Have you experienced your decision to homeschool to be a major change in your life? I want to share with you a short, but powerful explanation of the phases you may go through when you are going on this journey. I learned this while I was overseas on the mission field. I worked with the Mercy Ships in Africa and jumped in wherever I was needed. For a while, I helped in the medical department as a secretary. In that role, I would speak to our medical volunteers when they first arrived to the ship, as well as when they were getting ready to leave the ship. We would talk about the Four H’s and I found that this illustration applies to many scenarios in life. Of course it varies with each person and circumstance, but I believe it is a pattern I have seen throughout the years.
Homeschoolers Meet the Four H’s
Congratulations! You have overcome the most difficult hurdle in homeschooling, and that is going against the common view that children should be in school. Maybe you have support of friends and family, which is very helpful indeed! If you don’t, I assure you that you can still navigate this exciting world of homeschooling. As with almost any change in life, don’t be surprised if you follow the Four H’s.
The 1st H is the “Honeymoon” phase. You are so excited to start this amazing endeavor. Life is going to be wonderful and perfect. You get to be with your kids through all of their discoveries and you don’t have to deal with the problems that many encounter in a public setting. It is so exciting you can’t wait to get started…but then…things aren’t perfect after all which can lead to the next phase…
The 2nd H is the “Hate” phase. You wonder, “What in the world have I done?!? What was I thinking? What curriculum should I use? Why are we having struggles?” This phase can last a short time, or it can last throughout the school year. Some folks decide homeschooling is not for them and others seek out veteran homeschool families to help them along in their journey. If you can make it through this phase you will head to the third phase….
The 3rd H is the “Humor” phase. This is where you know of all the challenges you encounter when homeschooling, but you can take them less seriously and maybe can even laugh at them. You are starting to see the beauty of homeschooling through all the warts and wrinkles. You are very aware that everything is not perfect, but you are seeing growth and improvement in your kids. When you get to this point you head into the fourth phase….
The 4th H is the “Home” phase. This is where you are convinced that it is a privilege to have the opportunity to homeschool. Sure, there are challenges, but they are worth it and you wouldn’t have it any other way. You come alongside new homeschoolers and offer them a shoulder to cry on and hope for the future. You advocate for homeschooling with friends and family and are so grateful for all the amazing folks who have paved the way for you to be able to homeschool. HOME is such a nice place to be…but don’t forget, life moves on and changes are coming as you launch your children into adulthood. You may find yourself cycling through the Four H’s once again!
Sometimes you go through the Four H’s very quickly and sometimes you arrive at the fourth H after several years of struggle.
I want to encourage all homeschoolers. You may go through the Four H’s multiple times as you struggle and as you find victories. It’s a continual discovery process. Sometimes you will find a curriculum solution only to later discover that it won’t work a year later. Trust your instincts and give yourself the flexibility to always look for continual improvement in your homeschooling methods.
I am grateful to have the opportunity to share this memory work curriculum at an affordable price because it allows parents to give it a try without breaking the bank. I have discovered that because my children have worked on their memory work skills, they are capable of more than I thought possible. The added benefit is they are more interested in their classes as they get older. Things make sense because they have been introduced to the concepts before.
In my homeschool, I strive to be in the Home phase. Life has a way of making us needing to make changes, but seasoned homeschool parents can identify what is helpful for their family and what is not. I pray that your family will identify where among the Four H’s you find yourselves. I hope you can evaluate and find solutions for problem areas that you have.
How do the Four H’s apply in your circumstances?