Education is not quite as mysterious as it sometimes seems. The truth is that education is a line upon line, precept upon precept project that never ends. Homeschooling recognizes that all of life is learning, and we seek to create life-long learners. Education is not confined to a classroom; it is life itself. While that sounds like an intimidating reality, it is a comforting one. As the homeschool journey unfolds, we realize that each year simply allows us to build on knowledge gained previously. It is an exciting journey. It reminds us why the foundation is critical.
Math is the simple example. Basic math facts develop into complicated algebraic equations over the years. But every subject shows us the exciting truth of learning’s progression. In elementary school we learn there was a deadly plague that devastated Europe in the 1300s. In high school we learn how the disease spread and begin to understand its impact on art, public policy and even the psyche. In Science our primary age children learn that some foods are healthier than others. In High School, nutritional complexities deepen to unveil nutrient transport to cells and healing potential within foods. Each layer of knowledge adds to the earlier layers and opens the door to exciting applications.
Keeping the progressive nature of education in mind quiets the fears when the process stalls. It helps us remember building takes time. Sometimes new facts pile up too rapidly and review is needed to reset the foundation. Other times minds grab facts too quickly and erroneous conclusions are jumped to because knowledge pieces are missing. Helping children hook new materials onto existing knowledge is a key to progress. In fact, that is the goal of an educator: find a place of understanding a child can put information upon and build a higher structure. The process is the destination!