Filling in the Gaps in your child’s education

filling in the gaps in your child's education

It happens. Maybe you switched curriculum mid-year, maybe you transferred from a brick and mortar school to homeschool, maybe your child has special needs, maybe you just flat out missed some spots. Gaps happen. Filling in the gaps in your child’s education does not have to be stressful or intimidating. Here are a few ideas to fill in the gaps gently and easily.

Ideas for Filling in the Gaps in your Child’s Education

Catch it next year.

So much material is reviewed each year. If your child’s educational gap is not a glaring one, you may be able to just hone in on it more firmly next year. Take a look at your curriculum for the coming year, identify when that particular topic will show up and make sure you allow plenty of time to cover it thoroughly. Sometimes, a “gap” could just be that your child wasn’t developmentally ready to handle that new skill or concept. Just being a few months older could make all the difference for your child when you are filling in the gaps in their education.

Tackle it during the summer.

Keep in mind, I’m not even suggesting that you have to do a full school load all summer. But if there is a subject or a topic that you feel warrants a little extra attention, spend 20-30 minutes a day. Just that little bit of time for an extra month or two may help your child leap forward in time for the new school year.

Reinforce it with extra activities.

I use this technique with my daughter. Her “gap” is actually an on-going weak area for her: spelling. Because of her dyslexia, spelling is her nemesis. She is easily a year or two behind in the subject, but she’s making progress. My technique is constant exposure. Spelling is not a single subject that she does for specific time each day; it’s something I subtly add anywhere I can. I had her do typing lessons everyday, and not just for the keyboarding skills; I wanted her to see and make words correctly. Each week, she made her own list of words by hunting words of a certain length:  a list of four letter words one week, a list of five letter words the next week, a list of six letter words, etc. She also had a couple of different spelling apps that she used throughout each week (Dyslexia Quest and Simplex). Next year, I’m adding a formal spelling curriculum that provides a lot of non-traditional practice (A Reason for Spelling—we are both very excited about this program). And I’ll be adding calligraphy and zentangle word-art projects for her to work on. By exposing her to spelling in all of these different areas, we are reinforcing her weak area. This is an area that may always need a little extra attention, but she’s making progress.

Filling in the gaps in our child’s education does not need to send us into a panic, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a minute to assess how much help your child may need and then give one of these ideas a try. Have some other ideas for how you’ve filled in the gaps? Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to add them to my list.

Published by Tracy

Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by growingNgrace.com to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!

2 thoughts on “Filling in the Gaps in your child’s education

  1. Carina hallock

    What I’d like to know is how did you know your child has gaps? How do you find out?

    • Post Author Tracy

      Hey Carina! That’s a great question (and probably warrants a post of its own). There are a number of ways to pick up on gaps. Sometimes I find out through tests that my child isn’t getting what I think he or she is getting. Other times, we discover a gap as we are doing life (“oh, my goodness, you can’t tell time!” or something similar). And still other times, I’ve noticed gaps as we switch to a new curriculum and realize what they are covering is totally new for us. Different curriculum often cover topics in a different order; if one curriculum was covering outlining and metaphors at the end of the year and the new curriculum covered it at the beginning of the year, you may miss it completely. Again, all of these are easy enough to fix, if and when you notice the gap.

      With my daughter and her spelling, I watched helplessly as the gap widened over a period of a year or so; we banged our heads against the wall of one traditional spelling program after another before I realized she was dyslexic. Realizing that helped me find an approach to spelling that helped her, and we are slowly making progress now. Hope that helps!

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