Are you worried about covering all subjects and topics in your homeschool? Are you concerned your child will be behind? Are you afraid there will be gaps in their homeschool education? Here’s why you don’t have to worry about gaps anymore!
Almost from the get-go of homeschooling, we start to worry about gaps in our child’s education. We want to do all the stuffs and nearly run ourselves ragged trying out every curriculum we see. That’s why I always tell new homeschool moms to give themselves 3 years to find their groove.
But even after we find a groove that works for us, we still tend to believe we are leaving irreparable gaps in our children’s lives with our inability to teach everything there is to teach. And it only gets worse as we head into the high school years.
But what if gaps in our child’s education weren’t really gaps at all? What if the lessons left undone weren’t mistakes or oversights? What if we could see the truth?
1 – No teacher is able to cover everything.
There are two different kinds of gaps we fear – those we perceive the public school fills and those we perceive other homeschool families fill.
We worry we aren’t teaching math or science or composition the way the public school does, and therefore, our child won’t pass the college entrance exams or get a good job or be able to function in the “real world.” We either remember our own public school education with rose-colored glasses or we have people in our lives forcing their own concerns on us – often in the form of well-meaning grandparents wearing their own set of rose-colored glasses.
We may also be looking on Instagram or at other moms in our local homeschool group with a shade of green in our eyes. We admire them, we are inspired by them, and we are pretty sure their homeschool is perfect. They probably take nature walks every day. They probably know Latin and Calculus, and take field trips on Fridays. They probably do all the things we don’t do…and again, we see all our gaps in all their glory.
Yet, if we would step back for a moment, we would readily acknowledge that no teacher out there is capable of teaching everything – nor is it their job to teach everything.
Just because you have your children at home teaching them yourself does not mean you became superhuman. If gaps meant you were doing a poor job of teaching and ought to be fired, every teacher on the planet would be out of a job!
2 – A love of learning, not a spoon-fed education.
Unfortunately, public school often stomps out a love of learning in children. Sometimes it is peer driven in a society that doesn’t revere intelligence, and sometimes it is driven by endless and often meaningless assignments with very little free time to combat the rigor.
When assignments are handed out, they are given with every base covered, no room left for error, no child left outside the box. Everything is spoon-fed, including how a child should react to the information they are handed.
While not every homeschool manages to instill a love of learning, I do believe it is a more likely environment for such a thing to exist.
What does this have to do with gaps? Well, if you are giving your child a love of learning there WILL be gaps. Why? Because your child will be digging deep into subjects that interest them, rather than always skimming the surface of everything they encounter.
3 – You aren’t perfect, but God is.
If homeschooling doesn’t bring you to your knees, nothing will. It is a near-daily reminder that no homeschool mom on the planet is perfect. We NEED a Savior. We NEED someone to cover our gaps, our mistakes, our messes. It is a daily walk in humility, and I’m pretty sure that’s one big reason God called me to this. Through it all, I am well aware of how inadequate I really am – and yet, not all is lost because God is there. What He calls me to, He equips me for.
4 – Gaps are actually Gates.
Let me leave you with this thought…what if gaps were really gates?
Let me tell you a story. My 3rd year in college, I transferred to a private university where I met a most-amazing English Professor – Dr. Lewis. One day she called me into her office and asked me where I had learned to write my research papers. I thought she was complimenting me. She wasn’t. She was appalled that I had managed to get through high school and 2 years of college at 3 different schools using such poor form. She gave me a crash course in writing that day, and I went on to become a much better writer because I had a gap.
I’m not advocating that you should intentionally leave gaps in your child’s education, but you WILL leave gaps. If you encourage a hunger and thirst for learning and a teachable spirit – as all Christians should have – any gaps you leave will be gateways to your child’s next educational experience.