In my many nights of researching on the internet, one night I read this: “I’m tired of people saying they’re homeschooling their preschooler.” The poster went on to say that unless the child was officially in school, they didn’t feel that it counted as homeschooling. After all, we aren’t dealing with calculus, chemistry, and so on; we’re just “playing.”
I understand that mindset: my trials are so much harder than yours. Still, I disagree. The Engineer isn’t officially school age yet but we’re clearly doing school. He doesn’t sit down and do a lot of pages in a workbook. He isn’t doing super advanced subjects, but neither would a first grader, or even a third grader. He’s doing age-appropriate courses of study that happen to involve catching tadpoles, watching ants in the ant farm, and helping garden.
Right now we’re doing a variant of PBH – Project Based Homeschooling – we’re focusing on child-led learning, with a huge focus on independent study and creativity. I originally set up the “school area” as my storage spot – now it’s set it up so that the kids can pull out something to work with (oops, did I say work? I meant play!) and sit at their table to do it. Some things have to go to the kitchen table since the Destroyer loves putting them in his mouth, but the older two are pretty responsible. Usually.
In my admittedly biased opinion, we’re officially homeschooling. We are making a concerted effort to teach something to our kid, and we’re using teaching materials and tools to accomplish that. If that doesn’t count as homeschooling I’m not sure what to call it. Sure, we play a lot. We spend a lot of our time gazing at bugs and birds and riding bikes and scooters. We spend lots of time at playgrounds making new friends. We go for walks in the woods and look at the wildflowers.
The world is our classroom. That’s an awesome way to learn!
When it’s time for the Engineer to “officially” begin school in the fall, we’ll probably be continuing what we’re doing now. I got confirmation that we’re doing the right thing the other day when the Engineer and the Princess decided that they wanted to do our dry-erase workbooks. They spent 30 minutes or more tracing letters and shapes, drawing pictures, and doing mazes and puzzles.
We’re official. Not that anyone really cares! Still, for all those people starting the process of homeschooling, don’t let veteran homeschoolers sneer at your efforts. If you’re teaching your child, you’re homeschooling no matter the age.