Are you worried about gaps in their learning?
It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? It seems so heavily laden with assumption but also asked so easily. When you decide to homeschool, people invariably ask, are you worried about gaps in their learning? I think what people are saying when they ask this is,
“Do you think you can teach them everything they need to know?”
“That’s an awful lot of responsibility to take on….. how are you going to do it?!”
But to worry about gaps in our children’s learning assumes that it is possible to know everything. And it just isn’t. We all have gaps in our learning; there is more that we don’t know than what we do know.
And isn’t that what we want anyway? Don’t we want gaps in our learning? Imagine, if it were possible, to know everything. To have experienced every wonder, to never marvel in awe, to never feel a drive to know and understand. To be able to speak every language, cook every dish, build every bridge. What would it be like to live such a life?
I’m not worried about gaps in Jack and Sarah’s learning. I welcome them with arms outstretched. Learning is not linear. There is no start point and no end point where every part in the middle must be filled in. Learning is a giant, never-ending mass of swirls that goes round and round; enveloping our whole being.
When we pursue learning with passion and a humility that recognises that what we know is such a tiny speck in the infinity of knowledge which has come before us and surrounds us in this moment, we stop worrying about gaps and embrace the possibility to discover. We are not afraid of what we don’t know, we don’t feel compelled to conceal our gaps, we are instead enlivened, uplifted and inspired to seek answers.
I’m not worried about gaps, not one little bit.
“Of course, a child may not know what he may need to know in ten years (who does?), but he knows, and much better than anyone else, what he wants and needs to know right now, what his mind is ready and hungry for.
If we help him, or just allow him, to learn that, he will remember it, use it, build on it.” ~ John Holt
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