Allow me to introduce you to three enemies of successful homeschooling: Hither, Thither and Yon.
Hither is a demanding fellow who continually has an urgent need that requires immediate attention. “Come here. Attend to me first. I’ll only take a minute, then you can get on with school.” However, these urgent demands have a way of taking more than a minute, especially if they involve interaction with another human being. More often than not, attending to Hither first can mean postponing school for several hours. Hither is often disguised as a quick phone call (before you forget), a trip to the bank, or a jaunt to the store for school supplies. Most likely Hither was on yesterday’s to-do list, which for whatever reasons it didn’t get done, and was postponed until today.
Thither is the enthusiastic voice saying, “Are you taking your kids to…? Drop everything and come on! You don’t want to miss this.” Yet you hadn’t planned on going and you know in your heart you shouldn’t. Doing so would only add stress to your already full day. You won’t finish school, and tomorrow you’ll be tyrannized by Hither. Thither is often disguised as a last minute field trip, a sudden urge to go shopping, or meet friends for lunch. Thither likes to spend money. He’s a fun-loving fellow, but he’s always accompanied by Guilt.
Finally, there’s Yon. Everybody knows Yon. For a little guy, he causes more than his share of big problems. He’s that little voice that says, “You can do it all! You’re Super Mom!” And you believe him. The word “No” is not in his vocabulary. Yon means well, but he isn’t very realistic. He’s also been known to make one feel guilty for not living up to his standards. I think he secretly delights in seeing just how long and hard he can keep you running. He’s sometimes difficult to recognize, but his favorite saying is, “If you don’t do it, it won’t get done.”
One at a time, any of these can be difficult to deal with. All together they can defeat the most committed home educator. Be on your guard. If you find yourself getting pushed around by Hither, running around with Thither, or being chased by Yon, it’s time to call on the Lord. “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him, He hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:18,19 ).
Rebecca is presenting “Keeping First Things First” at the 31st Annual CHEA Homeschool Convention, May 29-31 at the Disneyland® Hotel.
Copyright 1997. Used by permission of the author. Originally published in Heart to Heart, September 1997.
Rebecca Kocsis and her beloved Ed homeschooled their five children for 22 years, graduating their youngest in 2006 from their homeschool. They are now the proud grandparents of four boys and three girls. Rebecca served for 15 years as a PSP administrator and for several years on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board. In addition to serving on CHEA’s Board of Directors, she is also Support Network Director. She is the author of the devotional booklet Let Not Your Feathers Be Ruffled.