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Daring to Fail at Homeschooling

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” Psalm 37:5–6

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“What would you pursue if you knew you could not fail?”

This is a quote I treasure by speaker and author, Brené Brown. She asks an even better follow up question, “What is worth pursuing, even if you fail?”

I love this question. For me it speaks to the heart of authenticity, without the ego. So much of education is about success. This is especially true for homeschooling. Whether you are homeschooling by choice or because it’s the only option, we all want the best possible education for our kids.

With homeschooling, I constantly worried I was ruining my child’s life. What if all of this time and investment yields a big fat failure? What if my child doesn’t get into his dream school? Or worse, what if my child isn’t equipped to launch into the world? What if after all this time and energy all of this is a flop? Would it still have been worth it if all of this effort equals failure in the world’s eyes?

We love the winning stories from life. Stories about people who work hard and overcome incredible odds. But when I think about people who I connect with the most, they are the ones that are open about their struggles and disappointments. Epic failures show us we are not alone.

The times of failure in my life are the ones that taught me the most. Those times when I put myself out there were also the times when I felt most alive, vibrant, and on purpose for God. I had no idea what I was doing yet I pursued something with pure passion. In those instances, it felt more important to try and fail, then not to try at all. In this way, knowing I may entirely fail at homeschooling still felt worth the risk.

For our homeschool, our aim was to encourage a young person who would love the Lord and follow Him all the days of his life. We hoped to design a love-of-learning ecosystem that showed our child that the world is a giant classroom. We dreamed that his experiences would kick off a lifetime feast of learning. Our ambition was that he would launch into the world confident of himself and his faith.

Did we succeed? Only a lifetime of experiences and perspectives will tell us. Even if we failed miserably, I know in my heart that it absolutely was an endeavor worth pursuing. I know that love never fails. I know nothing pursued for Him out of love is ever lost. I know this is a failure that I will treasure forever.

What is worth pursuing even if you fail?

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