What Makes a Homeschool “Craft” a “Craft”?

While I worked this morning, Tater made this--with no help or input from me.

I’ve been feeling somewhat “less than” as a mother for not putting together brilliant seasonal craft projects to dazzle and amaze friends and family.

See, it’s almost Easter and we haven’t even bought eggs to dye yet.

That said, my approach to kiddie art-making has long been that kids should go DIY, doing stuff that meets their interests without a lot of expectation from their parents about the outcome.

This doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t have my moments of doubt.

Right now, in fact, I’m feeling a little like the odd-person-out with my POV, especially if I spend too much time on Pinterest.

Where do some of those super-crafty mommy bloggers come up with that stuff? And is a labor-intensive craft project really worth the money and effort–especially if it comes at the expense of being outside or reading about, oh, 16th-century England, amphibians, or some other random topic that we’re prone to researching at random in the middle of an afternoon?

Note that because we were heavily influenced by the Reggio-Emilia approach to preschool, we have a ton of art supplies accessible to the kid, which he uses as he pleases with minimal input from me. Sometimes he makes unusual assemblages, other times it’s pencil on paper.

The few times that I’ve tried a more elaborate craft, we’ve ended up ticked at one another when our visions don’t mesh. Or we’ve been bored to tears. We both loathe coloring sheets. (This must be hereditary because my mother isn’t a fan of them, either.)

Frankly, I just find the stuff that the kid makes on his own far more compelling to me because it came out of his own little head and hands.

Then again, maybe it’s just me… and I’m being lazy and unimaginative.



  1. i agree! the parent shouldn’t be doing more work than the kid. my daughter makes a lot of art projects out of things she finds in the trash or recycling. i don’t know what that says about us…

  2. Me too! I’ll join the club gladly. My children’s imaginations and abilities far outstrip mine, so I just make sure the ingredients are there and let them create as they like.

  3. My son is delighted with a pencil and piece (or 20) of paper. He will draw and draw and draw…and I get work done. Then, I have the pleasure of hearing him explain his fantastical battle scenes or dragon breeding ground…whatever his crazy, wonderful imagination chose to explore. I used to be an obsessive, complicated holiday crafty mom–and it wasn’t fun for anyone. (And we, too, haven’t bought eggs yet. We’re trying to figure out if we can dye our hens’ brown and blue eggs. I’m sure there’s something on Pinterest about it, but I still have work to do tonight…) Have a lovely day!

  4. It’s not about me, it’s about her. What she can create! I let my 7 y.o. girl loose with the materials and she does it … if she needs help, she asks. But she hasn’t asked yet. She knows I’m a storyteller, and appreciates my gift. And I appreciate her ability to take paper and paint and create fantastic scenes. Better that we allow them the freedom in their creativity when so much of the world wants to beat anything unique out of them!

    Nice blog, btw. 🙂

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