Thursday

Home-Scholé Transformation

5 Benefits Teaching from Rest Brought to Our Homeschool

Whenever you start a new venture in life it’s always helpful to do a cost-benefit analysis. What will be my cost compared to the benefit I gain? When I started going down the scholé path and learning about the concept of teaching from rest, I definitely had to decide if the cost of my time and energy to learn and implement a new teaching philosophy with my children and in our homeschool was worth it. I can definitively say, after about 18 months of schooling this way, it absolutely is! 


Peace of Mind

I’ve written before about how a homeschool crisis a couple of years ago started me looking for a better way to run our homeschool. I came from a place of doubt and worry to one of having peace of mind about what my children are learning and the direction that I want to take with their future education. Teaching from rest helped me to realize that some of my wishes for their education were unattainable (teaching them everything they’d ever need to know) and unrealistic (make them love and enjoy every subject). Now I can have peace of mind about our homeschool because I know I want them to have feasted on truth, beauty, and goodness when our time of home education ends. I don’t feel the burden to cover every base, but to make sure the bases I do cover are done well.

 Joy in the Process
Before scholé the learning environment in our home was a pretty tense one, lots of reminders to hurry, exasperation on my part, and frustration from the children. Now that we have started to reap the benefits of teaching from rest, the learning process has taken on an entirely different tone. Most days we can all sit back and enjoy the ride of learning. We can wallow in the process of discovery and discussion. My children and I are relearning how to learn together in a way that feels natural and organic while still having structure. It doesn’t mean that I still don’t fall into bad patterns at times or that we all sit around and hold hands while reviewing Latin vocabulary, but the tenure of our days has changed for the better.

Confidence in My Ability
The most often heard comment I hear when people find out that I used to be a public school teacher is, “Homeschooling must be so easy for you!” Yeah, right. Give me a room of eighth grade students, hand me a history textbook, and I’m your girl. Place my own child in front of me who’s struggling with math or learning to read, and I’m just as terrified as any other homeschool parent. Teaching from rest has helped me to become more confident in my ability to teach my own child. Not because I have a super human teaching power now, but because it helped me focus on the spiritual Power that I have to fill in the gaps where my own confidence falls short. Too many times I forgot that this is not a solitary endeavor, it is a joint work between myself and God. I bring all I have to the altar where He takes it and turns my meager ability into something great within my children.

Customization in Education
Once I let go of my doubts and fears, found my confidence, and began enjoying the process of learning again, scholé really opened my eyes to the possibility of stepping outside the box and teaching my children as individuals, or in Charlotte Mason’s words, teaching my children as “the born persons” that they are. The process of customizing our children’s education is where homeschooling really shines above and beyond what public and private schools can offer. Many times we let doubts and lack of confidence tie us to standards and keeping up with the Homeschool Jones’ instead of teaching the children we have. An education of rest and leisure doesn’t mean less rigorous, but it definitely means more connected to the child.

Understanding My Role
I once felt all of the pressures on my shoulders to make sure my children were successes. I mean, if they never learn about George Washington or how to balance a chemical equation there is no one to blame for an educational oversight except you. This pressure manifested itself in how I taught. It was very much a system of “listen to me because I am your teacher” instead of learning alongside my children and listening to what they had to say as well. As teaching from rest became more entrenched in my thoughts I slowly found myself taking time to follow rabbit trails with the kids, to listen to what they thought Emily Dickinson was trying to convey in her poem, or just to enjoy a good book together. I dropped the authoritative draconian model and adopted a more mentor and fellow learner model which definitely made our days more restful and leisurely.

I feel like I need to add a caveat at the end of this post to keep things real. It is a very rare day {like maybe once} that I find all of these things in our homeschool at one time. Let’s face it, life happens, kids have attitudes, mom has hormones and most days I fall so far short that I would be disqualified from a long jump competition. The freeing aspect of restful teaching is that it no longer burdens me as much as it did. I keep working at it. I keep reaching for that goal. My encouragement comes in seeing the fruit of my pursuit in our homeschool. So please don’t think that I have it all together and our homeschool runs like a well oiled scholé machine. These are the benefits I have found from a poor implementation of the ideal. I can’t even imagine what a homeschool looks like that does it really well!


Curious what my fellow Everyday Scholé bloggers have discovered to be the biggest benefits to them from restful teaching? Just click the links below to find out.

      

What changes in your homeschool philosophy have brought about the biggest rewards?
Let me know in the comments.
Chelli

4 comments:

  1. I love your comment, Chelli, that as homeschool moms we're mentors and fellow learners. It really does sum up restful learning for me! :-)

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    1. Yes, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

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  2. This is a great post, and timely for me. They biggest shift in my thinking was when I realized that I was sacrificing relationships with my kids for achievement/crossing things off my list. So now I try to embrace opportunities to build and nourish our relationships and remind my self that NOTHING is more important that the relationship. Relationships trump all.

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    1. This is SO, SO true and such an important thing to learn. I won't consider our time homeschooling a success if they learn Calculus, but never want to come home again when it's all over.

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