What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

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my3sons
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What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by my3sons » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:15 pm

Carrie wrote:Mom2Monkeys,

...Our programs are kept purposefully short in the younger years to give your kiddos time to focus on the 3 R's. In addition, kiddos are able to have their afternoons free for what CM called "masterly inactivity" on the parent's part. :wink:). This means that kiddos have free time to pursue their own interests in the afternoons. :D

To give you an example of what this looked like at our house this past week... my 6 year old used his free time to color and create kites of his various stuffed animals. His clown fish kite was my favorite. :wink: My 9 year old recorded Tales from the Ark for my 6 year, complete with sound effects and various voices. My boys have also done this with WInd in the Willows and Tales from Dust River Gulch.

My 12 year old has been latch hooking and has also been outside daily practicing target shooting with his bow and arrow in our yard. My 2 year old has just walked around gathering things! All of the boys have worked together to build an entire geotrax set-up which covers the entire living room. The design of it is amazing, and they pick up and drop off to army men who are set up nearby. The 2 year old has been stepping gingerly around this! My husband and I also have been treated to a magic show, which my middle sons have been practicing this week. :D

Now, on any one given week, my boys activities will look totally different, but my boys have learned how to occupy their own time with things that interest each of them. If they don't have their free-time they are sad. If we do errands, they'll often say, "Mom, when will be home? I was planning on working on or doing.... this afternoon."

So, I'd encourage you to enjoy Beyond, enjoy your free-time, and allow your kiddo to cultivate that masterly inactivity. You'll be amazed at what children who have long periods of time to think can come up with!

Blessings,
Carrie
When I first read about Charlotte Mason's "Masterly Inactivity" philosophy, I loved the idea but had no idea how to go about encouraging that in our home. I knew I shouldn't be "planning" it, per say, and I had a hard time figuring out how to encourage this without planning it. I still don't really have this figured out. I copied Carrie's post here, because I think it illustrates beautifully what "Masterly Inactivity" can look like in our homes.

I would love to hear what masterly inactivity looks like in your homes!!! Just to get more ideas of how that can look. I think I'm doing some "masterly inactivity" in our home - this is what it looks like:

My almost 9 yo collected locusts' moltings and counted them, looked at them under a magnifying glass, and saved them for his cousin who loves bugs (that would be Shaw, Carrie's second ds :lol: ) My 5 yo set up his play deer, antelope, bears, and wild hogs at various heights (on blocks, behind play trees, etc.) to practice shooting with his nerf gun and bullets (my dh is an avid outdoorsman). They are both into latch-hooking, and are loving that. My 5yo is also into perler beads and made his own cars for me to iron.

My almost 9 yo has set up what he calls "The Leaf Factory" outside. I'm not sure what this is exactly, but they do it lots of afternoons. O.k., I asked him and here is "The Leaf Factory" in his own words:
"We put blankets down, set up camp with crates and snacks, start raking, stuff the leaves in buckets, use bungy straps to sling the buckets over their shoulders, and hall them to a trailer."
This sounds pretty much like raking leaves to me, but I have never asked them to do that - so would this be "masterly inactivity"? :roll: :lol: :D

My 5 yo has an "art closet" he chooses to do things from each day. He has made playdough creations from made up animals to play food. He also has painted all sorts of things too.

Both boys love to ride their 3-wheelers around the yard and may do this whenever they want to in their free time - which is about every day. I play a made-up game of baseball with them about every other day whenever they ask (modified rules for 3 players :lol: ).

So, are these "masterful inactivity" type things, or not? How do you encourage masterful inactivity in your home, and what does it look like? I'd love to hear your ideas.

In Christ,
Julie

P.S. I had a similar experience with activities that Carrie describes (since we have the same parents, of course :D ), and I share her above opinion about that. My dh, on the other hand, seemed to naturally choose "masterful inactivity" things like trapping, fishing, hunting, fixing dirtbikes, mowers - anything with an engine - raising hogs (which his dad never did), and a whole bunch of other things he came up with on his own (or with his brothers), did them totally on his own, and still enjoys doing a lot of them today. :D :D :D Now, other than having a lot of undirected free time, I am not sure how that happened. :shock: Wish I could figure out how to encourage that more in our home! :D
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mamas4bugs

Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by mamas4bugs » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:22 pm

Well, I googled "masterly inactivity," and I must admit I'm still not completely certain that I understand. If it means the constructive things my children do of their own accord to fill up their afternoons, then it looks like this at our house:

My 15 year old has taken to copying Bible verses down on index cards. She also initiates board games with her brothers, does cross stitch, teaches nursery rhymes to the baby and reads to her, does dishes or laundry just to be helpful (I know--amazing, isn't it? :D ), scrapbooks, and reads. Of course, she also talks on the phone, plays computer games, and watches movies, which probably isn't all that constructive. :roll:

My 6 year old loves to build things. He builds castles and forts out of Jenga blocks. He uses all sorts of things to make obstacle courses for his stuffed animals. He and his brother make obstacle courses for themselves outside. They also ride their scooters and skateboards. He builds elaborate domino structures and then calls us all in to watch them fall over into a pattern. He and his brother spent and hour and a half this afternoon creating animal shapes out of pattern blocks. He took our phonics blocks and put them together one sentence at a time to write a story about a cat that ate too much cat food and got a stomach ache.

My 9 year old does the things mentioned above with his brother. He also has scrapped the instructions to his Legos and Bionicles and creates new characters of his own making. He and his brother made an entire legion of creatures and had an elaborate storyline going with them in their bedroom floor. He loves to draw and is constantly "doodling" new characters that he has made up. He writes stories to go along with the characters. He likes to invent video games (his daddy makes them for a living) and pitch his ideas to his dad. He loves to read, and will spend hours devouring books.

Both of my boys also cross stitch when the mood strikes them. All three of the children love to cook (the 15 year old can supervise at this point). They play board games together, Wii (OK, not constructive). My daughter reads picture books to my 6 year old, while my son likes to read exciting adventure stories or funny animal stories to him. Oh, and they have invented this game where they hide itty bitty stuffed animals around the house for each other to find. I recently discovered a very small orange monkey stuck to the back shelf of my freezer compartment and a stuffed dog in the cupboard. :P

They all generally do their own thing from 4-7 (I do take 30 minutes to play with my 6 year old and 30 minutes for my daughter during this time--the 9 year old gets his time before school). Sometimes they watch a movie after supper. I'm not sure if the things listed fit the definition, but hopefully they are learning how to fill up their free time with their own interests and how to entertain themselves. I can't wait to see what other's children are doing. This is fun. :)

inHistiming
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by inHistiming » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:37 pm

This is one of my most favorite things that has developed since we began homeschooling! When my oldest two attended school, there was NO time for anything but homework, dinner, baths and bed. Once we came home to learn, there was much more time for pursuing other interests, or "masterly inactivity". :wink:

My kids have taught themselves to draw, and very well. They spend a lot of time doing this and are always checking out various books from the library. Speaking of which, the library has become a favorite destination for my children. The have created books...just with paper, stapled or taped, and using scrapbook paper or cardboard or a combination of both for the cover. They use these to write in, for drawing pictures, and currently my ds 10 is working on a manual for a game he created. He has been inspired over the last several weeks by some other homeschooled boys at our co-op to make his own trading cards (on index cards). He has come up with all these characters, drawn them onto the cards, made up all their "powers", then created a spinner and board to use the cards in a game. I was so impressed! My dd 8 was inspired by her brother, and has also made trading cards, and ds 5 has done his best to do it too. :) My dd also loves to use beads, and has created a name 'collar' for each of her Webkinz...that she buys with her own money, I might add. She comes up with the name, the design of the collar, and ties it on herself. She has also made earrings for her grandmother and two aunts that she will be giving them for Christmas. She spends much time making cards for me, her dad, and her grandparents. My oldest son (10) spends a lot of time building with Legos and Bionicles, and so does my youngest (5). They come of with wonderful spcaeships, buildings, etc. When we studied a bit about Rome, Egypt, and Greece last year they would spend hours in the afternoon using my littlest ones wooden blocks to build these ancient cities we had read about. They did sometimes add Hotwheels to the mix, so they weren't authentic ancient cities, but I figured I could give them the leeway! :lol: Lately, all three of the kids have spent some time outside in their 'fort', which is just an opening behind some bushes. They collect sticks, take some of their outside toys, and go out there to play make-believe.

It's been amazing to watch them at this kind of 'play'. As I teach them more about cooking, I expect that this will become an activity that they choose...they love to help in the kitchen. They learn so much just from pursuing their own interests, and it often builds on what we've been learning or brings up a great topic that we need to discuss. I am hoping once we get into our new house, I can organize it in such a way that they will be even more drawn to all of the creative things we can do. It is a bigger home, so we should have the room to be able to access all of our 'stuff'.

I am so looking forward to what others add here. I fully expect to get some great ideas for things to place around the house to get them more into their "masterly inactivity".

inHistiming
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by inHistiming » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:44 pm

mamas4bugs wrote: My 9 year old does the things mentioned above with his brother. He also has scrapped the instructions to his Legos and Bionicles and creates new characters of his own making. He and his brother made an entire legion of creatures and had an elaborate storyline going with them in their bedroom floor. He loves to draw and is constantly "doodling" new characters that he has made up. He writes stories to go along with the characters. He likes to invent video games (his daddy makes them for a living) and pitch his ideas to his dad. He loves to read, and will spend hours devouring books.
This sounds just like my 10 year old! He would love to learn how to invent video games/movies....we're thinking of getting him some sort of program for Christmas...any ideas for what to get to get him started? My son reads books like crazy and also creates stories for his 'creatures' that he makes with his brother. :wink:

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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by Carrie » Mon Oct 20, 2008 6:09 pm

This is a great topic and one that can have several different facets and meanings. :D When CM talks about masterly inactivity she is mainly talking about the role of the parent as facilitator instead of as the teacher taking over the school-day lessons. She's talking about the role of the teacher of standing by offering nudges here and there, after laying the groundwork, and seeing kiddos come to their own conclusions instead of force-feeding them to to end up where you want them to go. :wink:

But, masterly activity can also be related to the the role of the parent in the use of kiddos free-time in that the parent is again NOT taking over, and is instead standing by and facilitating, within reason, as kiddos develop their own hobbies and interests. CM would say most of these hobbies develop from the teaching of various handicrafts (i.e. sewing, needlepoint, sketching, painting, woodworking, etc.). In my house, we've taught the kiddos some of these things, but I also love for their school-time to spill over into their playtime and become the time when my role becomes offering a nudge here and there and letting them go. My role in that would be leaning toward masterly inactivity. :wink:

So, while the examples I gave do not fall into the category of handicrafts (except for latch-hooking) but more into the use of free-time, I look at those things as examples of what kiddos can do to occupy their time while still pursuing their interests. I know as a parent I need to remind myself often that I am not always the one with the information or the plan, kiddos can draw their own conclusions and come up with their own ideas too. Then, my role shifts into one of masterly inactivity. 8)

So, keep the free-time sharing coming! I love reading other's ideas and getting a "peek" into your homeschool days. It shows how unique we all are and how God gifts each of our kiddos differently. 8)

Blessings,
Carrie

inHistiming
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by inHistiming » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:58 am

bumping this up because I want to 'see' what others do in their homes...

my3sons
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by my3sons » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:15 pm

mamas4bugs wrote:Oh, and they have invented this game where they hide itty bitty stuffed animals around the house for each other to find. I recently discovered a very small orange monkey stuck to the back shelf of my freezer compartment and a stuffed dog in the cupboard. :P

They all generally do their own thing from 4-7 (I do take 30 minutes to play with my 6 year old and 30 minutes for my daughter during this time--the 9 year old gets his time before school). Sometimes they watch a movie after supper. I'm not sure if the things listed fit the definition, but hopefully they are learning how to fill up their free time with their own interests and how to entertain themselves. I can't wait to see what other's children are doing. This is fun. :)
Oh, your house sounds like fun! :D The itty-bitty animals had me laughing out loud! :lol: I have a nephew very into his itty-bitty stuffed animals too. Just like you, our kiddos pretty much do their own thing during free time, especially late in the afternoons. Your dc have figured out what to do with their free time so well - thanks for sharing your ideas!

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
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Carly
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by Carly » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:25 pm

Well, for our kids it can look like any of these:

Writing

Drawing

Piano playing

Reading

Outside looking for insects to add to their terranium

Playing with K'Nex, Legos, Snap Circuits

And on and on.

Computer and TV DO NOT COUNT, educational or not!

Carly

my3sons
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by my3sons » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:45 pm

inHistiming wrote:This is one of my most favorite things that has developed since we began homeschooling! When my oldest two attended school, there was NO time for anything but homework, dinner, baths and bed. Once we came home to learn, there was much more time for pursuing other interests, or "masterly inactivity". :wink:

My kids have taught themselves to draw, and very well. They spend a lot of time doing this and are always checking out various books from the library. Speaking of which, the library has become a favorite destination for my children. The have created books...just with paper, stapled or taped, and using scrapbook paper or cardboard or a combination of both for the cover. They use these to write in, for drawing pictures, and currently my ds 10 is working on a manual for a game he created. He has been inspired over the last several weeks by some other homeschooled boys at our co-op to make his own trading cards (on index cards). He has come up with all these characters, drawn them onto the cards, made up all their "powers", then created a spinner and board to use the cards in a game. I was so impressed! My dd 8 was inspired by her brother, and has also made trading cards, and ds 5 has done his best to do it too. :) My dd also loves to use beads, and has created a name 'collar' for each of her Webkinz...that she buys with her own money, I might add. She comes up with the name, the design of the collar, and ties it on herself. She has also made earrings for her grandmother and two aunts that she will be giving them for Christmas. She spends much time making cards for me, her dad, and her grandparents. My oldest son (10) spends a lot of time building with Legos and Bionicles, and so does my youngest (5). They come of with wonderful spcaeships, buildings, etc. When we studied a bit about Rome, Egypt, and Greece last year they would spend hours in the afternoon using my littlest ones wooden blocks to build these ancient cities we had read about. They did sometimes add Hotwheels to the mix, so they weren't authentic ancient cities, but I figured I could give them the leeway! :lol: Lately, all three of the kids have spent some time outside in their 'fort', which is just an opening behind some bushes. They collect sticks, take some of their outside toys, and go out there to play make-believe.

It's been amazing to watch them at this kind of 'play'. As I teach them more about cooking, I expect that this will become an activity that they choose...they love to help in the kitchen. They learn so much just from pursuing their own interests, and it often builds on what we've been learning or brings up a great topic that we need to discuss. I am hoping once we get into our new house, I can organize it in such a way that they will be even more drawn to all of the creative things we can do. It is a bigger home, so we should have the room to be able to access all of our 'stuff'.

I am so looking forward to what others add here. I fully expect to get some great ideas for things to place around the house to get them more into their "masterly inactivity".
I so agree with you about loving the fact that our dc have free time to cultivate their interests. I would be sad if they didn't have that time to do with what they chose. I think that is so special that your dc have taken up drawing and writing so enthusiastically. Those 2 areas are not favorites of my oldest son's, but I've been very encouraged by his zeal for the poetry writing and the Draw and Write history drawing we're doing in Preparing... It is truly the first time I can remember him really enjoying creatively writing and drawing. I can see that will transfer to other things now - he just worked on a card for my dh for his DITHOR project this past week, and he told me he was using what he'd learned in his history drawing to know how to draw my dh in a picture in the card. I wonder if some of these talents or interests take longer to show themselves? I wonder how much of some of these interests have to do with age and maturity. It's hard because I feel I need to provide the "stuff" for them to learn what they enjoy - like the latch-hooking, cross-stitching, tape recorder for recording books, etc. But I don't know how much to suggest the IDEAS? Did you suggest your dc draw or write creatively as a hobby (and if so, please do share "how"! :wink: ) Or, do you think it's just a natural talent that revealed itself? I'd be interested in handicraft ideas as well, which kind of goes with this thread, but could be a whole new post as well. MMM, well, I'm just pondering what I've read here and trying to encourage our dc to find their interests. Thanks so much for sharing here - I really value your ideas, InHisTiming!

In Christ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
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inHistiming
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by inHistiming » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:30 pm

Well, the drawing is something that my oldest ds has done forever it seems. He has always loved writing and letters and drawig pictures to go with it. I remember when he was in pre-k he was always asking me how to spell words...so he could write them on his paper that he'd drawn his picture on. It eventually evolved into getting how-to-draw _________ books from the library. They always visit that section when we go, along with the non-fiction animal books! I think with my daughter it began just as a desire to 'keep up' with her brother. And now she has become successful at it. Either of them can look at a book and draw it...well, to a certain extent. My dd used to get discouraged and get very upset when she couldn't do it 'right'(Mommy's perfectionist tendencies? :? ). I guess she had a picture in her head that she couldn't quite match...I tried to encourage her to keep trying if she really wanted to learn, and that she would eventually improve. I have also encouraged her to take a break and come back to it later with a fresh perspective....you know how things can get more and more difficult sometimes the longer we try? These two things seem to have helped her...and it doesn't hurt that their dad is a fairly good artist, himself! I think mostly it was their interest, combined with the time to work at it.

My dd's beading activities started when she had a friend who brought over a bead kit...and she had such fun with it. It was her own idea to begin making the 'collars' for her Webkinz. I have thought about asking some of the retailers if they would like to sell them, but we haven't gotten around to it. I was gonna make her some cute business cards to hand out...I did go out and have her help me pick out some beads once I saw how much she enjoyed it, plus I had been given a bunch by a pre-k teacher for whom I was supposed to take over before I began homeschooling.

i do think that some of it has to do with age and maturity...my youngest ds 5 has just begun drawing a bit. But of course, he doesn't ge the how-to books yet. He will get a paper his brother has used and try to copy it though...or try to draw from looking at a picture...but being so young it still looks a bit alien-ish. :wink: He still spends a lot of time with his Legos, play dough, and action figures; but I do expect that he will begin to pursue some of these same interests as he ages and his fine motor skills improve. When we move into our new home...only 7 days away!...I hope to be able to have more creative 'stuff' available to encourage these types of things. Music centers, writing centers, math centers, etc.

As far as suggesting things they should do, sometimes I do that...if they are wondering around looking for womething to do, or if they seem to need to spend some 'quality' time together. :wink: But usually they gravitate to these things on their own...especially if I am NOT allowing T.V., video games, or computer time on that day.

Well, I don't know if that was helpful, or what you were looking for, but there it is. I will update everyone here once we're settled in and I have my centers in place. Maybe I'll post some pictures...

Still looking to see what everyone else does in their homes. :)

Mandy in TN
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by Mandy in TN » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:30 pm

I have discussed this before with other mothers.

What do education and masterly inactivity look like in our home?

Well, for education I try to equip them each year with the materials/ support that they need to progress in the mastery topics of math and English each. I try to expose them to the survey topics of science, history, and literature at the appropriate levels of skill, maturity, and interest.

As for masterly inactivity, I try to give them enough free time to develop their own interests and pursue them and at the same time try to resist the temptation to require that those pursuits become a project where they have to report to me. My oldest ds (17yo) likes to write stories, read scifi/ fantasy literature, and research marine wildlife. My second ds (14yo) likes to take photographs and make home movies. My little guy (just turned 6yo) loves math. He plays with wedgits, pattern blocks, cards, dominoes, dice, and calculators. For a while he carried around a spiral notebook filled up the pages with numbers trying to see how high he could count on one page.

My big boys interested have evolved over the years, but they have stayed in the same spectrum. If it makes any sense, they have become more who they are.

HTH-
Mandy

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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by my3sons » Thu Oct 23, 2008 2:50 pm

Thanks inHistiming and Mandy = that really does help! I can see what you are saying, and I think I need to just keep providing free time and let them take it away. I have gotten some good ideas of what this looks like in different homes, with different personalities. I think I need to challenge my thoughts that there needs to be a certain product, or that it needs to have a certain professionalism to it to be complete. Now, that's MY perfectionist personality, isn't it? :wink: Thanks so much for your valuable input! I am interested to see how my ds's develop!

In Christ ,
Julie :D
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
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Kathleen
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by Kathleen » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:53 pm

I have loved reading all the ideas here and am inspired to make sure that my kids have the free time necessary for "masterly inactivity"! :idea: It's so easy to fill up the days with music practice, youth sports...and the list could go on and on... (Not that every family has to make the same choice on those things.) I've just been reminded to think carefully about how the choices I make for my kids' time are wise and helpful. :D

My 8 yo's favorite thing to do currently is "live" in a tree. (You'd be amazed at the things you can do aloft!) He loves to practice shooting his bow, whittle things with his pocket knife ("weapons" are very important to him right now :lol: ). Last winter his 17 yo uncle helped him set a couple of traps that he checked daily. He loves to hike and explore the pasture...but we may have to end independent exploring as there was an odd calf death in August in the pasture and we're pretty sure it was a mountain lion. :shock: He's been making several "inventions" from a kit we got at Target. (We - my husband and I - were going to help him with those, but he got tired of waiting for us and has enjoyed figuring them out all by himself.) Today he chose to run a wagon down the hill into a huge mudpuddle and then flip it! (I think introducing handcrafts sounds much less messy!! :lol: :wink: ) He's a nature lover and although he's making progress, he really doesn't like to do anything by himself! He wants someone to share everything with.

My 4 yo likes to dress up and take care of babies and kittens! She also comes up with some pretty wild stories and adventures that her brothers join in on - like piling every pillow we own on the floor in her room, draping a blue blanket from her bed to them, and riding down the "waterfall". She is independent and dramatic!! :shock: :D

My 2 yo is amazed by anything with wheels. (And he joins in on his brother and sister's fun...or antagonizes them. :roll: )

:D Kathleen
Homeschooling mom to 6:
Grant - 19 Kansas State University
Allison - 15 World Geography
Garret - 13 Res2Ref
Asa - 8 Bigger
Quinn - 7 Bigger

Halle - 4 LHTH

6timeboymom
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Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by 6timeboymom » Fri Oct 24, 2008 11:13 am

well, I would love to say it looks like a lot of what you guys have already noted, but in reality in my house it usually involves the Wii.
:oops: :lol:
Although they do play board games, card games, legos, and all kind of other things they can use as props for games, plays they put on for each other, hide and seek type games (love the monkey in the freezer! lol! that's the kind of things my boys do, too!) My oldest uses his sketch book a lot, too. There is also more and more discussion time as they are getting older, and more and more topics of discussion that leave mom in the dark (like the benefits of playing defensive tackle versus tailback? huh? when did they learn greek? :lol:) one of my boys wants to program computers, so he does a lot of trail and error with that, and one has an interest in model trains, one's interest is farming (so he can take over grandpa's land someday!)
It's nice to have time for them to explore those interests, I guess I've never thought of those things in terms of being their masterly inactivity! I always thought of masterly inactivity as something we should do but don't, now I see we DO it already! :-)
Darci
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Location: GA

Re: What does "Masterly Inactivity" look like in your home?

Post by water2wine » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:43 pm

I am still confused but it seems like there are two categories of Masterly Inactivity, what they do with their school time that comes from their own doing and what they do with their free time. If I am off, just so you know that is what I am answering. They both kind of over lap for us. :wink:

Free time
-Cooking and this is not cooking with me but where I let them do it as a group
-legos are huge they build things like the Tower of Babel, Pirate ships, things from HOD that we studied or ships that kind of thing. They like to go to the lego site (one of the few times I let them go on the computer) and try to recreate what they see there or else they find something in the house and try to recreate it with legos.
-drawing is huge around here, we sort of nature journal but it is so far more like drawing the lizard you saw outside
-paper craft is a huge thing my kids do. The make the weirdest things out of paper
-build card towers in unusual ways
-board games and card games Uno, Borderline, Bible Trivia, Homeschoolopoly, chess (I don't play but they do) etc
-knitting is big around here now days
-The observe certain things as a group like the types of butterflies in the yard and keep track of what kind go to which part of the yard
-Hot wheels are big even for the girls they name them things like Emma Sue and they have car families like most kids do with dolls
-They do a lot of acting play where they pretend to be running for President or something like that or else they play family or school
-Charades and guess who games which are really just more acting games
-There is a lot of outside play, including baseball, volleyball, soccer, bad mitten
-Have Olympic competitions, these are usually hurdles or races
-They do Awanas and they have competitions for bible memory
-They take the Bible and play a quiz game with it. Someone reads something and they have to say what it is from or who was so and so's brother, who said this etc.
-Sometimes they actually pick a part of the house to organize all on their own. My son is a neat and tidy guy who likes to organize. His wife will love him.
- We have a lot of science and history books that are out all the time as well as some poetry and other things. My kids go through these and sometimes get ideas of things to do in their free time. Some of these books are actual curriculum that I wanted to have but we have not used. Having them out as free reading turned out to be a great decision.

School time

-Lapbooking would fall into this sometimes they just get these great ideas about lapbooking something and I just let them go for it.
-They track certain Biblical events or character issues of things that happen in the Bible and try to see the outcome and if it really matches what God says. One interesting one they wanted to track is what happened to the people who had more than one wife and was the second family or the one we would see as illegitimate now days really blessed. And just weird things like that.
- We traced all our lineage to who were we from Ham, Shem or Japheth and we do a lot of those kinds of things with our Bible time it is their suggestion
- They often want to add things to HOD's notebooking that just takes things a step farther. They ask if they can also add something or make a chart etc
- They read extra books on subjects that relate to HOD for fun
- They have geography quizzes and test what countries or rivers etc boarder what with maps, they like to draw their own maps
- They do vocabulary quizzes and spelling quizzes on their own for fun

Some books that our kids have really liked
Easy Origami
Rod and Staff coloring books including their Nature Book to color and their Set of Countries to Color have been big hits but they love them all
Rod and Staff Art Pacs
The Usborne Complete book of Art (my kids do things from this book on their own all the time)
101 Best Family Card Games
The Girlhood Home Companion bound version of all the past issues has been great for getting my girls focused on something wholesome
(The rest of these are old books and the language and activities reflect it so they would not be for everyone)
The American Girls Handy Book
The American Boys Handy Book
The Field and Forest Handy Book

ETA- I forgot one huge thing I did. I took our living room (which is about the size of a normal bedroom and ours has doors on it) and turned it into a craft room. This has been awesome for the kids. They can get int here and do all kinds of things. I also have my sewing and card making/scrapbooking in there as well.

This is all I can think of that might be of help. If I think of anything else I will add it later. :D
Last edited by water2wine on Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

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