Mind the Gap

There will be gaps in your children’s education. There. I said it. You’re homeschooling, and there are going to be gaps.

There would be gaps in you children’s education if you sent them to public school. This is why Are Your Smarter Than a 5th Grader? was a successful television game show.

But your kids’ gaps are going to be weird. Because you homeschooled. And you didn’t socialize them in the public schools.

Yup. I said that, too.

Let’s take . Your kid is going to use swear words wrong — especially if you’re not particularly prone to using them. You might remedy this the way we did.

The year is about 2008, and the three of us are driving along when, out of the blue, Alaetheia says, “I need to know all the swear words.” Okay, we say, and we start thinking of all the swear words we know. We hit the ones she already knows (that’s mostly my fault). We hit the ones we generally don’t use (calling other people names). We hit the ones that make the grandparents twitch the hardest. We hit the “really bad ones” you hardly ever hear anyone use. Then she asks us about combos. So we start listing those.

She asks us about combos she’s started making up. Nope, we say, that one only goes with “bag” — not “backpack,” not “totebag,” and not “purse.” Sometimes “canoe,” but we have no idea why.

Combined with “backpack” is now a swearword at the Garriber’s. Because we’re weird. Because there are gaps. Because we like language. Because it was one of the weird and wonderful conversations we had with our kid about things we’d like to have an impact on her worldview about.

Mind the gap. But don’t fear the gap. And if anybody gives you trouble, they’re probably just being a d*****backpack.

~Jen, part of the 74%