Enjoying A Restful (And Productive) Homeschool
One morning as our children were happily playing, a dear friend and I eagerly talked (over our favorite coffee) about the culture of our homeschools. In the midst of our discussion on memory work, literature selections, and math manipulatives, we engaged in the concept of a restful schooling.
As former classroom teachers, this was a foreign concept to us (former classroom teachers, you know what I mean). Every teacher struggles at some point with the “work/fun balance” in the classroom. Most days seem hurried and sometimes chaotic. We ponder if our children are learning anything at all. Is there a way to slow down and really enjoy learning?
Rest Is A Mindset
Rest does not mean sleep. As homeschooling parents, most of us have probably been sleep deprived for years. Rest does NOT mean neglecting academics. Rest is a mindset. It’s the way we carry out our educational methods and philosophies within our homes. When we think of rest, we think of slowing down and releasing a calmness of spirit.
How do we approach our homeschool days? Are we hurried in mind, body, and spirit? When we approach our days with a restful mindset, our children will too. With this concept in mind, here are a few ways to move from a mindset into practice.
Begin Your Day in Rest
The way you begin your morning sets the tone for your whole day. A chaotic morning sets you up for more chaos later on. Whether you have a few children or several, consider starting your day with a quiet morning time. Gather your children around you for Scripture, poems, songs, and a read aloud story. There are no time constraints here. The freedom is beautiful. You can make each day something new if you want.
Re-think the Planning Process
We spend hours filling in our planners, sometimes to the minute. Then, our children get sick, we deal with doctor appointments, or we forget about commitments we made weeks ago. Restful schooling offers some freedom away from the planner. Confining yourself to the details can leave you feeling guilty when you don’t accomplish the day’s specified goals. Instead, lay out a few goals you want to accomplish that day and leave enough time to diligently complete them. Then, if you have time for more, that’s great!
Relieve the Burdens
As home educators, we can place unnecessary burdens on our shoulders that aren’t ours to carry.
I love the passage of scripture in Matthew where Christ compels us to rest and lean upon Him.
“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Christ restfully taught and engaged in purposefully conversations while He was on earth.
Was He tired? Of course! But He also rested in order to refuel and begin again. What a wonderful lesson from the Master Teacher!
When we practice restful learning in our homes, we’re able to learn more about who God is and teach these wonders to our children.
Danielle is a former classroom teacher turned “work-from-home” and homeschooling mother of two. She now spends her days teaching her children, reading numerous books, and sharing her gifts with others. She blogs about her adventures at Confessions Of A Fairy Tale Mom.