Review: Teaching From Rest

A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace

by Sarah Mackenzie

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Teaching from Rest is a truly liberating book that takes the emphasis in homeschooling off of sheer academics and textbook learning, and places it back where it belongs, on the relationships we are building with our children, and the delight that is to be found on the journey of learning and discovery.

Teach your children to love what is beautiful, to enjoy and understand great books, cultivate their soul to take on whatever challenge lies around the corner, and you will have succeeded in a great education.

I love the part of this book entitled: Curriculum Isn’t Something You Buy.   I loved this because she gets back to the heart of what education is: mastery of a certain subject.  You can definitely use books to teach a subject, but remember, you are teaching your child, and you are not a slave to the book.  If something isn’t working for you, you are totally allowed to drop it and find a different way to teach your child!  Don’t kill the natural love of learning before it fully blossoms with too much of an emphasis on “finishing the book.”

If you’re worried that you can’t be everything for your children, can’t provide them with all they need to succeed in life, let me help you out with that – you can’t.  But….. God just so happens to be pretty awesome at doing amazing things with the tiny little pieces we have to offer.  He did amazing things with a little boy’s basket that had only a few loaves and fish in it, and He’ll do amazing things with whatever is in your “basket” when you offer it to Him!

My children don’t need me to be perfect or even good at every area of life; what they do need, is for me to be good at being me.  Each one of us is completely unique, with different strengths and weaknesses, and God has chosen us to be the parents of our children.  How amazing is it to realize that He has given us what we need to be the best parents for our children?!  It is so easy to compare ourselves to one another, homeschooling is no exception.    Sarah Mackenzie encourages all homeschooling parents to look at their own strengths, and delight in them!  At the end of the day, the relationship with your children is more important that any one subject.

Be the person you want your children to be.  If you want your children to love great books, to tackle new challenges, to be life long learners, guess what, you need to be and do those things!  It’s so easy to pour ourselves into parenting our kids and teaching them all the things, so that by the end of the day, we’re too exhausted to do anything other than just turn on a movie, turn off our brains, and relax.  But what if there was another way?  What if by modeling the type of people we want our children to be, and by challenging ourselves, almost most than the active teaching of our children….we ended up with the outcomes we were hoping for?  In my very limited experience of trying this method out, I can say that it works!  Our children are always watching us, and our actions are 100% more powerful than our words.

This is a short little book that will take you a few days to read, (or maybe just one day, depending on how often you get interrupted!) and it’s well worth your time!  Sarah Mackenzie constantly brings the focus back to God, and challenges you to ask, “Am I trusting God in this situation, or trying to control all of the outcomes?”

 “Today, do less.  Do it well.”

-Sarah Mackenzie

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