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What About Gaps in a Homeschooled Education?


I sometimes hear homeschool skeptics wonder "What about gaps in a homeschooled education?" I mean, parents can't teach a child everything he needs for success, can they?

Gaps in Homeschooling

What if a homeschooled child doesn't know a needed skill, like standing in a line (homeschool kids are notoriously bad about "clustering"), taking notes, or citing sources in a research paper?

I would like to answer this question with a true story.

When I was a 7th grader in public school in the 1970's, I was very bright, always made straight A's, and was often the subject of ridicule for being "so smart".

One day in English class, the teacher asked the class a question pertaining to the months of the year. I can't recall the exact question, but it must have been something like, "What month comes 2 months after April?"

As per their usual custom, the kids in the class started jeering me to come up with the right answer. Only this time I didn't. Because I didn't know it.

The teacher called on me by name. "Connie, tell everyone what month comes 2 months after April."

"I don't know." I replied honestly.

"You don't know?" questioned the teacher.

"No. I don't have the months of the year memorized."

This sent the class into howls of laughter, and the shocked teacher told me that it was something I should have already learned years before.

So, I went home that day and asked my mom to tell me the months of the year as I wrote them down.

And 5 minutes later I had memorized the months of the year. BOOM. DONE.

THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the answer to "What about gaps in a homeschooled education?". And also the answer to "What about gaps in ANY education?".

Yes, there will be gaps. Yes, my oldest had never done a research paper when one was required of her at a homeschool co-op.

But she came home, looked up how to cite sources, and applied that. BOOM. DONE.

My hope for my children is that learning will be a lifelong process. I hope they are like this 90 year old friend [2] who is currently taking a creative writing class.

I hope they spend the rest of their lives filling in gaps.