Does *THIS* Count as School?

Does *THIS* count as school? Fill in the blank. This common question demonstrates one of the basic qualifications to homeschool. We worry about these things…when we have our children’s best interests at heart.

What "counts" as school? If it counts, does is count a whole day...or just half a day? Does *THIS* count?




What “counts” as school? If it counts, does it count a whole day…or just half a day? Does *THIS* count?

  • Does this count: vacations and travel days? It’s like a field trip, right?
  • Does this count: camp or VBS? They’re learning, aren’t they?
  • Does this count: errands and doctor visits? It’s important too, isn’t it?

Does *THIS* Count as School?

If it doesn’t fit into a traditional school setting, we have to figure out if it counts as a learning experience. Remember that record-keeping is so you can see progress.

Every day is a learning day. You just have to document 180 of them. If you think the content of learning is worth documenting, then do it. Whether it’s VBS, riding roller coasters or going to the grocery store. It’s all opportunities where learning happens.

Ah-Ha Moments: Include anything that is an “ah-ha” moment. Like if your 1st grader uses the word “telekinesis” correctly in a sentence. It doesn’t matter if you taught it to them or if they learned it from watching cartoons. It’s a vocabulary word that they learned.

I would write it down–so you can remember it later when they can’t seem to learn to write *ed at the end of a past tense word…they just keep putting a *d. You’ll need to remind yourself that there is progress in other areas…at other times.




Store up extra days: Life gets busy. I’ve had long gaps and blanks in my record-keeping because life got busy. Like if you know you’re going to busy later with planning co-op classes or field trips for your support group. If you are moving or going to have a baby or you know you get bronchitis every year.

These things have a way of taking up your mental and physical energy. You make room by cutting corners on something else. I cut corners on housework, exercise and record-keeping. So, it may help to bank a few days during the summer so that you will still have something worthwhile written down.

If you end up documenting more than 180 days, you get extra credit for doing more than the law requires. Bravo!

Personalized learning: The beauty of home education is that it’s individualized. Students can focus on their own interests in an innovative and creative way. In traditional school settings, these experiences would be extra curricular and not “count” toward the school. They can’t get credit for riding 100 miles of roller coasters and knowing which ones are the longest and fastest.

But, in homeschooling–you CAN count that. In fact, it demonstrates the learning that matters most. You may still have textbook reading and workbook pages during the school year. But, that learning is a cookie cutter version of traditional school.

Ken Robinson suggests that uniformity, conformity and standardization doesn’t make it better. You can go to any McDonald’s and get the same hamburger. But, is it the best hamburger? Instead, great restaurants are evaluated on standards of excellence and rating system called Michelin Stars. They are allowed to personalize and innovate.

That is the learning revolution where innovation, creativity and personalized excellence flourish. I would document anything that fits that. It’s definitely counts!




There’s no legal requirement in either option 2 or option 3 code of law that specifies the amount of time or number of activities. It is always best to consult your accountability association for their policy on it. For general purposes, record-keeping is for you. You have to decide if a learning experience “counts”–even if it would be extra curricular in a traditional school setting.

More about the Reasons to Keep Good Records:

More about the Learning Revolution:

The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes EverythingThe Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes EverythingThe Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes EverythingYou, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best EducationYou, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best EducationYou, Your Child, and School: Navigate Your Way to the Best EducationCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming EducationCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming EducationCreative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming EducationOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeOut of Our Minds: The Power of Being CreativeWhy School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single)Freedom to Learn (Solutions)Freedom to Learn (Solutions)Freedom to Learn (Solutions)Class Dismissed: A Film About Learning Outside of the ClassroomClass Dismissed: A Film About Learning Outside of the ClassroomClass Dismissed: A Film About Learning Outside of the Classroom

About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

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