A new baby! How exciting! For the better part of nine months the mom and dad along with the rest of the family has been preparing for the arrival of the little baby. Maternity and paternity leaves have been arranged. The baby’s room has been decorated and groomed for the newcomer. Supplies have been gathered and ready for use. You have begun homeschooling.
With each smile, touch and tone, you are homeschooling. The basic principle of learning is communication. We communicate with body language, tactile stimulation and sound. Added to these we add taste and smell. Every parent begins to teach their child even before birth. During fetal development, sounds and sensations are involved in preparing this fetus for the new and harsh world it will have to enter. Some parents play music and read to the developing fetus. They talk to the fetus. Once born, the infant totally relies on its parents for all its needs. The parents teach the child with each cherished hug, smiled coo and spoken word. It is these early expressions that introduces the child to the adventure of learning.
Homeschooling begins while your baby is in the womb. Love is the greatest gift that we can give another human being. The parent’s love for their child from conception to college graduation is the staff that shepherds a child’s learning. Parents build the foundation that the child will build upon throughout life. As the baby rolls and crawls into the toddler, the parent guides them to their first steps. With these steps come language and understanding. Children learn “No!” They learn how to make you smile and cry and scream. They learn what to touch and what not to. They learn to use the potty. They learn to hold hands and share. They learn the world is filled with color and sounds and smells. They learn the names of some colors. They know the sound of fire engines and music. They learn the smell of baking cookies. They learn to hug and be hugged. They learn to love.
As time slides by, baby has grown into a preschooler. They have learned letters, shapes and numbers. The parent vacillates between home and school. The big decision confronts the parent. Enroll the child in a preschool or continue to teach the child at home? This is a big decision! After preschool its elementary school, then middle school, and, then, high school. The Compulsory School Act requires a child to be in attendance in a school from age 5 to 17.
Homeschooling begins earlier than you think. It begins in the womb and continues for everyone until at least two or three years old. All parents home school their children until at least this age. Many parents enroll their children in formal preschools. Other parents decide to continue to home school until age five when the child is required in many states to be enrolled in a formal school. Just over a million parents have decided to continue to home school their children after age five.