I recently finished reading Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie and Dr. Christopher Perrin. If you are a homeschooler, you may have already read it. I barely made it past the cover when I was ready to throw up praise hands. I mean–she had me at unshakable peace, y’all. In a house full of 4 spirited kids? Sign. Me. Up.
Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using the link, I will get a small commission to go toward the cost of running this blog. However, I bought this book on my own, and this review is based solely on my own unbiased opinion. Pinky promise.
I ALMOST QUIT HOMESCHOOLING, AND THIS IS WHY
My family is still adjusting to this homeschool life. Veteran homeschoolers in some of the Facebook groups I belong to have recommended de-schooling kids straight outta public school, or simply spending time with them without stressing about assignments for a while.
I didn’t do that–I dove right in and stressed everybody out trying to keep the momentum of my kids’ education going.
My mind was riddled with what-if questions:
What if my kids don’t learn anything?
What if I have to put them back into school and they can’t keep up?
What if I ruin their lives?
A few weeks into our second year of homeschooling, I was ready to throw in the towel.
Fear was about to drive my car right over a cliff.
KEEPING FIRST THINGS FIRST
Teaching From Rest gave me permission I didn’t know I needed to exhale. It challenged me to shift my perspective from being performance-oriented to developing the hearts and character of my children rather than trying to cram a 36-week, 8-subject lesson plan into their heads. This is not to say that there is no place for plans–quite the contrary.
But what can I trust more–God’s will for my kids, or my plans for their education?
You see, I had grand plans for my family, to make sure that the effort I put into doing all the right things as a parent would be rewarded with children who would grow up to become happy and well-adjusted and successful adults.
But I am learning that I cannot control the outcome, no matter how much I hope and wish and work and pray.
Teaching From Rest is a much-needed reminder that, though I cannot control the future–I know the One who does. I don’t have to worry about doing or being enough, because I can’t on my own.
Thankfully, God doesn’t need me to be enough, because He already is. I bring my best effort and put it all into the capable hands of my heavenly Father, and He goes to work on my behalf. And that is more than enough.
Mackenzie’s words offer hope, inspiration, and encouragement for the person who wants to homeschool but who may be overwhelmed by all of the things–planning, curriculum, activities–and is seeking a balanced approach.
She spurs the reader on to choose what is better–building character and gaining wisdom–rather than to stress about finishing every last page of a curriculum in 180 days.
I highly recommend Teaching From Rest to all new homeschoolers or anyone in search of a good book for homeschool parents. This is a book I plan to keep handy to read at the beginning of every school year, or whenever I need to be reminded why I chose to homeschool my children.