So we've made the decision to homeschool, but since the triplets aren't even four yet, we hadn't really felt like we could officially call ourselves "homeschoolers" since I haven't committed to a fancy curriculum, I still feel really new to the whole process, and because our formal learning is limited to about two 10 minute teaching sessions each day at this point anyhow. But then it dawned on me: we are homeschooling! It's just so engrained in our everyday lives that I hadn't even thought to call it that! I'm a teacher by nature (and by trade) and I've been teaching our kids things since the day they could open their tiny eyes and stare back at me. When I cook, I explain to them what I'm doing. When I clean, I show them how to help. When we go out for errands, I assign them tasks and practically narrate every single thing I do - even things about driving that they won't need for quite a few more years (I'll have you know, my three year old son adamantly reminds me to put my hands on the steering wheel at "10 and 2" should I ever drop them down into a more relaxed position!). Instead of going through life just "doing", I try to explain and teach them about everything...as I do it! And their little memories are incredible! Before they were two they could sing the doxology and recite the entire Lord's prayer. At three, they know some Spanish and French, can do simple math, know mama's phone number by heart in case of emergency, and have about 25 Bible verses memorized - and that number grows by the day! They may still be "pre" school-aged but that apparently has nothing to do with learning! They've recently shown signs of readiness for a more "formal" schooling approach, so as I've been out and about I've picked up a few (used and/or cheap) materials to aid us in our first mastery tasks: reading and math. I found a few age level workbooks at the dollar store and my kids are whizzing through the Kindergarten/1st grade book already. Then, just yesterday I found a pack of math puzzle flashcards at a local thrift store for $2.50 and a phonics kit with a few short stories and sight word flashcards for $3 to help us get started! When they woke up from their nap, I had the math puzzle spread out on the rug and told them we were going to play a game. They caught on ever so quickly adding the objects on each side of the "+" sign to find the total sum - and begged me to play it again today!
When we were at Costco the other evening for our big weekly shopping trip the triplets were skipping up and down the aisles singing "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music at the top of their lungs. We got a lot of smiles and comments, but one in particular stood out to me. An older man (his appearance a bit reminiscent of Santa Claus), after complimenting the triplets adorable singing abilities, asked if singing was something we did a lot together at home. I told him it was and that we all thoroughly enjoyed music and then he asked me: "Do you homeschool?" At first I almost said no (again, feeling like we haven't started officially) - but then I stopped myself, smiled, and answered with an enthusiastic "Yes!". He smiled back and said he'd thought so. And who am I to argue with Santa? ;)