I was browsing some curriculum sites today, and one caught my eye with their bold claim– “ . . . you can feel confident knowing that your child is receiving a complete education with no gaps . . . ” Oh-no. Not the G-word.
Those huge holes in your child’s education that will remain empty because you didn’t cover all your bases or follow a premade checklist or choose the right curriculum. Everyone will forevermore know that you were a bad homeschooling mom because of GAPS. (Gasp!)
This is really something that you just have to get over. In this age of information there is no way you are going to cover everything. It’s impossible. If you try to cover everything, your student’s education will be a mile wide and only an inch deep. Wide, but not deep. You’ll produce a student who thinks they know everything about everything, but really, they won’t know anything about anything.
So, I subscribe to the Gap Theory. It’s pretty simple. Basically, it goes something like this – “there will be gaps and that’s okay.”
I had to smirk as I walked away from the claim-– “no gaps” –- no way. If I would have used xyz curriculum for kindergarten this past year, Elijah would have gaps– Birds of Prey. Big Cats. Carnivores. Animal Classification. Meerkats. He had big fat questions about these things that needed answers. We found the answers and filled the gaps. In finding the answers, we’ve discovered more questions . . . these will lead us forward in our journey.
Elijah and I have also had the chance to work on character training– to fill the gaps that matter the most. We have a large self-control gap right now, but we can work on it (with prayer and the Word). I doubt xyz covers that.
As a home educator, you have the opportunity to fill the unique gaps in your student’s education.
~It can’t be done at an institution where everyone has to learn the exact. same. thing.
~It can’t be done by a marvelous scope and sequence put together by some well- meaning Board of Education who wants to educate the general masses. (What would my son have learned about this year? Traffic signs? Community helpers? Living vs. Non-living? Bleeehhhhh.)
~It can’t be done by a magical curriculum or textbook (so you can stop looking).
It can be done by you being sensitive to the curiosity God has placed in your child’s heart and mind. What does your student delight in? What is he hungry to learn more about? That’s what you need to feed him. And trust me, he will come back for a second helping.
Remember the Gap Theory– "there will be gaps, and that's okay!"
Happily Gapping Along,