Monday, April 29, 2013

Homeschooling and depression

Dealing with depression is tough.  Homeschooling is tough.  Put the two together and well, let's just say it has the potential for the perfect storm. Looking back over that year, I know it was only by the grace of God that my kids learned anything in the academic realm.  However, they learned incredible life lessons about dealing with depression, loving people through their struggles, pitching in as a family and praying for one another.  Those are lessons that simply can't be learned in a textbook.  

While I couldn't control the depression, there were some things we could control to keep the learning progressing forward.

1. Make a plan.  If you're currently struggling with depression this one probably made you laugh out loud.  The planning side of our brains seems to shut down when we're depressed. I'm not talking about planning out the whole year here.  Just do a skeleton list of what you would like them to accomplish for the day or week.  Baby steps.  This outline will allow you to keep them on track and to see that you really are making progress, even on your worst days.

2. Keep it simple.  Let go of all the "extra" subjects for awhile.  Yes, your kids will survive without Latin, history, science and literature study until you feel ready to tackle those subjects again.  Stick to the basics - bible, math, reading and writing.  They will be OK...I promise.  Apply the idea of simplicity to as many areas of your life as possible - meals, extra curricular activities, ministry involvement.  Say no to the extras so you can say yes to getting better.

3. Do the next thing.  Depression leaves you feeling like you're in a fog.  The decision making, driven part of the brain seems to shut down, even for us Type A personalities.  I remember standing in my kitchen one day knowing there were many things I needed to be doing, but unable to figure out for the life of me what that looked like.  Then I thought of the old saying, "Just do the next thing."  If you have a skeleton schedule or to-do list, just do what comes next and you won't have to think too much. When you're depressed, that's a very good thing.

4. Give yourself grace.  Struggling through depression is tough enough without beating yourself up for all you're NOT doing.  Give yourself grace, knowing this is just a season.  There will come a time when you can once again do all the things you did before.  Or you might just find that some of what you let go should never have been on your plate in the first place.  

5. Reach out.  I've said this before, but it bears repeating a thousand times - There is no shame in suffering from depression. The only shame is remaining silent.  Find a safe place to share your struggle - your spouse, friend, counselor.  You aren't meant to carry this burden alone.  Don't give in to the shaming voices encouraging you to keep silent.   Allowing others to walk alongside you brings beauty from the ashes and can turn what the enemy intended for evil into something truly beautiful.


  1. God bless you! im right here in the midst of this battle and this post is a Godsend.

  2. Praying for you Allison! I hope you have someone to share this burden with. It doesn't take it away, but it does make it easier to carry. Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to talk ( Big hugs!

  3. Thank you for your is refreshing to hear that other homeschool moms have these real struggles and that we need lots of grace...


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