Summer! Summer! Summer! It is the season we celebrate the cumulation of the school year and the associated fruits of our labor, a time to anticipate renewal, to remember and to refocus. It is also a time of refreshment for ourselves and our families. How is summer like the Sabbath? Can we call it the sabbath of summer?
We embrace this season with new energy and a desire for refreshment. So how do we refresh ourselves and our families? What refreshes our soul? In embracing God’s commandment of keeping the sabbath, He gives us the opportunity of refreshment and renewal, and through our obedience we receive rest! As we reflect on His amazing gift, let us remember the antithesis. This becomes especially significant when observing in the Second Book of Chronicles,
. . . to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had made up for its sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” (2 Chronicles 36:21)
The echoes in this passage are observable in modern ideas of achievement and success; overworking the mind and soul with multum! If we embrace Charlotte Mason’s first principle, “children are born persons,” and consider ourselves as such, we should take caution not to lead our minds and souls into desolation. We must also ourselves as mothers, wives, teachers and students, embrace this time of renewal and feed our minds with goodness, through continued restful learning in order to begin anew.
How do we partake of this renewal? What truth, goodness, and beauty do we fill ourselves with in order to embody and therefore reflect it? If we are not filling ourselves and embodying restful learning by taking time to feed ourselves with beautiful art, music, literature, and wisdom; it will be difficult to model and instill a sense of wonder to those entrusted to us.
Rest & Renewal!
For many years I was deceived by believing self-sacrifice meant allowing no time for myself, but all must be given to my family. Of this, I have repented. I found that even investing a minimum of thirty minutes a day in my own pursuit of reading and wonder has made a great impact. These commitments of daily renewal have surfaced a passion for wonder I had stifled for quite some time. I am most grateful for this renewed gift and seek to impart the passion of wonder in my children and the young minds entrusted to me. With the commitment to rest, comes His promise of renewal!
Recollection & Reflection
“ so that our young people will live in a healthy place and be benefited on all sides, and so that something of those fine works will strike their eyes and ears like a breeze that brings health from a good place, leading them unwittingly, from childhood on, to resemblance, friendship, and harmony with the beauty of reason.” — Plato, Republic 401c5-d2
Plato held that the environment of learning was crucial to education. We can see this through our own lives as we recall cherished moments of our past and stories told to us. Our children love to hear stories we share, and associate specific times, places, and events with these stories. We see their excitement and passion as they reflect and retell these stories to their community. The environment becomes key to recollection, as they synthesize knowledge, harmony, wonder and community. As we build a cultured environment of learning filled with music, art, nature, and community – an environment of Scholé – we nurture the wonder of truth, goodness, and beauty our souls crave. In order to recall and reflect this goodness, we must first embody it.
We are made in the image of God, to reflect Him, and rest in community with Him. In this, we are called to reflect Him to others and rest alongside others in community. As we begin to dedicate time to invest in our own pursuit of wonder, and embody God’s wonder, we can begin to better reflect God’s image. If we are not feeding our souls, what are we reflecting? Let us embrace the sabbath, feed our souls, embody His goodness, and reflect it in our communities!
Refocus . . .
What are the goals for ourselves and students?
My goal is to equip myself and my children to be whom God has called them to be. In community, build our souls in wisdom and virtue through His truth, goodness and beauty. How do we refocus and continue this journey?
Many of us did not have classical education. Many of us, myself included, are beginning our classical education as adults. What a blessing it is to learn with our students, to model humility, and embrace wonder; we must learn to teach not as we were taught!
As we allow ourselves to be refreshed, and tend the soil of our mind and soul we will, in time, produce much fruit.
Lisa Mayeux is a second-generation homeschooler who began her own homeschool journey as a high school student. She has spent over a decade continuing this tradition by homeschooling her two children according to classical pedagogy. She is the director of Sanctus Spiritus Scholé in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has a passion for instilling truth, goodness and beauty through the liberating arts in her children and students. Lisa is grateful to have the opportunity to recapture and embrace her classical education in adulthood, and learn alongside her students.