Originally Posted by jessicaSAR
(I've even heard people talk about their daycare providers as "school")
My nephew turned two in September. My sister has been referring to his daycare center as "school" since he was about 6 months old. I think this is ridiculous, and my personal opinion is that she does this because she feels better about sending him to "school" than she does about sending him to "daycare." She also COMPLETELY buys into the "learn as much as possible as early as possible" idea.
I have found some fun games on the Noggin wesbite. We don't have cable or anything like that, but my friend who has a dish told me about some Laurie Berkner videos on the Noggin site, and we have explored it a little more since then.
Anyway, my kids are 3 3/4 and 2 3/4 (355 days apart in age) and we are most definitely, without a doubt, homeschoolers. We are homeschoolers simply because we plan to homeschool, even though we are not actively engaged in a curriculum or academic activities at this time. In my experience, there is a HUGE difference in attitude between those who plan to send their kids to school and those who don't. That attitude, in my opinion, is the central thing that makes the difference between homeschooling families and families who just don't send their kids to preschool. It's just a completely different worldview.
We do unit studies as my kids are inspired to do them. They provide the interest, I provide the activities, and they eat them up. If I plan something that my kids don't enjoy, we don't pursue it (although my kids very, very rarely don't enjoy something I have planned ... NOT because I am a super-great planner but because my kids just LOVE to do activities). I don't believe in early academics but I also don't believe in the idea that I have read here at MDC (more than once) that parents of kids younger than six or seven have no business trying to direct their kids' activities AT ALL. I think my kids benefit greatly from my planning things for them to do (sometimes ... I'm not talking 40 hours of planned activities here). The danger would come if I got so invested in the activity (or the time I spent planning it) that I took their disinterest personally (and I have, on occasion, but I have been able to swallow the feeling of rejection and just move on) and tried to force them to continue, which is, of course, what schools do: make kids do things regardless of their interest in or benefit from it.
IMO, if a family has decided to take responsiblity for their kids' education, and they are not sending their kids to school full-time, they are homeschoolers. Even if their kid is 1 day old.