor).  Surely there is someone more qualified for this position of motherhood than I?

Last year was our first year of homeschooling, and I often questioned our decision not to put them on that large bumblebee colored vehicle that drove right past my house twice daily to load and unload its ever-so-precious cargo!

But, alas, the Lord has been chipping away at this hardened heart of mine and showing me that in our own family we need MORE (focused) face-time rather than less.

In Rachel Carman’s book (and if you’re newly introduced to the wonderful world of Apologia as I am, she and her husband are the owners of the company!), she talks about similar struggles and the steps that she took to overcome them.


I love her honesty when she talks about being at her first  homeschool convention and having attended several workshops.  She says “No one in the curriculum hall was selling a replacement heart.  Besides, I hadn’t known mine was missing.”

The H in the H.E.A.R.T. acrostic stands for Have a heart for the things of God.
In this chapter Rachel reminds us that as much as we may want to shape and improve upon our children’s character, our own character is the first place we must start.  Of course, in order to do that we must spend time getting to know our wonderful Creator, and reading his instruction book – the Bible, that is.

The E of the acrostic brings us to Enrich Your Marriage.  How easy it is to get caught up in everything we need to do for the children (and some days just surviving the day!) and putting our Spouse last.  She touches on the issue of keeping the spark alive in our own marriage and give us easy (and manageable!) tips for loving on our husbands in the midst of all of our duties.

The A chapter has to be my favorite one – Accept Your Children.  This one was the real eye-opener (or rather, heart-opener) for me.  Her first child sounds much like mine – very strong-willed with a BIG personality that is sometimes very difficult to corral – or guide correctly.  Some days I feel like I could easily let my self be swallowed up by my son’s strength of will!

In this chapter, Ms. Carman admits that she wanted to reshape and rewire her kids to be the obedient, compliant children that would make her look good.  Ouch!  That was a slap in the face for me.  She then goes on to say “They were created to bring glory to God.  Instead of resisting their bents – their original wiring – I needed to honor the way God had wired them.”

Ready for another slap?  Turn the other cheek, because here it comes:

“We must seek God first when it comes to molding our children, or we will make the mistake of molding them into our image, instead of His.”

OY!  I do NOT want to make THAT mistake!

My favorite part of the whole book is when she says: “[Genuine acceptance] means seeing our children as gifts from the hand of the living God.  It means realizing these kids were not sent by God to drive us crazy.” Clearly that is a step that I need to pray on!

R brings us to Release them to God. What a fantastic reminder that “our” kids are merely on loan to us from the Lord!  In this chapter we learn what it must have been like to be the Bible’s Hannah and the purposeful child-rearing she must have done before releasing her long-prayed-for Samuel to the church to live a life that honored God.

The final letter in the H.E.A.R.T. acrostic is TTeach them the Truth.

We need to surround them with God’s truths of Creation and Salvation, and to hide His words in their little hearts!

Each of these chapters are filled with wonderfully personal examples, and ends with a Heart Checkup – questions to ask yourself that relate to that section.

This book was written by a homeschooling mom with other homeschooling moms in mind, but as you can see, the pieces of the acrostic can apply to all parents.  If you are in need of some encouragement I strongly recommend that you pick up this little book.  It’s a small hard-cover book that is just over 200 pages long.

Are you ready to add this to your library?   It is published by Apologia Press and retails for $13.00.  {Again, if you’re new to the company like I am, I recently found out that rather than pronouncing the name of the company as Apology-Yuh, it’s more like Apple-uh-Jee-Yuh – just FYI!}

If you would like to read more reviews on this book (and many other products), please check out TOS Homeschool Crew.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to review in exchange for my honest opinion.  I received no monetary compensation in exchange for a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  1. sounds like a great book!

  2. "Oy" is right! That part of the book (the part about going to God first when it comes to molding your children). That really got to me as well. So many times I fall into that trap of trying to do it myself. I really enjoyed your insites.

    Tim from the Crew

  3. pebblekeeper says:

    A Wonderful Review! I'm enjoying reading these this morning – I'm convinced I need to get a bulk discount to buy them for all of my friends! Thanks for sharing your review!

  4. More focused face to face time- we got a lot of that today.
    I've always pronounced it the first way you typed. 🙂

  5. hey- I have been eyeballing that book- now I'll just HAVE to read it for sure! _I follow you on twitter- didn't realize that I wasn't following on fb and google until now- SO now I am ! 🙂