Archive for February, 2008

teaching with the Principle Approach

I just discovered that some audio workshops IĀ got a couple of years ago are now online…and with the handouts! (which I never got!)

These are workshops from Katherine Dang, a teacher of teachers in the Principle Approach. Her whole website has been redone and she added a blog. Make sure and put it in your favorites!

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February 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

Heart of Wisdom

I wrote out my homeschool journey on my “About” page for anyone interested. While doing so I was reminded of one of my favorite books, The Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach. I pulled it off the shelf last week to look at something and am always amazed at all the riches it holds. I wrote a review on Amazon about two years ago when I first found the book. Here it is for you to read:

“I downloaded this ebook over the holidays and am in the process of implementing Robin’s ideas. The review is lengthy, but I feel it is such a foundational and worthwhile book. The book is divided into five sections, so I’ll explain my take on each section.

The first section details their departure from public school and the different roads they traveled in homeschooling. Based on her success and failures she describes what led to the Heart of Wisdom teaching approach. One big issue for moms that she addresses is fear. Many wonder are they doing enough? Teaching the right thing? Are their children where they need to be? She does a wonderful job throughout the book of taking us to Scripture to find the answer. (Like Philippians 4:6-7 here.) “God knows what your children will face in the future, and He will give you what you need to educate them in the way they need to be educated.” These were powerful words that forced me to realize that I need to abide in God’s word so that he can guide me and I can guide my children. In this, you will find peace not fear. My job is to run the race and keep my eyes on Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-2)

In Section Two she guides you in researching the biblical methods of education. You will also learn about the history of our modern and traditional forms of education. She ends with an appeal to return to a biblical Hebraic model. This section was an eye-opener for me. I learned the Bible’s definition of true education and true wisdom. This section is a must for Christians. I now feel totally comfortable that education in my home doesn’t look like education at the public school down the street.

A description of the different methods used in her approach is outlined in Section Three. First is always the Bible, then you will recognize a little Charlotte Mason, unit study, delight-directed, and classical methods. However, you will always see the Bible first and most importantly interwoven into everything. She also discusses different learning styles and how to teach to them all using four steps. Doing something with what is learned is one of the four steps. This step usually involves some form of writing. A step that I struggle with, a struggle that’s not uncommon for most homeschool moms.

The fourth section gives you the how-to with instructions on just how to work out her plan. She tells you how to go about setting up your unit studies based on a four year study of history. I love how she splits your teaching day into two main areas: God’s Word and God’s World. She spends most of the morning on God’s Word, reading the Bible and using Bible study tools. The afternoon is spent studying God’s World using unit studies and living books. God’s World studies include science, HIStory, and the arts all filtered through God’s Word. She incorporates writing and language skills in everything they do. You will also find more information about making notebooks and timelines in this section. And probably the most important chapter in this section is “Scheduling by Faith.” We are all given 24 hours each day, how does God want you to spend yours? This is another chapter that I will need to reread over and over…any time that I’m feeling defeated in my homeschooling journey.

Section three and four have a lot of information. I have read and reread, just trying to soak it all in. I was a product of the public schools and was never taught like this. It is a big paradigm shift for many of us and it will take time to make a complete change. But I believe she does a great job explaining her research and reasoning and then the methods and the how of fleshing out this approach.

And finally, in Section Five, she lists the resources that you can use to teach your children using the Heart of Wisdom Teaching Approach. Hundreds of books and resources are listed by her four-year plan for ages K to 12. In addition to this chapter she lists resources for deeper study at the end of almost all of her 24 chapters. The resource lists alone make the book worth the cost.

I will recommend this book to every parent that I can…hence the reason I’m posting it here on my blog! I am even considering buying another copy so that I’ll have one to lend out! I do think this book will give you a fresh vision for what God has called us to do. I have always liked the book “Educating the Wholehearted Child,” by Sally Clarkson. I felt like it gave me a vision but left me hanging in exactly how to do it. Robin has said many of the things Sally Clarkson has said in her book, but she explains better how to implement it in my home. I can’t decide to try her book on Wisdom or her unit study on Adam to the Messiah next, knowing me I’ll get them both!”

February 8, 2008 at 11:07 am Leave a comment


Psalm 78:4

We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.