Do you know what Frozen and Teaching from Rest have in common? Both speak of the importance of moving or teaching from a state of peace or love. To quote the lyrics of the song Fixer Upper from the movie Frozen:
People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed
But throw a little love their way, and you’ll bring out their best
True love brings out the best.
Mad, Scared, or Stressed?
Have you been making homeschooling decisions while mad, scared, or stressed? Or perhaps all three? I know I certainly have.
The children act up and refuse to do their schoolwork, doodle on the workbook pages, or stare absentmindedly out the window daydreaming. Visions of my children starving on the streets haunt me.
A friend’s child is taking Latin with a tutor or class. We’re still struggling through the first book and not making any progress. In fact, we’ve had to go back to review material again and again and again. Visions of my children flunking out of university flutter through my dreams.
Another child we know tests sky high on standardized tests. I’m sitting down with a late reader reviewing phonics for the umpteenth time, wondering if this child will ever be able to read. Visions of countless women shaking their heads at my temerity to think I could teach my child stream before my eyes.
Have you been there? Hyperventilating because you know you have failed your children, or they failed you by not being perfect. You are a homeschool failure.
So, if you’re like me, you panic and try to fix the problem. It’s the curriculum! And jump to a new program… that doesn’t work any better than before. You spend hours drilling the children in Latin until they are chanting:
Latin is a language, as dead as it can be.
It killed the ancients and now it’s killing me!
Needless to say, panicking isn’t the solution. So what is?
Teaching from Rest
Teaching from rest is the solution, but what does it mean?
Does it mean lying in bed all day and letting the children run wild? Tempting….
Perhaps teaching from rest means doing nothing but curling up in a chair all day reading, letting the children wait on us… ah, lovely thought.
Teaching from rest means teaching our children with confidence and love. We won’t be able to teach everything, there simply isn’t enough time to cover the entirety of human endeavors in 12 short years. So we simply get up and do our best. No matter what happens, what we do won’t be enough, but it will be sufficient.
Does that make sense? We can’t do everything. No one can. Interruptions are part of life. The dirty diapers, screaming children, sick family members, broken washing machines, and all the other daily interruptions are not going away. We do have to deal with these crisis.
Interruptions are a Part of Life
These interruptions mean we might not finish the math book. A chapter or two of the history book may be skipped. We might extend an essay for another week in order to have time to edit and revise it. This doesn’t mean we failed at our child’s education.
Even in the public schools interruptions and crisis happen. A pep assembly is called. A field trip comes up. The basketball team makes it to state, so the school empties of all seniors and juniors. Yes, my high school was small, and the team did make it to state! A teacher gets sick and needs a few days to recuperate. Plans get revised.
These crisis have been going on for centuries. I’d be surprised if the Sumerian schools didn’t experience daily crisis of their own. Yet despite all that, we’ve been successfully education our children. Children grow up to be adults educating the next generation and stressing because the education never falls together as planned.
Children Do Get Educated Despite the Crisis
Children gain an education, and I believe children learn just as much from watching us deal with crisis after crisis and return to the fray. They learn the lessons Thomas Edison learned and put to use. It’s the going back to do it again each day that matters, not how far you made it the previous day. They learn we love them enough to get up each day to try again despite the crisis, the pain, the frustration.
Teaching From Rest means knowing that we’re never going to be able to keep up with the perfect plan and there will be crisis to deal with every day. But we have faith that despite everything, what we are able to do will be enough.
Our children will become capable, educated adults one day despite everything.