There is more to education than educating the mind. Yes, concrete skills (multiplication, grammar, dates and places, timelines, and geography etc) are important. But at what cost? Morality? Creativity? Balance? Joy? Independence? Faith? How much are we willing to give up in order to fit the mold that the standard education model demands? Society has gotten so  caught up in comparing standardized test scores that we have forgotten to treat our children as individuals with divine worth and to support them in the deeper elements of their personal development.

What are these deeper elements?

1. Wholeness

Holistic learning is not only academic. At AFE we encourage students to bring their whole selves to class. American Family Education includes people from diverse backgrounds, but who are like minded in our desire to have good experiences, learn truth and gain the wisdom needed to live our best lives. Our teachers and leaders each have their own personal beliefs, but do not teach the doctrines or traditions of any religion in class. Rather, we encourage the students to develop their whole selves (IQ x EQ x WQ = Adversity Quotient), and to heal and strengthen the bonds in the their own family where they can learn the most important lessons in their youth. Strong families provide a foundation for individuals to mature and add to the cultures and gifts of their family heritage. We hold to these basic tenets:

  1. It is evident in the observable proofs, patterns and laws of nature that there was divinity and love in the design of our earth.
  2. We gain the most from our experiences when we are aware of these truths and take ownership/responsibility for our participation.
  3. We each have the complicity for creating and growth.
2. Character

At AFE, there is a considerable focus on teaching character values and developing a child’s ability to think with their heart, not just their mind. How do we facilitate this learning? Stories in literature and history!

Stories are the way to a child’s heart. The stories that we “feed” our children directly effect what kind of people they choose to become. Marlene Peterson, creator of “The Well Educated Heart” movement has amassed an incredible library of stories that nurture a child’s character and heart development. Take a moment and watch Marlene’s video explaining how important it is to carefully select stories for our children…

Beekeeper's Honey

The Well Educated Heart (found at is an incredible resource for parents who are seeking to become people who are able to inspire their children and lead by example. We highly recommend diving into The Well Educated heart resources provided on their site. You can start with the Introductory Course (scroll down and click on Section 1:The Mother’s Heart) and by watching this video…

WEH Overview

The Well Educated Heart also hosts a wonderful podcast. We would recommend listening to “Educating the Educator” and “Do Re Mi” to start.

The character education at AFE is based on literature that demonstrates moral action and right thinking. In order to help you bring these wonderful stories and examples from history into your home, visit The Libraries of Hope Store, get The Good and the Beautiful book list, and check out the Favorite Picture Books list from

Continue to Step 6: Developmental Levels