Educational Holes

Help! If I homeschool, won’t my children have holes in their education?

Actually, yes, they will! But they will also have holes in their education no matter what path you choose. Public, private, charter, and homeschools will all leave children with holes in their education because there is no way they can learn everything they need to know for their futures. 

When my daughters were babies, my husband and I taught them how to use baby signs. They knew many signs and could communicate with us beautifully. However, as they learned to talk, we stopped signing with them and began using only words. Today, if you asked them to sign something, they would not be able to recall very many of the signs they once knew. 

Was our time wasted teaching them to sign? No. It was a useful skill at the time. However, as they have gotten older, there are more useful things to know, and they have replaced their signing knowledge with new knowledge.

The same goes for many of the concepts we learn in school. Think back to your school days. You learned many facts that were deemed important at the time, were tested, and then the teacher moved on to other concepts to learn. Do you remember everything you learned in school? I sure don’t!

As homeschoolers, we have the awesome opportunity to educate our children in a unique way. We are not bound to the same state standards and curriculums that a school is required to follow. We can forge our own paths and choose what topics we want our children to learn, and we can tailor our children’s education to their interests. Rather than focusing on checking off boxes, we can focus on giving our children the gift of learning.

Paul T Corrigan says in his article Preparing Students for What We Can’t Prepare Them For,

“Perhaps we need to update the old teaching adage:
Give a person a fish, and they will eat for a day.

Teach a person to fish, and they will eat for a lifetime. 

We should add:
Teach a person to fish, and they will eat for a lifetime.

Teach a person to learn, and they will be able to do just about whatever they need to do in a lifetime.”

Our goal in education should be to prepare our children for their futures, and the future will not look the same as it does today. Our world is changing fast, and the jobs available and the skills an employee needs to have may not be the same as today’s when our children grow up. 

What if, instead of focusing so much on the concepts kids are learning, we start focusing on the skills they need to learn how to learn and foster a love of learning? Then, the “holes” in their education will not be quite so big, and they will be better prepared for their futures.