Masterly Inactivity

Charlotte Mason talks about “masterly inactivity.”  That is the idea that we would give our children times and spaces that aren’t programmed so that they are forced to come up with their own learning and activities– and yet, we are present in the background, and still in control of their safety.

It is saying, “No, I can’t ________ right now, I’m going to make dinner.  But you can pull a bunch of things out of the recycling and see what you can make.”  Or another favorite of mine, the puzzle bin.

It is setting up a fossil making station (thank you, Exploring Creation with General Science, from Apologia) and then letting them go hog wild on it for two hours.

It is putting the children into all their snow clothes and throwing them into the back yard with their friends.  And watching the fun while I knit by the window.

It requires my being okay with a mess.  Not being in control of the glue.    I’m working on it.

One thought on “Masterly Inactivity

  1. I felt an inner need to write lists today; there are just too many layers of long term projects waiting their turn for the regular schedule to run today. I did feel bad (horrible) that M missed his phonics lesson, but truly, he drew with K, built a lovely Thomas train layout, played a strategy game with B, shoveled lots (and lots) of snow with DH…he is in no way rotting his brains today.

    So, I wasn’t goofing off because I’m just too disorganized to pull it all together in a good time…I was masterfully…umm…writing lists.



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