Nothin' 2 Prove

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Apologia’s Read for the Heart

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I have come to associate fine quality, spiritually and educationally enriching products and services with Apologia Educational Ministries

 The homeschool world would just not be the same without them.

They have grown to be part of the very foundation of our family’s  journey through learning, not only because of their uncomparible  science curriculum, but also because of the many other worldview and homeschooling resources they offer.

For review we received an invaluable, encouraging resource which has filled the opening for a librarian at Gunn Ranch Academy.

Read for the Heart- Whole Books For Wholehearted Families is a guide with over 1000 children’s books and authors recommended and discussed by Sarah Clarkson who, herself was nurtured and raised in the midst of living books.

As with every product I’ve ever received from Apologia, this book is of beautiful quality, with thick pages, and an easy-on-the-eyes font and format. When I first opened the book, I noticed a quote by C.S. Lewis at the top of the very first page.  Then I began to read the forward which was written by the Co-Founder of Lifetime Books and Gifts, which really captures the spirit and intent of this fabulous resource.

~”Read for the Heart is different from other books about books in large part because of the fresh perspective of this author, a young lady raised by parents who surrounded her with great books and invested in her life experiences. Sarah Clarkson is a wonderful example of what can happen when you raise a child on whole, living books. Her parents, Clay and Sally Clarkson, are artists; Sarah is one of their masterpieces.”~

As I read on through Sarah’s Acknowledgements and on into the chapters, I was absolutely amazed at the gratitude and love portrayed to her parents for a childhood centered around fine arts and great literature.  The very story of her life is penned as eloquently as the stories that shaped it.

This book itself is a shining example of how immersing your children in good books from the beginning of their little lives can shape and mold their whole future.

Sarah discusses her reading journey by commenting that her parents began with the “great story of the Scripture, filling [her] mind with the hero tales of the Bible, then adding the innocent beauty of classic children’s books, never underestimating the power of a good story to affirm and further illuminate the truths they were teaching from Scripture.” (Paraphrased from the book.)

As I continued to read through her beautiful story, I felt a great sense of validation and encouragement for my own family’s journey, and felt her urgency to press onward and keep up the good work I started with my own children when they were mere babes staring up at me. From their earliest days, I read aloud to them,  only speculating as to what they were actually gleaning from my reading other than the soothing of Momma’s voice set to rhyme and rhythm. I even began to feel that maybe I wasn’t so crazy to have put those headphones on my big belly full of baby and played tapes I recorded of me reading some of my favorite children’s books.  

As I continued to read through the discussion of the whys and hows of reading great literature, I couldn’t stop smiling at the way she had put some my own thoughts and journeys through stories into brilliant words. I felt a sense of gratefulness to my own parents for instilling in me a love of books, and further identified the growth of my own children’s worlds because of their love for reading. I have often said they read me out of house and home, and have been since they were very young. I knew when  both girls began reading around age four that their worlds would be filled with endless opportunity and imagination. Sarah explains this very thing.  She explains the feeling of sitting snuggled together reading out loud as if she were a part of our own family reading time. What an encouragement to know others are sharing such rich experiences!

Moving on into what and who to read, I found:

~Picture Books

~The Golden Age Classics

~Children’s Fiction

~Fairy Tales and Fantasy

~History and Biography

~Spiritual Reading for Children


~Music, Art, and Nature 


As Icing on the cake, there are Appendices listing:

*Caldecott Medalists

*Newberry Medalists

*Historical Fiction by G. A. Henty

*Landmark History Books

*The Trailblazer Series

*A Few of My Favorite Things


This book is not only a vital resource for any household, but will absolutely help light the fire that William Butler Yeats wrote about when he penned the quote:

“Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire.”

You can add this hot resource to your book pile for $17.00 by clicking over to the Apologia website. You can also see a sample chapter and table of contents.

*****    and two thumbs up!

Check out the TOS Homeschool Crew blog for more reviews of this little jewel.

Happy Reading!


*I received this book as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received and opinions are my own.


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