Masterly Inactivity, or Raising Creative Kids

Dear Reader,

I have been struck lately by how very creative a couple of my friend’s kids are. Two in particular come to mind. One is a boy who came up with his own version of the Munchkin card game our kids enjoy playing together. His is Wizard of Oz themed. The other is a girl who is constantly doing crafts and coming up with really cool things (she has a bed made of PVC pipe but I think her dad helped with that). In both of these cases the kids are homeschooled and get out of the house probably less than average. Neither is isolated by any means, but one has a bunch of little siblings and the other has a mom who does home daycare, so in both cases they are able to get out less during the day than some other families. But they have both become really creative kids who find their own interests. This I think is how what Charlotte Mason terms “masterly inactivity” is supposed to work. The kids are not entertained by their parents, they are not constantly staring at screens, and so they must find their own activities. And they do. And they become pretty creative, interesting people along the way. It kind of makes me wish we got out less 🙂

Nebby

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Karen on January 5, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    My girls are young still – 10, 8, 7 and 5…..so their craftiness isn’t as elaborate as what you’ve described. But, their craftiness is so much more fun for them than it was for me, a public-schooled child. I hated art class because I wasn’t good at it. Consequently, I don’t really “teach” art.

    I do, however, have lots of glue, paper, paints, etc. on hand. And I’m rather tolerant of messes (well, for the first hour – then I get a little cranky! *L*) I really think these are the keys – having the materials, and letting the children alone to follow directions from a book, or copy something they saw a friend/adult do, or work up something from her own imagination.

    Reply

    • I agree! My kids hate when I take them to a class or workshop and the teacher tells them what to do step by step. Even at homeschool events this happens.

      Reply

  2. I think maybe parents have a hard time with this, too, because the fruit is not seen right away. I know I have to remind myself not to interfere too much, like when I want to nit-pick my kids’ drawings or something! I’ve also had to get out of the mindset that their being bored is a bad thing. It’s okay – they need to figure out ways to entertain themselves. They’ll be better able to pursue their own interests (because they’ll actually have the time to discover what those are) and think for themselves.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Hinds on January 9, 2015 at 9:31 am

    My homeschool aged daughters are 6, 8, 11, 13, and 14 and they are creative like this… especially my 8 year old! We do get out of the house 2-3 days a week, but I think their creativity also stems from limited access to screens (video games, television, tablets) I don’t think screens are wrong, but they do fill minds with a lot if busy stuff… when that vacuum is there (no screen input), their little brains start whirring to fill in that vacuum.

    Reply

    • Hindsfeet and Angela — Thank you both for your input. I think I need to give my kids more of a vacuum sometimes too.We do do some screen time. I’ve tried to cut down on outside activities this year but they still add up with 4 kids.

      Reply

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