Enchantment Force 3: Risk!

Risk implies both thrill and danger. It is critical to our children's learning adventure as having a big and bold vision is what will motivate and drive them to want to excel. As Julie explains: "Risk invites you and your kids to dare to dream."

Our Risk vs Our Children's Risk

Have you ever thought about homeschooling as being our risky endeavor? You bet it is! You can't get much more audacious than completely bucking the norm and taking personal responsibility for the education of your children!

Which explains the pressure we put on ourselves to make it work. After all, the last thing we want to do is wake up some day to discover that this big grand experiment we undertook with our kids' futures was a. . . gulp. . . failure? So here we are, plugging away with no guarantees of success, absolutely determined to get it right. Talk about motivation!

The irony is that our children feel no such urgency to make homeschooling work. Homeschooling is not a risk for them. It is simply their life. Which is how is exactly how it should be.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

So if homeschooling is not a risk for our children, how can we help them discover an endeavor in which they have a personal stake, one with a "compelling vision for a goal they value?"

Enter the Big Hairy Audacious Goal (or BHAG) as coined by Jim Collins in his best-selling book, Built to Last. As quoted in The Brave Learner:

"A BHAG engages people—it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People 'get it' right away; it take little to no explanation." (page 54)

A good place to start is to ask your kids: If money were no object and we had as much time as you needed, what would you love to do?

Risky, right? But that is what makes the potential so great! As Julie explains, "The key is facing our mental limits and joining with our children in imagining a bold, beautiful life. Within that willingness, resources often come to our aid."

"Risk invites you and your kids to dare to dream. We can't get there if we relegate our children's 'far-fetched fantasies' to the leftover energy after homeschool duties and household chores are completed. It's the other way around: when we give energy to the things our kids love, they have satisfaction and happiness to draw from when they need to give hard work to what is less inspiring." (page 56) 

Dare to Think Differently

Another way to invite risk is to "make space for risky thinking." As Julie puts it: "Risk means being willing to entertain those differences without collapsing in fear and anxiety." 

Trust Your Kids, Yourself, the Process

"A child will risk telling you her desires if she believes you're a receptive audience. She'll conceal them if she doubts your support." (page 57)

Readings about Risk

Thoughts to Ponder

When your life becomes mundane, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What Big Hairy Audacious Goal might my child want to pursue?
  • How can I show trust and support to my child, to myself, and to the process?

Try the following:

  • Think back on your own life and identify times when you pursued your own BHAGs. How did you find them? How were you supported and by whom?
  • Identify any current BHAGs you have discovered for yourself and how you are pursuing them. If you don't currently have one, allow yourself to dream of one you might discover in the future.
  • Identify ways that you have trusted your child to make a BHAG come true.
  • Make a list of "Risks my Children Want to Take" and "Ways I Can Tolerate or Support those Risks" (Use Page 21 in the Brave Learner Companion Guide)

Pay attention to what feelings these questions bring up for you. Does allowing your children to take risks feel natural or daunting to you? Why?

Print pages 20-22 of the Brave Learner Companion Guide and write your answers.

Posted March 18th, 2019
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