On risking it all and being rewarded

Written by Jamie C. Martin of Simple Homeschool

Don’t you ever feel like you’re risking it all by homeschooling? The fear of this wildly different-to-the-majority lifestyle, of basically experimenting with my children’s lives and futures, grabs me by the neck sometimes, threatening to strangle me.

It keeps me up at night when I’m not at my strongest, ruminating. Thinking of where he’s at and what she’s doing and what I’m doing and what I’m not doing.

It can feel so scary, so frightening, so risky.

This came to mind during the Olympics as I watched the figure skating. Being highly empathetic, tears rose in my eyes when I saw someone attempt a complicated jump, only to fall.

“Think of how brave they are,” I told the kids. “Knowing they might fail and fall, but practicing and training hard, then going for it anyway.”

“Refusing to play it safe.”

And here’s what struck me:

That risk paid off with rewards. I realized that time and time again, a skater attempting a complex program who stumbled, often STILL received a higher score than one who went with a “safe” program and executed it flawlessly.

The judges rewarded those with courage, even when that courage came coupled with imperfection. Yes!

Don’t you see what this means? We are doing the same thing in our homeschools. We’re audacious mothers and fathers who look at our once-in-a-lifetime kids and see something that we do not want a system to snuff out.

Gutsy men and women who refuse to stuff our little ones into a one-size-fits-all box.

We may do it while shaking in our very boots, and our knees may fail to prepare us for that big upcoming jump, but we are not going to just stand there.

We may fall on our faces, stumble in embarrassment, but WE. WILL. DO. SOMETHING.

And there’s no way that that risk will not come side-by-side with reward: for our children, our family, our society, our world.

Just look at how your risks have paid off already:

  • You sat by her when she read her first words.
  • You saw their faces light up when you watched the deer in the woods on your nature hike.
  • You snuggled under cozy blankets by the fireplace captivated by your mutual love of an incredible book.

So whether you’ve made it up on the podium of your homeschooling life today, or whether you’ve just crashed and burned in front of everyone, your response should be the same:

Rise again, return to your training, go do the next right thing.

And keep an eye out for your rewards. They are on the way.

“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”
~ Billy Graham

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. I’ve fallen flat recently. I’m kind of still sitting on my rump, trying to gather the courage to get up and complete my course.
    Thanks for this post.
    I needed it.
    Anne’s latest post: A Week, Briefly (2/19/18)

  2. Thanks for the pep talk this morning. I feel like we should all stand and cheer together!

  3. Great pep talk to start the morning, Jamie! It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, by Michelangelo: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” The more you attempt, the more you’re bound to fail…but you’re still pushing yourself toward better things than you’d accomplish otherwise.
    Faith’s latest post: The Heroic Minute: How skipping the snooze button can transform your life every single day

  4. Exactly the encouragement I needed this morning–thanks for the injection of motivation.

  5. So true. I love watching figure skating and hold my breath before the jump. Just like homeschooling. <3 I love this encouragement because it is scary. It is a massive undertaking and yet…we are doing the best we can for our kids. Thank you for sharing.
    Jen’s latest post: 7 Mistakes You’re Making In The Kitchen With Your Kids

  6. This was so encouraging! Such a good reminder. Thank you!

  7. What an excellent analogy! Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. So good. Just what I needed. Thanks.

  9. You’ve nooooo idea how much I needed to read this. To be honest, I’ve not taken much time recently to read any of the blogs I subscribe to, but something (or Someone) just prompted me to read this. And…wow…just wow. Thank you so incredibly much!

  10. Oh, such an important observation and excellent post! Thank you.
    Nicola’s latest post: homeschool with my 10 and 13 year olds

  11. I love that you included a quote from Billy Graham!

  12. This. Thanks.
    Hannah Vanderpool’s latest post: Race Pace

  13. Powerful! Even though, the responsibility feels like quite a burden at times, I would have not traded seeing my child’s face after she finished reading her first chapter book. And then I thought: I taught her how to do that!!!
    Sarah Badat Richardson’s latest post: Love lessons learned from Gone with the Wind

  14. Thank you so much for this. I’m in an unusual place right now, homeschooling overseas, surrounded by people who don’t understand what I’m doing and why I don’t turn to international school. I’ve never felt more insecure in my life, and I was homeschooled. 🙂

  15. Marnita Sonnenberg says:

    Thks for the encouraging thoughts!

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