Book Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie


Homeschooling book review of teaching from rest by sarah mackenzie an island family by grace

This week my friend Alisha from Family Travel on a Shoestring has kindly written a guest post with her book review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie.

Every once in a while a book comes along that truly encourages and inspires you.  Most of the time you pick the book up hoping for a little entertainment or a few tips and ideas but you never expect it to really change your day to day life in a real and tangible way.  In my five years of homeschooling I’ve read quite a few books about homeschooling.  There were never any that really spoke to me.  Sure, some offered up helpful advice but none made my theoretical All Homeschoolers Must Read list.  I kept seeing rave reviews about Sarah MacKenzie’s  Teaching From Rest. It sounded decent, however, I figured it was just another book about homeschooling, with more of the same old ideas spoken with a different voice.

Book Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie - An Island Family By Grace

Sarah MacKenzie

One afternoon after a trying day of homeschooling my four rambunctious boys I was folding laundry and listening to Sarah’s Read Aloud Revival podcast.  I was tired and stressed and wondering why in the world I had picked the hard road. Had I mistaken my calling?  Had I decided to homeschool out of fear or pride and now I had to live in the shadow of that decision?  I could have sent them to school.  I could have been Happy Room Mom, the one that always brings the cupcakes to all the class parties. My home could have always been immaculately clean with Pinterest worthy snacks awaiting my children that were so happy to finally be home that they would thank me endlessly for the hard work I had done for them while they were away at school all day. I wouldn’t of had to worry constantly if I was going to fail my children or wonder if at the end of this homeschooling  journey if my children would have fond memories of their school years and most of all of me.  I wouldn’t be tired, frazzled or stressed.  Life could have been different, it could have been peaceful.

Here is the bare truth: Not an hour passes without the enormity of the task I have taken on bringing me to my knees.  This work of homeschooling and raising hearts and souls and bodies is hard.  It is more than I can do in my own strength. –Sarah MacKenzie, Teaching From Rest

Sarah mentioned her book and on a whim I decided to go ahead and get it.  I logged on to Amazon and bought a copy for my Kindle, not wanting to have to wait for it or pay shipping. I wish now that I had bought a hard copy so that I could have it handy on my coffee table for easy access when needed.  In five years I’ve tried almost every single homeschooling method there is.  I was at the end of my rope and the only method I hadn’t tried yet was the idea of homeschooling from rest. Turns out that was the method I needed all along.

This book sprang from the insatiable thirst for the unshakable peace that God promises those who follow Him.  I long to live from a place of rest, to teach and mother from peace rather than anxiety. –Sarah MacKenzie, Teaching From Rest.

Teaching From Rest is an unyielding beckoning for us to rest in the Lord.  To trust and rest in His peace.  Sarah reminds us that God doesn’t call us to “pour out our hearts for our children only to be left choking on the dust of our mistakes.” While we can sometimes feel that the mundane tasks of creating chore charts and grading math worksheets isn’t a worthwhile life’s endeavor, it is!  We are serving God in our everyday pouring out of ourselves for our children if we are doing it out of love and obedience to Him.  When the going gets hard we need to go to Him, rely on Him alone, because on our own we are simply not enough. We need to stop teaching our children out of fear that we aren’t checking off everything in our curriculum guides and worrying over every single little detail. We are not the end all be all of the center of their universe.

Sarah doesn’t just tell us why we should be homeschooling from rest but she also gives us practical ways to live out a life of unshakeable peace .  Your curriculum works for you, not the other way around.  She gives great advice about how to simplify your curriculum and your schedule.  I had never heard of loop scheduling until I read this book.  Loop scheduling is a practical way to fit everything, well almost everything, you want into your homeschool schedule without stressing your schedule or your emotions.

Teaching From Rest is a book that I will go to time and time again for encouragement.  It’s chapters are filled with words, truths and thoughts that are as relevant to a mother of preschoolers thinking about homeschooling as they are to a mother that’s been homeschooling for a decade.  After putting this book in my Amazon cart only to remove it time and time again, I’m so thankful I finally bought it on impulse.  I know homeschooling will evolve with the ebbs and flows of our changing life and I don’t know what the future holds but regardless, I can and will homeschool from rest with unshakeable peace.


About the Author: Alisha and family - Family Travel on a Shoestring - Book Review of Teachimg from Rest by Sarah MacKenzie

Alisha is a homeschooling mom of four boys and wife to an amazing guy.  She spends her days wrangling the wild ones, reading aloud, gardening and planning trips.  Bit by the wanderlust bug, she writes about traveling with a big(ish) family on a shoestring budget at

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May be linked up at Making Your Home Sing MondayModest Mondays, Art of Homemaking Mondays, Good Morning Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Monday of Many Blessings Link UpTitus 2sdays, Teaching What is Good, Maple Hill Hop, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Wednesday Link Up Party, Homestead Blog Hop, Wholehearted Wednesdays, Siting Among Friends Blog Hop, Hearts for Home Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Growing in Grace Link Up,  Fellowship Friday, Grace and Truth Linkup, Frugal Friday, and Faith Filled Friday.

This post contains some affiliate links. Shopping through them won’t cost you anything extra, but if you do buy something, our family will earn a few pence. I only link to products I have used and would recommend.


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6 Comments on “Book Review of Teaching From Rest by Sarah MacKenzie

    • I agree Lisa, it sounds like the right place to be coming from when we are home educating. Thanks for your comment 🙂

    • Yes, it is definitely needed- it is so easy to try to do everything in our own strength, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting Heather.

  1. Just like you, Gwen, I hesitated in buying this book for a long time; I felt it was just more of the same. But then one day, I gave in, and I’m sure glad I did. It does offer comfort, reassurance and a clear invitation to rest in the Lord in this ‘too difficult for me’ journey. Something I need to hear over and over again. Great review! Hoping others will be blessed as well.
    Carlie recently posted…How to Keep Moving When You Are Stuck In the MiddleMy Profile

    • Yes, Alisha’s review has really made me want to go ahead and buy the book, even though I have heard about it for a while! And great that it encourages us to rest in the Lord for whatever we are doing- it is so easy to forget this. Thanks so much for your comment Carlie 🙂

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