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“We know that the Will acts upon ideas; that ideas are presented to the mind in many ways––by books, talk, spiritual influences; that, to let ourselves be moved by a mere suggestion is an act of allowance and not of will; that an act of will is not the act of a single power… but an impulse that gathers force from Reason, Conscience, Affection; that, having come to a head by degrees, its operations also are regular and successive, going through the stages of intention, purpose, resolution; and that, when we are called upon for acts of will about small matters, such as going here or there, buying this or that, we simply fall back upon the principles or the opinions which Will has slowly accumulated for our guidance.”
Charlotte Mason — Ourselves
As we approach the summertime, let us consider these “acts of will” and “small matters.”
What vision, principles, reasons, desires, and affections are we prepared to cultivate for these ten to twelve weeks of children’s summertime?
For some, summer is a time for jobs, camps, and chores like gardening. Others oppose such structured times and look forward to more “free time” for sleeping in, catching up on reading, vacationing at the lake or beach, watching movies, or hanging out with friends.
During summertime, we have more opportunities and time to engage on a deeper level with our children. We can experience the joy and wonder of God’s creation together through times of unstructured and creative play.
How can we make sure these summer weeks are not spent “moved by a mere suggestion?” In a culture of clamor, being intentional about our summertime is another opportunity to bind our behavior to our ideals. What kind of person do I want to be or what kind of person do I want my children to be? What will nourish and replenish us to be self-respecting, contributing, God-fearing persons during these days of summer?