As homeschooling parents we have such a unique opportunity to use nearly every lesson to motivate our children toward character development; emphasizing empathy when we read history, diligence in those difficult math lessons, faithfulness in subjects that do not always spark joy. I find that in the ideal world of my imagination, these things all work together and my home becomes that much sough-after "atmosphere" discussed in Charlotte Mason circles. But what I'm learning is that it isn't always so straightforward. Many times I get in my own way as I seek to check off items on a list and I put productivity above kindness. Reading through Sarah Mackenzie's wonderful Teaching From Rest has really helped remind me that the most important lessons I teach my sons are the ones that I live in front of them, and that is where "doing good" along with kindness, patience, self-control, and love can really sink in. There is something truly restful about that, right? By putting into practice this discipline of rest, we don't excuse ourselves from faithfully providing an education to our children, but we can step away from the to-do lists, respond to the needs of our children before the demands of a curriculum, and model a life of joy instead of frenzy.
I'm excited to be reading through Teaching from Rest as well as a few other books about restful homeschool and will be blogging about it over the next months. Join the conversation! Are you a "restful" homeschooler? How has the approach changed your home? Do you, like me, struggle with prioritizing productivity?
For your weekend, I thought I'd share a discussion on teen reading from Tom Ashbrook. What do you think of his and David Denby's advice for getting your teens to read? What about the book list? Here's the link.
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