What about gaps in my child’s home education?

Let’s talk about gaps in our kids’ home education.

We can homeschool beyond doubt, uncertainty, and that not-good-enough feeling when we get clear on the question, “What makes you question whether your kids’ education isn’t good enough?”

Let’s talk about gaps.

  • The word suggests there’s something missing.
  • Someone forgot something.
  • Someone didn’t catch all the details the first time, the second time, the quadrilionth time.
  • Someone forgot to share about something.
I don’t believe there is an education out there that doesn’t have gaps. It’s not a thing.

There are no children who make it through public school, private school, tutorship, Sudbury school, Waldorf school, Montessori school, homeschool, or any school that doesn’t have a gap.

We all have gaps.
  • That is why none of us is capable of writing for every topic on Wikipedia.
  • That is why none of us is consulted for everything.
  • That is why none of us declare ourselves to be as knowledgable as God.
That is why ALL of us consult the Google bar.

We ALL, and I mean ALL, have gaps.

If you were to travel to a foreign country and have a conversation with someone about their education, they might be surprised that you didn’t learn about the history of their country, or the politics in their region, or the…you-fill-in-the-blank…

And you might be surprised that they don’t know
  • how many provinces are in your country,
  • or that you’ve never seen an igloo (even though you’ve lived in Canada for 48 years),
  • that you have warmer summers than much of the American midwest, despite living on Canadian soil,
  • that every Canadian doesn’t like hockey (that’d be me),
  • that every Canadian doesn’t like Tim Horton’s coffee (definitely me, also I don’t like Starbucks, but I digress),
  • and though I traveled to the Arctic one summer and touched the Arctic ocean with my three little girls, most Canadians live along the very southernmost border to the United States, and will never see the Arctic.
Once upon a time, I did travel to a foreign country, in the northwestern region of an African country, Ghana.

My homeschool family of six were introduced to all manner of things we had never been introduced to before:

  • cerebral malaria and how to treat it (we were in Ghana because my husband volunteered at a hospital)
  • full body burns caused by a vat of boiling oil that burned most of a grown man’s torso, and yet, only treated with tylenol, because that is all that was available
  • how to barter in a market
  • how to speak to people that didn’t speak the same language
  • how to balance a fifty pound tray of mangos on my head (not well, I might add)
  • how to walk alongside the road (a skill quickly learned if you want to live)
  • all about carpenter bugs, scorpions, and giant black beetles the size of my palm (and how to get rid of them when in the shower or lying on the bed in a malarial stupor)
One afternoon, I sat with three Ghanaian high school students and showed them a photo book of my hometown.

They spoke about the snow. They’d not seen snow. They didn’t know what skiing or snowshoeing meant. They didn’t even know what that kind of cold meant. (We happened to be in Ghana in their winter season and it was sweltering, at least according to me).

One of the boys was dumbfounded when I could not recount the story of Ghanain freedom from colonial rule. How did I possibly not know that veritable expansive information???

Because I didn’t grow up there. Because the people educating me didn’t find that information valuable.

(Note to self: that is the key to letting go of the notion that a home education must have NO gaps: what do YOU think is valuable for your child’s education?)

Well I think two things about what’s valuable in an education:

  1. That an education be personalized. Who is this kid in front of me? How do they like to learn? What do they like to learn? What type of learning is valuable for them right now? (Not ten years from now when they’re supposed to be “finished” their education, but RIGHT now?)
  2. That you are the facilitator to that education. So how can you help them? What skills do you have that you can share with them? What could you do to learn or discover or explore so that you could be better equipped to be their facilitator?

And of course, I think one very important third thing:

YOU GET TO DECIDE, YOU! (That’s why you homeschool).

So what have you determined what you think is an education anyway?

What are the important things you would like to include in your child’s education anyway?

let's deschool your homeschool

In the Deschool your Homeschool group coaching intensive, we discuss this:

Do you want to release yourself from unrealistic expectations in your homeschool?

Why you homeschool matters more than how you homeschool.

But why you homeschool is very influenced by what you think an education is anyway.

The ingredients for a great education:

  • A specific child.
  • An engaged adult who is listening and observing that child’s interests, curiosities, and aptitudes.
  • Learning opportunities for that specific child.

What actually happens in an intensive…

We’ll go deep into the thoughts and emotions behind our challenges, use practical tools to address them, and enable accountability to practice these tools.

This will be a 1 1/2 hour group intensive.

What we’ll do…

  • an assessment of your present homeschool
  • an assessment of your children
  • an assessment of your belief on education
  • exploratory questions & discussions to shift your perspective
  • a plan to practically shift your homeschool toward your real children & your perspective on an education

How we’ll do it:

  • We’ll be digging deep into our thoughts & emotions about an education.
  • Uncovering practical tools to deschool ourselves & our children.
  • Enable accountability to practice these plans.
  • We’ll allow a 1 1/2 hour group intensive time. 
  • You’ll receive personal feedback and journal questions for you to continue the work afterward.

Bring your journals and a pen, without the kids. We’ll dig deep!

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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