One of the issues that homeschool parents need to deal with is the fear of their children having gaps in their education because of their homeschooling. Though this is a real fear our reasoning is often not logical. Every child I know, including myself who went to a Christian school, and my husband who went to a private school has gaps. There are many reasons why gaps appear in a child’s life but outside of homeschooling circles we don’t much question them. My husband is a poor speller and I have very little knowledge about geography, history or science and yet we have grown into functioning adults in society.
In my homeschooling journey I initially came to think that I had to accept that there would be gaps in my chldren’s education but I have a slightly different perspective these days. It isn’t that I have to accept that there will be gaps, that my children won’t know everything, or won’t excel at everything, the issue for me to grasp is that I have the opportunity to choose the gaps – or rather, choose where there will be no gaps.
There is so much to learn that there is no way we can cover it all (which is why we have to accept there will be gaps!) but because I have the opportunity to create an individualised education for each of my children, taking into account the whole child I choose what to focus on and what to minimise in our studies. In doing this I consider each child’s physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, moral and practical life skills. I take into account their strengths and weaknesses, their interests and passions as well as the uniqueness of our individual family – there may well be gaps but not in the areas where each child needs to excel.
So next time you get anxious about the potential gaps in your child’s education, pause, and ask yourself if you are covering the important things for each of your children – if there are gaps in those things you need to spend some time in reassessing how you spend your time but we don’t need to be stressed over gaps outside of that parameter. We need to be committed to growing our children in the specific areas that are important.
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