It occured to me one day when my oldest was 5 that in our homeschool I may not be able to teach him everything there is to know. I kind of freaked out a little. What if there are gaps? Well, we are finishing up our 4th year of home schooling. And there are gaps.
Something really neat and freeing that I’ve discovered is that if I show my child how to learn and model learning myself, he will be better off than if I try to teach them everything there is to know. We have information explosions going on all around us! It’s exciting and I want my kids to soak up everything they could possibly need, but it’s most important that they have the skill and confidence to be able to seek out, and do, and learn for themselves.
I got wonderful grades in school(when I wasn’t cutting class or suspended), but I have some pretty major gaps in my education. I left those gaps wide open because I did not know that I could find out for myself in a way that made sense to me “what”, “how, “when”, or “why”. I knew nothing of our country’s history until I began learning about it in books with my kids. It was so darn difficult to understand and piece it together out of the textbook my teachers used. My elementary and middle school history teacher was actually one of my favorites(shout out to Mr. Moore in Medford Lakes, NJ!!), but that made no difference. I needed to learn in a fluid, story-telling way, what happened. And doing all the fun art projects and activities along with my kids has been great. I am getting another chance to learn something I used to fear and found incredibly boring. History is now my favorite subject to read about with the kids.
This what what I’ve learned so far about making sure they will always be able to find the imformation they need. They need to know how to read. The little ones will need to learn to read and write before I try filling their heads with knowledge. The kids need to know math. It’s important that they know formulas and memorize facts in math.
Learn to navigate the library, learn how to use a dictionary, an encyclopedia, and a computer to seek out information. These are research skills that will help keep them updated with the rapidly changing knowledge base. Also, I am a huge fan of field trips and getting knowledge from experts willing to spend time with us. We attend any free class offered by the gym, library, or our homeschool group. We expose ourselves to new things all the time.
As the boys get older, we learn study skills. I study everything that peaks my interest and I see that my little ones are beginning to copy me. My bad(maybe) habits of leaving notes, files, books with tabby’s and post-it’s all over them all over the house, are contagious. I hated to study when I went to school. We love to study here in our homeschool.
None of this can be done without the confidence Christ placed in us. I make sure that they know just how much they possess in Him. When Big Bird does something amazing I don’t praise what he did, but the determination and drive to do it. I let the boys know constantly that they are smart cookies. I don’t care if they struggle in one thing or another, we will take the time and energy to work on it. And, they don’t need to be experts in everything. They need to know how to learn, find, study, discover, and seek. It’s how we are created and what we’re created to do.
Thanks for reading, have a lovely week!