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