Sunday, August 31, 2014

Teaching From Rest (Review)

An e-book from Sarah Mackenzie entitled "Teaching From Rest -A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace", is a very worthwhile read for homeschooling Moms.  I purposely don't do many reviews because I covet my time and yours - so it has to be pretty good for me to agree to do a review.  This was definitely a book worth my time.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a confirmation of many of the things God has been showing me about my very own homeschool, this past few months.

As this past year came to a close, I really started feeling God calling me to linger in some areas a little longer and not add so many things on our plate for the coming year (tough marching orders for this Type A, multi-tasking, checklist toting Mom).  There is soooo much fantastic curriculum out there and so many great things that I would love to teach - but the days are short and the curriculum choices are long -so I had to keep my focus in mind - which was this idea of "creating space" that God had been laying on my heart.  I really felt like we needed space to just be and allow God to show me how He wanted to use that extra space in our weekly schedule.

So for me, the e-book Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie  was a timely read.  It caught my eye as I was online one night.  Mackenzie has studied Dr. Perrin's restful learning (Schole') concepts and she has put her personal touch on them and how they are transforming her own homeschool as well as herself.  I loved her meaty, yet mindfully slim, chapters.  It's a busy Moms book to read and once you read it, you will incline yourself to not be so busy as you change your paradigm from checking off the boxes to modeling joy in learning and creating restful space with your children.  The chapters were just the right size to read in my quiet time each morning and pray over.

Here is the breakdown of her book by Chapters...

Who should read this book?

  • Type A, multi-tasking, checklist toting, plan making Momma's 
  • Those struggling with feeling adequate in their homeschooling
  • Moms who are tired and feel like there has to be a better way
  • Worried Moms that fear they aren't giving their child a superior education 
  • Anyone filled with anxiety over homeschooling 
  • Frustrated Moms who can't get there school to look like they think it should (because these kids just won't do what the curriculum guide says in the timeframe it says to cover it!) 
  • If you need a paradigm shift from accomplishments to relationships (loving our children well is the real goal after all!) 
Essentially, if you are homeschooling -this is a worthwhile read for you!

I had a few take aways from this book that I'm still resonating with the Lord on.  Some of my lingering joys in reading it were...

I enjoyed the chapter about something that I have personally discovered myself this past few years...the idea that we spend so much time in trying to figure out what our children's learning styles are and what environment they learn best in -that we forget what works for our own teaching and learning style is just as important in creating a restful and joy filled school.  I am doing curriculum that I enjoy teaching - that's important!  I have shed the curriculum that had things I don't function well with.  She also recommends doing what you love with your children educationally yourself, as a priority - hers is reading out loud.  Mine is exploring through the physical world of experimentation and creating visual pictures.

Another chapter spoke to me regarding the fact that relationships over curriculum lesson plans is what is most important.  Serving God, not man, is the priority in teaching our children.  Creating time to enjoy them and allowing space for the days that won't go as planned (and that's almost all of them!) will keep your day lower stress and more joyful for creating a love of learning with your children.  It will help us to minimize the days we damage our precious relationships over something as trivial as a math problem (which we all will and need to repent when we do!).    

There are so many great ideas and I don't want to give away the best of them.  In closing...
"What matters is that we seek to imitate Christ.  That we order our loves so that our hearts better reflect His."   ..."We offer ourselves to God, we introduce our children to beauty and goodness and Truth, and we get out of the way.  That is the way to teach from rest." ..."  -Sarah MacKenzie "Teaching from Rest"
She does mention her dislike personally, for "hands-on" projects.  She isn't bent that way and she groans when she sees a curriculum that has a salt dough map in it or the like.  She feels that they eat up time and don't allow for mastery of material or engagement with big ideas.  I would disagree and submit that it goes back to her point in the Be Who You Are! chapter of her book.  This obviously, isn't who she is -however, there are a LOT of creative Moms out there who thrive on offering this type of educational highlight to their children and are very capable of making it an engagement with big ideas moment and help children master their memory work - just come to a Wonderful Wednesday to see it's very possible!  I know myself and what jazzes me up -is this very type of thing she abhors.  I personally, cringe at curriculum that is dry and just has copious amounts of instructions and wording on a page.  We are all different and we do need to know what our own strengths and weakness' are in order to offer the very best of who we are to our children and provide a restful learning experience for our home.  To me, the "restful" periods in our educational week are those spent doing Wonderful Wednesday or a hands on project with my daughter -but that's just me. :)

A great investment in your homeschool at only $7.99 for the Book alone and $10.99 for the Bundle of Book, Companion Journal and Audio Files from greats like Dr. Perrin on this topic of restful learning.  You can purchase at which is a great blog to peruse and gain encouragement as well for Moms that are homeschooling.  Here is a snapshot of some of the topics here webpage covers.  I think most Moms will really find encouragement and relate to these topics of discussion she offers on her webpage - stop over and check them out!


  1. I loved this book as well. It has helped reshape what our school year looks like this year!

    1. Carrie - I'm so glad you enjoyed it too. I think she has done a great job of succinctly capturing Schole'!