By guest blogger, Carolyn Cook.
I’ve taken two tremendous risks in my life: starting a small business, and choosing to home school my daughter.
In both cases, I’m doing something that plenty of other people have done successfully. I have mentors to guide me, friends to support me, and a belief that the rewards will far outweigh the risks.
But I am keenly aware that there are ways each venture could fail, or at least fall short of the hopes I have for them.
Lately I’ve been worrying about the home school venture. My daughter, who is nearly 13, spent two years in school, but we’ve built the rest of her educational experiences around home, community, travel, friends, and family. She reads widely, takes interesting classes, writes well, and has hobbies ranging from aeronautics to ragtime.
Our home school, where I am more a facilitator than a teacher, involves constant negotiation. What does my daughter want to learn next? What does she need? Having chosen to sidestep traditional schooling, how do I make sure the bases are covered while allowing her the freedom to explore what’s important to her? How do we handle inevitable areas of tension?
I realized as I was writing this blog entry that the biggest risk I could take right now – and the most rewarding – is to relax.
I worry hard about my daughter’s education because it makes me feel like I’m doing something about it. But I’m not: I’m just worrying. The thing to do now is to stop worrying, stop believing that it’s up to me to “fix” everything.
If I can risk admitting that, I can open myself up to the possibility that life is teaching all of us what we need to know.
Note: This post originally appeared on True Voices’ RiskADay blog project, which has now concluded.