Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace is a book that has completely changed the way I homeschool. In short, I LOVE this book.
It’s fitting that this is my first book review on my blog because—I’m not exaggerating when I say this—it changed the way I homeschool and even parent.
Teaching from Rest is relatively short and to the point, a perfect read for us homeschooling mamas with little extra time.
Don’t let the title fool you though, this is, at its roots, a parenting book. Yes, it’s about teaching, but there were so many invaluable take-away’s for me as a parent. Because of this, I will gladly recommend this to non-homeschooling families as well.
Teaching from Rest
Our children are not a checklist
I like checklists and more importantly, I
like love the feeling of a completed list. There is nothing like knowing all the lines have been checked off at the end of the day. It’s pretty. It screams, “You are wonderful and have accomplished all you set out to do!”
Then there are the days where nothing goes right and my boys have spent half of the day fighting, constantly distracted or took 2 hours to get through half of a page of work. When I’m left staring at endless lines without checkmarks, my list sneers, “You’re such a failure.”
I came to the realization after reading Sarah Mackenzie’s book that I was treating my kids like a notch on my to-do list. I knew something needed to change but wasn’t sure why or how. All I did know was that I would come to the end of my days so discouraged.
Being someone who has a tendency towards a perfectionist, anxious personality, our homeschooling days could often look the same way. I was trying so many different things, leaving me exhausted and frustrated. I kept changing curriculum and processes, not realizing it was me that needed to change.
“Rest, then, is not the absence of work or toil. It is the absence of anxiety or frenzy.”
Understanding that we really could have peace in our homeschooling days was huge for me. After I read this book my entire perspective shifted. Because of this, I can now spend an hour and a half going over something my son doesn’t understand, and if he gets even part of it, we have accomplished something for the day.
“Rest begins with acceptance. Or, perhaps more accurately, with surrender. There will always be more you can do. You will never complete your tasks entirely, because just on the horizon is tomorrow, and tomorrow the to-do list starts anew. It is so exhausting—sometimes even demoralizing—to realize that our work in raising up and teaching our children is never really done. But we must remember that we were never intended to finish it.”
Throughout the book, Sarah constantly brings our thoughts back to the fact that these children are not our own. They belong to their creator, just as we do. They are precious souls committed to our hands for a little while, in need of grace and love along this journey.
I left the reading of this book with the clear impression that my teaching, even my parenting is not the final say in how my children will “turn out.” God has them in His hands. I simply must give myself to Him and faithfully steward their hearts daily.
Something is highlighted on nearly every page of my copy of this book, it’s that helpful. I plan on reading this, again and again, every summer before school for a refresher on teaching from rest. I will be recommending this book to anyone interested in not only homeschooling from rest but parenting from a state of rest as well.
As always, friend, thank you for stopping by,