About Sarah Mackenzie

Sarah is a smitten wife, mama of six (including twins!) and the author of Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unshakable Peace.
She hosts the Read-Aloud Revival Podcast, and can usually be found hiding behind a camera lens or writing about vibrant and passionate motherhood at Amongst Lovely Things.

The secret to Teaching from Rest (and a giveaway!)

The Secret to Teaching From RestWritten by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

We’re tiptoeing to the end of summer, and if you’re anything like me, you’re looking over your plans for the school year, making sure you’ve dotted your i’s, crossed your t’s, that you’ve stocked up on 10 cent notebooks and colorful pens.

And maybe… juuuuust maybe… you’re sneaking a few extra things into the curriculum.

After all, you want this to be the BEST homeschool year ever, right?

Me too. But I’ve been down this new-year-of-homeschooling road a few times, and I want to tell you the secret for setting out for a new school year with mindful intention that has the staying power to carry us through the year– that will get us through that November slump and even the February burnout that threatens us year after year.

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Being outnumbered by babies and toddlers: The hardest part of Sarah’s homeschool year

hardest

Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things

No one likes to be outnumbered. If you’re in a soccer match and the other team has more players on the field than you, it feels like defeat before you begin.

I don’t just have more children than I do hands- I have more children than I do appendages. Juggling three kids under three while trying to teach my older three (13, 11, 9) was my biggest struggle last year, and it was a doozy, if I do say so myself.

And I do.

Being outnumbered is daunting enough. But to have three toddlers? All at once? That’s a madhouse even if you aren’t trying to teach the oldest pre-algebra and cover the details and implications of The Louisiana Purchase at the same time.

My friend Trina recently said that the difference between surviving and thriving is the simple act of savoring… there is always something sweet worth leaning into. And I think she’s right.

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Summer = time gained

If we take a summer break in our homeschooling, isn't that time lost? Perhaps not. Discover four ways to make your summer equal time gained.

Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things.

I have a bad habit of thinking that summer is time lost. You know what I’m talking about, right?

It seems that every time we take a couple of months off of school completely, when we finally get back to hitting the books in September, each and every one of my kids has forgotten details like how to write a complete sentence or that 2+2=4.

It’s maddening.

After all, we pour so much into our teaching during the year! If we take the summer off and lose ground— well, that’s time lost, isn’t it?
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How to read aloud every day

read aloud every day

Written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things.

I‘m convinced that the minutes and hours I spend reading to my children are the best invested moments of my entire life.

With six kids underfoot to love on and teach, I fight a constant feeling that I’m not meeting everyone’s needs- not taking time for the things that matter most- that someone is growing up with the underlying feeling of being overlooked or forgotten.

When I’m reading with my kids, I never feel that way. No one has to convince me that reading to my children will strengthen our relationship, form happy family memories, improve their ability to communicate, and make a lasting difference in all of our lives.

I am convinced that the story formed childhood my parents gave me was one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.”

– Sarah Clarkson, Caught Up in a Story (p. 6)

I have seen the fruit of that already, and I believe in it with all my heart.

But just knowing doesn’t make the doing any easier.
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Paradigm shift: Curriculum is not something you buy

sarahm5

The following is a guest post written by Sarah Mackenzie of Amongst Lovely Things.

What if we’ve got it all wrong?

What if it doesn’t matter which books we use, which history projects we take on, how many lessons of math we accomplish in a year?

Homeschoolers spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about “curriculum,” but what if, when we compare spelling programs and choose math books, we aren’t really talking about curriculum at all?

Curriculum isn’t something we buy. It’s something we teach. Something we embody. Something we love.  It is the form and content of our children’s learning experiences.

Saxon Math isn’t the curriculum. It’s just the book that we use to teach the actual curriculum, which is: math.

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