Rest has been my theme this year. Not inactivity or laziness, but rest. Even in the chaos of life, the challenging and the difficult; to truly rest. I’ve worked hard to let go of the to do list more and not be married to my detailed plan for the entire year… page by page of each subject planned out.
And guess what!!! We have been more productive, we’ve had more fun and I’ve been more at peace! I’m not constantly feeling like I’m falling behind and pushing the kids to hurry, hurry, hurry… “finish your math quickly so that we can get history completed before lunch!!”
We have enjoyed learning together, reading more books, exploring and having intentional time together. To look into my sons eyes as he sounds out words in his reading book. To gently explain a math concept to my daughter without trying to listen to another child read and call out spelling words to another. To stop trying to multitask every subject and to invest in each heart and mind.
I’ve been making a conceted effort to stop and look at my kids in the eyes when they talk to me. I like it when other people look me in the eyes when I’m talking, why do I not treat my children the same? Maybe that’s why I need to remind them to look at someone when they talk… because I’ve not modled that to them. Just this, tells my children they are important to me and what they have to say is worthwhile. It helps me not to be doing three other things and trying to listen at the same time, which never goes very well.
Relationships have been better. I’m not anxious, or stressed to complete our to do list and I feel really good about all that we are accomplishing. Yes, there are still hard days and I still raise my voice all too often and there are times we hardly get antyhing done, but I’m learning to be OK with it.
Brian and I decided that we wanted to homeschool our children so that we could invest in their lives, build lasting relationships and train them in the way they should go. With a packed schedule it was just pushing to finish this, start that, pack this so that we can run out the door. I was frustrated and angry way too much and that is NOT the purpose of homeschooling.
I haven’t arrived and I have a long way to do, but I feel like we are coming into what we need and what is perfect for our family. I also can’t claim this as my own. I recently read the book, Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie and it has really been the breath of fresh air I needed. I knew our schooling wasn’t what I wanted, but I didn’t know where to start or how to change it.
Her wisdom and direction really helped me re-evaluate what we are doing and find what was important to us. We are involved in a homeschool co-op and that has helpped make sure we address important subjects. On top of that I’ve picked two additional subjects that are important that we get to or areas that they kids need to work on; math for all, reading for some, spelling for one, letter recognition for others. Then the rest of the subjects I had planned on getting to this year we have either dropped or we occationally get to weekly.
We had also slacked off on our read-alouds. We were still listening to books on CD, but I missed the time cuddled on the couch or on the floor before bed reading fun books. Or a cup of tea in the afternoon with a good book togehter. We have found time for that again as well!
Overall I’m so glad to see where we are and I’m excited for where we are going! I know the Lord is leading us and it’s so satisfying to be in His good will!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and not at all satisfied with what your homeschooling experience is looking like right now, then I really suggest this book and I encourage you to really spend time thinking through what isn’t working and make some changes. It will be good for you and your children and for the duration of your homeschooling!
If you end up making changes or think of new things you wanna try, I’d love to hear! Please share in the comments!