Though my homeschooling days are over, my interest in homebased learning continues. Especially, during the current times of upheaval and cultural craziness, I want to promote resources and make myself available to new homeschoolers for ideas, encouragement and lots of cheering for homeschool families to go for the win of prioritizing family time that enhances family values. However, each family defines that big W, and needs resources offered by families who have homeschooled or continue to homeschool that are worth searching out.
Homeschooling mom and author, Sarah Mackenzie has written two books that are good reads for every mom. As recommendations for homeschool parents, I can’t limit myself to just one of her titles. For solid homeschool mom support via the written word read, Teaching From Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie which is a gem of support in under 100 pages. For encouragement to embark on or continue into the teen years, a valuable and one of my fondest remembered homeschooling activities, take a look at her more recent title The Read Aloud Family.
Reassuring parents as they take on the most significant work of their lives has been a big part of my life for many years now. First, as an art therapist working with families in crisis, then as a doula, postpartum doula and a lactation consultant. My own parenting and the home educating of my young ones was typically wrapped around by fellowship with other moms doing the same. Encouraging one another and reminding each other of the value of what we were doing was a joy as well as a lifeline to keep on through times of questioning and challenges. Sarah digs deep into the importance and value of the everyday with our children while reminding us that it isn’t all on us. We have help from the Creator who blessed us with our children in the first place.
I think that parents taking back the main responsibility for educating or at the very least, the oversight of their children’s education is our last best hope for maintaining lives in a free and civil society based on the premises of our country’s founding of God-given inalienable rights. Both of Sarah’s books support all of the above and more. It may seem a stretch to go from rest to protecting liberty but without our very first embrace of liberties as parents, including reading to and teaching our own children without censorship, we will lose what many of us have been taking for granted for decades.
For those new to homeschooling, I know it can seem daunting. Remembering that overwhelming sense of ‘what did I get myself into’ is the basis for these reading recommendations. Sarah’s words are in support of the self-care of homeschooling parents, their views and philosophies and what became a a mainstay during our homeschooling years, reading aloud together. Whatever your vision is, however it evolves or fades from view in the daily hustle, it can remain the compass for the long term destination.
If I had the opportunity to speak with Sarah, I would ask that she write a companion edition as support for parenting in general; Parenting from Rest would sum it up. It could be an excellent resource to reach a broader audience of parents who have not (yet) taken on homeschooling. Even without the existence of such a title from her, I do think Teaching from Rest applies to every mom. We do all start as homeschoolers in the broadest sense, teaching our babies from day one!
And as the title of another favorite early parenting book of mine, still present on a family bookshelf calls out about our most important work, You are Your Child’s First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin. You are homeschooling from day one, whatever you choose down the road. So snatch a few bits of restful peace promoting thoughts for your journey.
Teaching from Rest is a quick read in terms of word count but deserves every added bit of contemplation time you can give it. So don’t rush, savor, digest and integrate. You will be glad you did.