Do You Need Peace and Rest In Your Homeschooling Day? A Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie

If I ever give off the image that I have it all together- that I’m an organized homemaker and an efficient homeschooler and a good cook and a patient mom- don’t believe it. I do love what I do. But it isn’t always easy. There are days when I’m “running crazy.” So when I heard of Sarah Mackenzie’s book- Teaching From Rest– I knew I had to read it. The title alone was compelling. I definitely want my homeschool to be more restful and more peaceful.

A review of Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace

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As a background note, I stumbled upon Sarah Mackenzie, who blogs at Amongst Lovely Things, when I began listening to the Read Aloud Revival podcast. I quickly was drawn to Sarah’s personable and authentic style. And, of course, I love the topic of the Read Aloud Revival podcast. I became a member of the Read Aloud Revival community membership site. And I was able to feature an interview with Sarah on my Read Aloud Wednesdays post a few months ago. After some time stalking exploring Sarah’s site, I came across her book Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace and learned that a brand new second edition has just been released. I was very excited to be able to review the book and the great resources that come along with it.

About Teaching From Rest

Teaching From Rest can be purchased as a print book or a Kindle edition. You can also purchase a book bundle from Classical Academic Press. The bundle includes a printable PDF companion journal and four audio files- Andrew Kern from Circe Institute: Teach From a State of What?!; Dr. Christopher Perrin: ScholĂ©: Changing the Way We Think about School; Brandy Vencel: Let’s Get Real: Mothering from a State of Rest; and Cindy Rollins: If I Knew Then What I Know Now. Additionally, there is the option to purchase just the companion files (if you’ve already purchase the book) from Classical Academic Press.

In Part One of the book, Sarah explains what is meant by “teaching from a state of rest” and encourages readers to understand the true work we’re doing in parenting and homeschooling. She asks the question “Who are you working for?” and reminds us whose plan we’re really to be following. In Part Two Sarah looks at the concept of curriculum and guides readers to looking differently at what the “curriculum” for their homeschool really is. In this section Sarah also writes about our schedules and how to simplify them and provide time for margin in our days. In Part Three of the book, Sarah encourages readers to take a look at themselves and their children from a new perspective. In this section she reminds us that peaceful and happy moms will lead to peaceful and happy homeschools and she gives moms suggestions for ways that we can rest and refresh.

My Thoughts About the Book

I’ve been a mother for sixteen years now and a homeschooler for about twelve- counting preschool. Even so there were many statements and ideas in Teaching From Rest that made me pause and think.There were ideas that encouraged me as I could say “Yes, I’m doing that. It works!” And there were ideas that made me reflect on what I’m doing in my mothering and homeschooling that isn’t working. My book is now underlined in many places. I’ve starred statements that made me think, that encouraged me.

I walked away from reading Teaching From Rest with the determination to change some of my attitudes about homeschooling and some of my habits that don’t encourage rest in my own life and in our homeschool. I also walked away with a feeling of encouragement because I know I’m not alone in what I’m doing. Not only am I walking in God’s strength, as Sarah reminds readers, but I’m also in the company of others who are seeking to homeschool their children in a restful, peaceful, God-honoring way.

The companion resources are extra gems. With the printable journal, readers can journal as they read, recording things that are memorable and ideas that come while reading. There are also some thinking through questions for each section of the book. These can be answered as a personal book study, but they also make the book a wonderful resource to use in a book club. The audio files are also an excellent resource. I love to listen to podcasts and audio classes as I do housework. It’s a way to make good use of my time, and it helps the repetitive tasks go by faster.

In Teaching From Rest, Sarah Mackenzie has created a resource that is such an encouragement to those of us who are overwhelmed, frustrated, and running on empty. Readers will come away with a new perspective and a new peace.

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