The question “What is homeschooling” is too broad to answer properly — homeschool is different to each family and each child that does it!
The broad answer is that homeschooling is educating your child outside the formal setting of a school. Useless right! That means very little and that is because there are as many ways to homeschool as their are children — one of the most awesome things about homeschool is that you tailor the leaning, the style and your lifestyle to both you and your child!
The other crazy thing is that our family do not really use or even like the term “homeschool” — both parts of the word misrepresent what we do in our family!
Firstly we don’t sit at home. We go to activities with other families, we go to museums, we go to parks (to walk, to collect things, to play), my children also have one day a fortnight each with my father (they always come back filthy and having learned something completely strange!)… Of course we do have days that we stay home (and I love those days!) although to say we HOMEschool is not correct.
The second part of the word is simply wrong and misleading. We don’t do “school” at all, we don’t follow a set curriculum, we are not an institution and we don’t limit our study to levels or grades. What we do is — We learn and we educate. We follow interests and we do research. Again homeSCHOOL is simply not what we do!
That is why my blog is called “We live. We learn” because that is what we do in a nutshell.
I know that we (people) need to classify and name things so if you are wondering what our homeschool “style” is called it is probably called “Unschooling” which is also known as interest driven, child-led, natural, organic, eclectic, or self-directed learning. I personally prefer the term “Natural Learners” or “Life Learning” although they are all terms used for the same or at least very similar styles. When I was writing this post another Unschooler said they refer to themselves as Non-schoolers which I also think is great!
I think the best explanation would be if I answer some of the questions that I am often asked: