Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Myth of the Learning Gap

Are any of you checking in with the Carnival of Homeschooling? (See left sidebar for the gizmo  gadget widget, that's it.)  This week I latched onto a really great entry, this one by Heather at Mother By Nature.  This was just what I needed to read today.  Most days I don't care about the "learning gaps".  I am pretty confident my girls can learn anything they put their minds to.  (Getting them to put their minds to learning is something else entirely....)  But some days I feel like such a homeschooling failure.  I fret about history, English, science, you name it.  Anything but math.  In math all four of the girls are way ahead, and that is because we don't waste time with the first fourth or third of the new book, reviewing what we just finished doing. We just do the quizzes until something new comes along.  Heather reminded me that it's okay   to be kind of un-school-y, having some child-interest-led learning plus a few curriculum-based subjects for things like math, to make sure my kids get the stuff that their parents don't want them to skip.

You must take a jog to Heather's post and read her list of things she remembers from elementary school in Canada.  I laughed.  Those are some of the same kinds of things I remember.  I'm sure my kids wonder why I don't know the stuff they are supposed to be learning in their schoolwork, but I know why.  It didn't leave an impression on me like Ms. Varleta's one perfectly natural, pure white strand of hair in a full head of otherwise jet black hairs did.  There's stuff you remember and there's stuff you don't.  The stuff I don't remember, which I am interested in being reminded of, is only a Google away.  Who stops learning?  We all have education gaps. 

Well, you just have to go over and read it.  It's a good one.  Thanks, Heather.  I needed that today.


  1. Oh, that's so true! I remember really silly things about school or the teasing that happened at my expense. I don't remember much learning. I do remember certain classes and all I learned because the teacher took special care to mentor me. I only had 2 teachers like that all the way through school.

    Homeschooling has been wonderful thing for me because I've been able to learn, too! I'm going to click over to Heather's post right now. Sounds like a good one.

    I know what you mean about Facebook - it truly can suck you in. My sister and I were involved in a Christian group on FB and we were trying to talk to someone about Jesus and it was just really weird and we both decided it was not good. I can't tell you how many evenings we both stayed up ministering to this person on there. *sigh* We both said after that we were going to be really careful about our time on there.

    It was good hearing from you!!! God bless you - Julie

  2. hey! i wondered if i could add you to my freinds list?



  3. That was a good article. I agree with Heather - and that goes for high school too.

    Let's see, what I remember from elementary school - I remember my sweet Kindergarten teacher, I remember music in her class, milk & cookies, and nap time. I remember Santa loosing his beard as he came into the classroom - I had already expected he wasn't real, but that cinched it. I rmember her getting married and her last name changing. Well, that about sums it up. Oh, and then in about 4th or 5th grade, a boy ran into me and gave me a big black eye. I remember a little bit of spelling & grammer, but obviously not much. I remember being scared all through school.

    I've learnt sooo much since teaching our girls. School is definitely better as an adult.

  4. I'm glad you got a laugh about my FB problem. : ) Thanks for linking us to that unschooling post, I liked it!

  5. Why is it that we beat ourselves up so often about where we should be academically, are we doing enough, will they be prepared for college or life? I'm guilty of thinking all of these things at one time or another. I think we as homeschoolers do feel more pressure to do well academically as we are held to a higher standard. As far as "holes" there will be some I'm sure but they as adults will fill in as they pursue their own interests and read more about subjects they are curious about. Admitedly there are times when I've slacked off way to much as a teacher but I justify it to myself by realizing that we really never stop learning whether we're five or forty-four. Thinking about this too much makes me visualize our dog chasing his tail it can be just that. I go back to the simple beauty of homeschooling...the freedom and flexibility to design it to our own family's style of learning.

    Fantastic post!

    Blessings, Julie

  6. Helped me SO much - thanks for the link


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