Yes! and No! Joy School co-op groups have been around long before homeschooling was even close to as popular as it is today in America and some other countries, so it’s hard to categorize it into a label that really has evolved after Joy School was initially created. It works well as a commercial preschool curriculum, and a cooperative parents’ preschool curriculum, and as a homeschool one-on-one curriculum.
So, yes, it is a homeschool program because it uses the comfort, familiarity, and security of the home to teach children. It is also not heavily academic, instead focusing on what has been found to be even more crucial to happiness, security, and emotional health: reacting positively to the wonder and beauty of our lives and working towards always increasing our joy. It also recognizes that parents are great teachers of children, especially with help from a well-developed curriculum.
Joy School is also a great way for parents who have considered homeschooling to “try it out” while also giving their children a chance to have positive social interaction. Many Joy School groups have gone on to create homeschool groups as their children get older.
But Joy School is also a really fantastic way to prepare children for a successful entry into public and private “brick-and-mortar” schools. Many parents remark that their children who have done Joy School more easily and happily head off to kindergarten and do well there than their other children who have not done Joy School or have gone to a more “tradition” preschool. This is partly because Joy School helps children find happiness and joy in being themselves and delighting in life’s experiences.