Homeschooling with Depression {Practical Ideas}

practical ideas for struggling moms

Last week I shared 5 truths that God taught me through my struggles with depression. I hope you will take some time and be encouraged by reading those posts!! Those truths have literally changed my life, and I don’t say that lightly. God has taught me so much!!

Today I wanted to extend that series a little bit by sharing some practical ways to continue homeschooling while struggling with depression. Homeschooling is hard. That and motherhood are the 2 hardest things I’ve ever done in my life!! Much harder, in fact, than teaching the 22 little kindergarteners I once had in my classroom!! 🙂

It’s important to find small ways to get help & encouragement on this journey…here are some things that have helped me!

Do you know a friend that struggles with depression? Read through these suggestions and see which you can do for her!! What a BLESSING you will be to her! 

1. Accept help. Just get over your pride and let a friend bring you dinner. 🙂 One of my best memories of a dark time ~ and a friend I will always cherish greatly ~ is when a pizza, 2-liter and dessert showed up at my front door unexpectedly when I was having a very rough time. Now, had she called and asked earlier in the week if I wanted a meal brought to me, quite honestly, I probably would have said NO. I feel bad accepting help also. But, when that meal was delivered it was SUCH a relief. If you’ve never struggled with depression you may not understand how a simple dinner can help that much. But, LITTLE THINGS like fixing dinner for your family become HUGE when you are struggling. {If you have a friend that you know is struggling, here are some ideas that are always welcome: take a meal, offer to come clean one afternoon, take the kids for the afternoon, drive kids to and from places, call and ask how they are doing whether they want to talk or not, PRAY.}

2. Take care of your health ~ find small things you can do that will make a big difference. I mean things like getting outside daily, even for 10 minutes. Going on short walks with or without your kids, even for 10 minutes. Drink lots of water. Eliminate as much junk food as possible from your diet. Food does affect my moods! {If you would like to know where to start, my first suggestion would be to eat as few carbs/grains as possible for a month or so and see if it makes any difference. Our bodies are all so different, but that is the first thing I would try.}

3. Do not be afraid of medication. This is such a battle. I don’t like having to be on it either. But for me, it was a humbling of my pride AND putting my family’s needs BEFORE my own to stay on medication. They need a mommy that is sane. For me, it has been a lifesaver. I truly believe God allowed the path of medication to help sustain me these past few years.

4. Please find someone you can talk to. You are not alone. But the enemy will try his best to make you feel that way! You need someone you can talk to regularly – if you don’t have a friend like that (or spouse) please find a good, christian counselor! It really can make a huge difference!!

5. Stay in church. Stay in your small group. Continue meeting with some group sometime. And…take a risk, ask them to pray for you. Be as open as you can about your struggles so that you have brothers and sisters lifting you up. I know when you are down, you just want to stay home and not be around people. I know, I’ve been there. But, when I make the effort (HUGE effort at times) to go to church, I am ALWAYS glad that I did!

6. If you have a supportive spouse, do all you can to SURVIVE the days while he is at work, then leave some (or as much as he will do) schooling for him to do in evenings. Or weekends. Or whatever it takes. There have been times I could hardly get out of bed much less do lessons with my kids. My husband has been so good to do things in the evenings with my kids. It’s not a long term solution for our family, but it works on the worst days.

7. Find educational tv programs/movies and let your kids watch them WITHOUT feeling guilty. Independent learning is not a bad thing – Teaching Textbooks for math, audio books for read alouds, nature study in the backyard for science…there are ways that take minimal effort on your part. I’m not trying to say “just do nothing and they will be fine.” But, there are days that are more desperate than others and sometimes we just need permission to not be “on.” There are SO many great resources these days that you really can let your kids do some learning independently and still feel really great about it! {These are all ideas for families that feel called to homeschool, I’m not trying to convince anyone otherwise, but this series is for families who already have that calling to homeschool.}

8. On the days you DO feel good, do something fun/special with your kids. This was one of my biggest struggles with guilt as I struggled…that my kids weren’t getting anything “fun.” So, on the days you are up to it, shower your kids with affection and encouragement. Take them to get ice cream. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but make time for special moments together on the days where you are able.

9. I don’t say this lightly…but pray. Pray. Pray. Pray. And, when you don’t have the words, not one single word (and that will happen!) just say the name of Jesus. There is power in His name, friend. Praying the name of Jesus helps me feel close to Him when all around me is darkness. Jesus, name above all names!

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Author: Candace Crabtree

I'm just a messed up mama in need of God's fresh new mercies daily. My husband and I live in beautiful East Tennessee with our 3 children. God has taken me on a journey through the valley of depression and is teaching me to pray the Scriptures as a result. I hope and pray that you will be encouraged whenever you stop by this little place on the web.

9 thoughts on “Homeschooling with Depression {Practical Ideas}”

  1. It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’ve been up for two hours. This is probably the best real food I’ve had…..real christianity. Thank you for sharing ma’am. My husbands left me after we adopted 3 little children. I’m struggling to face life now as a almost 50yr old single mom. Its as if you looked into my life and thoughts. Thank you. I’m now a spiritual widow with children who are fatherless. I’m poor and tired. The Lord puts songs of hope in my spirit every morning. But I’m poured out like water.

    1. Dee, I saw your comment on Facebook and am so glad you came and left a comment here. I’m so sorry for your struggles…I pray that God will give you comfort and hope and peace during these very trying days. I am adding you to my list I keep at my desk of those who have found my blog and shared their struggles with me…I am committing to pray for you!!

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