Children who love and serve the Lord don't raise themselves. This is essentially the message of Zan Tyler's 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential, which isn't nearly as self-empowerment-oriented as it sounds. Instead, Tyler identifies the many ways parents can and should direct their children's development, under seven broad headings.
These seven headings will be familiar to any parent who's spent any time in the homeschool movement. They are: establishing identity; cultivating intimacy; discovering purpose; developing a biblical worldview; building character through discipleship; providing stimulating academics; and, fostering leadership and communication skills.
There are more than seven tools presented, because for each of these seven categories Tyler offers a number of tools which get at the essence of the overall issue. For instance, in the chapter on cultivating intimacy, she suggests time, personal presence, conversation, and physical affection as ways to foster intimacy between mothers and their children.
This book, after all, is for mothers. Tyler's aim is to help mothers (particularly homeschool mothers) think carefully about what they do (and can do) to raise children who will maintain the Christian faith and bring it to a world that is increasingly hostile to truth, fractured, and confusing. Frequent references to other books and authors provide avenues for further investigation.
While Tyler's insights are sound, they aren't particularly profound. If your looking for depth, you should probably look elsewhere; but if you're just beginning to think about these things, this would make a good introduction. 7 Tools for Cultivating Your Child's Potential would also make a great gift for a mother on the fence about homeschooling, as it emphasizes the importance of a mother's presence in childrearing.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
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