Unschooling Myths and Misconceptions: Gaps in Education

Gaps in Education for Unschoolers. It’s what all the Charlie Brown teachers want to stress and argue about.

What I don’t like most about this argument, is that it’s spoken with the premise that traditionally schooled children don’t have gaps in education. And, frankly, I think that’s a load of hogwash. (Woah, did you see the southern seep out of me just then? Weird.)

From everything I’ve read and experienced, I actually think (typically) that unschooled kids probably have less gaps than traditionally schooled kids. Plus they truly understand what they do know, and understand how it relates to real life. If anything, their gaps are things like, “I’ve never eaten in a cafeteria” and “I’ve never been bullied on a school bus.”unschool misconceptions

Woopty doo.

I exclusively attended public school my entire life. And I can honestly say that on the day of my graduation, if you had given me a pop quiz on history, science, or math – I would have in no way been able to pass it. Despite the fact that I completely understood it at the time that it had been “taught” to me, and had even made a good “grade” on it.

Why? Well, the biggest factor is because I didn’t care about school. And you just don’t remember stuff you don’t care about. That is precisely where the unschooled kids are at an advantage. They’ve buried themselves in things that they’re passionate about, which has domino-ed into other things they’re passionate about. The awesome thing about learning is that it snowballs, picking up every subject thing in its path. So yeah, a traditionally schooled child may have been exposed to some tortuous chemistry “class” but they didn’t actually “learn” it and it still may be a glaring “gap” in their education. (Here’s the part where all the chemistry lovers argue that they still remember all of it. I’m really glad for you but you need to admit: you’re in the minority)

Though honestly, education gaps are relative. Education is in the eye of the beholder. Most people will never ever use the stuff that folks are worried about their kids having a “gap” in. Like chemistry.

I made an A in chemistry. Don’t remember it now. And I’ve never used it since.

Woopty doo.

~ Jessica

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