or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Homeschooling with depression
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Homeschooling with depression

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've always wanted to homeschool, I already have tons of curriculum and manipulatives (they were given to me, we'll see what I actually use) , I think it would be great for our family time (DH doesn't work a normal M-F schedule), but...The past several months I've been struggling with anxiety and depression.  I know I'm not spending as much time with other people because social situations are part of the anxiety trigger and depression obviously makes me not want to go out either.  Some days I have a really hard time engaging my kids.  DD1 is very social and I want to make sure I meet that need for her.  I just worry that I won't manage well on the down days.  Some days are ok though and I worry that "giving up" (what it feels like *for me* not implying that anyone else sending their child to school is giving up) would make me more depressed.

 

Anyhow, Is anyone else a homeschooling mama with depression?  What do you do?  How do you manage?

post #2 of 11

I am sorry you are going through a tough time.  Depression and anxiety can make life really hard to deal with.  How many kids do you have?  How old are they?  Have you thought about what kind of homeschooling you want to do?  

 

Just wanted you to know I read your post and I am thinking about it but I need more info to properly respond.  

post #3 of 11

You just had a baby? And your depression is worse in the past few months? It's pretty normal to have increased anxiety when you have a newborn... Now is probably not the time to make big decisions. If, come fall, you think your oldest needs more social time you could look for a play based activity a few days a week.

 

My experience with chronic mild depression is that I'm going to be depressed no matter what. I need to do what's best for my child and not take my depression into too much consideration. But like I said, mine is mild and chronic. I can always get out of bed and engage with ds. I may be faking it more on some days than others...

 

The key for me is taking care of myself. I NEED to get enough sleep. There is a direct correlation between how under rested I am and how depressed I am. I always napped when my baby napped and went to bed at night when he did. But you can't do that with older kids as easily. You could see if you could hire a babysitter when it's your baby's naptime if you think it would help.

 

<hug> Take care of yourself and know whatever decision you make now, you can change your mind later. And you can decide not to make any decisions right now, as well.

post #4 of 11

I have depression and anxiety and treat it with medication. I know that isn't right for everyone but it has worked wonders for me and lets me feel normal again. I take zoloft which is safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

 

It sounds like you are dealing with some post-partum depression and anxiety. This is normal but you NEED to talk to your care provider. You don't HAVE to just suck it up and deal with it, there are lots of options for you to feel better. Medication, counseling, natural supplements, diet changes ect. Exercise really helps me, even if its just a daily walk with the kids. Support from your partner is also important. Does your DH know how you have been feeling? Does he help out when you aren't up to it? Is he understanding?

 

I also agree this is NOT the time to be making big decisions. Get settled in with your baby, adjust to having 2 kids and as a PP said, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. That said, if she is in kindergarten / 1rst grade, it should be very relaxed anyway. We used no formal curriculum, we read tons of books, took some trips to local museums, libraries and zoos, got out in nature and did arts and crafts. And no decision has to be permanent. You can try whatever option you are most comfortable when the time comes and adjust / change your mind later.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 How many kids do you have?  How old are they?  Have you thought about what kind of homeschooling you want to do?  

 

I have three kids.  The older two will be 3 and 5 in July and the baby is 5 weeks.  For kindergarten I plan on somewhat relaxed schooling but with a bit of structure because DD does so much better that way.  It doesn't come naturally for me to be structured so I don't think I'll over do it.  I think that 2 semi-structured activities 3 or 4 days a week sounds reasonable. 

 

 

Quote:
You just had a baby? And your depression is worse in the past few months?

I guess I should give a little back story.  I have struggled a bit with mild depression off and on over the years but not quite like this.  This time it was triggered by a sort of attack by my family (It wasn't their intent to attack me but it sure felt like one).  Hormones have certainly made it worse but they are not the whole story and it's actually gotten a little better since giving birth. Part of the issue is a large part of the "concerns" expressed by my family centered around parenting.  So even though I know it was a lot of garbage/difference of opinion/misunderstanding whenever we're having a hard time I tend to sink into a pit.  With an almost 3 year old and my older daughter having sensory issues we're going to have off days! 

 

 

Quote:

 

My experience with chronic mild depression is that I'm going to be depressed no matter what. I need to do what's best for my child and not take my depression into too much consideration. But like I said, mine is mild and chronic. I can always get out of bed and engage with ds. I may be faking it more on some days than others...

This is a really good point.  I can usually engage, I just worry about the days I can't even though they are few.  I suppose we all have off days no matter what.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It sounds like you are dealing with some post-partum depression and anxiety. This is normal but you NEED to talk to your care provider. You don't HAVE to just suck it up and deal with it, there are lots of options for you to feel better. Medication, counseling, natural supplements, diet changes ect. Exercise really helps me, even if its just a daily walk with the kids. Support from your partner is also important. Does your DH know how you have been feeling? Does he help out when you aren't up to it? Is he understanding?

It's not really post partum depression (see above post) but I have been considering medication just because I am so stinking tired of not being happy.  I started to take some St. John's Wort but I forgot to keep taking it so i should try again.  (5HTP has really helped me in the past but I can't take that while nursing.)

 

DH is great and helpful which is huge.  His work schedule is nice in that many days he is pretty flexible but there are two long days a week where he's not really available. 

post #7 of 11
I home school with major depression and on top of that, had major post partum depression for months too. My daughter just turned a year, so the post partum part has mostly subsided, but the major depression remains. I started walking about 6 weeks ago, and that has helped tremendously. There are days when I just don't want to get out of bed, but have to, because I have three kids, including a baby who needs me. The boys are older and fairly self sufficient. If it wasn't for my daughter, I would surely stay in bed all day. Some days I don't want to teach and I don't want to walk. I just want to veg. But then I just end up feeling worse. So many days, I literally have to force myself to get up and teach and go for a long walk with the kids. I feel much better afterwards. I also use Welbutrin, and that has helped a lot too. I definitely know depression, and have had periods of depression off and on since I was 6 yrs old, but this has by far, been the worst year ever. But I am a survivor, so I am doing the best I can, and haven't totally given up yet. Also, keeping up with our weekly family movie/game night helps too.
post #8 of 11

Your kids are really young.  They don't need much for homeschooling.  What do you enjoy doing?  Can you get them involved?  Can you invite a friend over for the oldest one, every once in a while?  I find it is not that much harder to have a friend over as long as the kids get along well and the parents don't come.  Kids come over to play at our house, without their parents, all the time and for me, that makes it easier.  Can you streamline other parts of your life?  Meal prep is where being organized can pay off hugely.  Make big pots of whatever and you have it for a few days plus bread/cheese/fruit/oatmeal and you have some healthy things going on.  

 

Get rid off stuff.  Stuff makes life harder.  The less you have of it, the more space and the less cleaning you have to do.  House feels bigger and just lighter which might in turn lighten up, not just your workload BUT also your mood.  Get rid of stuff.  Try to think -- what is the least amount of kid's clothing I could get away with. and ditto for everything else.  Then get rid off the rest..  

 

Set up a craft area.  My kid's go to place in our house is the craft desk.  They draw, make stuff, write, etc ALL day long.  Do you have a yard?  If you do, make it attractive for the kids to want to spend time outside.  This way, you get a little breather while they are out there. 

 

Schedule a quiet time.  I know your younger two will not understand but the oldest might.  Mine take a quiet time in the afternoons and it has been great for them and my sanity.  

 

My daughter just turned 5 by the way and we are not doing anything structured with her.  She is fine on her own and she is making her way towards learning.  Right now, she is really interested in learning to read so she asks and I explain.  She is getting the fact that letters make sounds.  She is able to read some three letter words.  She picks up books and pretends to read all the time and loves spending time with books.  I just let her do that.  On top of that, she spends tons of time making stuff.  These days, both her and her brother have been into building with their plank blocks.  It has been three weeks since they took renewed interest in their planks and it still goes unabated.  They keep on making different things every single day.  I love that.  I don't know what the next obsession will be but soon something else will pop up and I just let them go at it.  

 

If you simplify your idea of homeschooling, I am hoping that will help you not feel overwhelmed.  You really seem to want to do it.  I am hoping you can!  Good luck.  Sending you encouraging thoughts!  Feel free to PM me, if you will find that useful.  

 

E.

post #9 of 11

I think it helps to take things slowly one day at a time when you're managing life's affairs while depressed. Since your kids are young, it helps to just stick to a semi-structured curriculum and take plenty of time off whenever you feel it's necessary. Kids that age would also benefit from that; if you have a park nearby, try taking the kids outside alot or to the library. Since you mentioned that being around people triggers your depression, did you go see a therapist to find out if you suffer from social anxiety disorder? People with extreme cases often have to go on medication for that. I hope everything works out for you and like everybody said, don't worry about making any major decisions at this stage of your life until you feel well enough to do so.
 

post #10 of 11

Glad I stumbled across this thread.  It helps to know that I'm not alone.  I've got 4 little boys, ages 9, 5, 4, and almost 2, and I'm expecting a baby girl in November.  I was on Celexa a couple years ago, and while I didn't feel as depressed, I didn't really feel anything at all.  I felt like a zombie, just going through the motions of my day.  

 

I've been having a really hard time doing any kind of "school" with my oldest.  I worry about him the most, since my youngest are thriving just with lots of reading, coloring, etc.  My oldest hates any type of math, and any type of worksheet based learning.  I've tried an online approach (time4learning), and he thought it was too babyish.  Lately, I have no energy or desire to fight with him, or jump through hoops trying to engage him in something.  I've considered enrolling him in public school, but he FREAKS out at that idea.  Not to mention, that's the last thing I want for him.  (He went to ps for K and 1st, and had horrible anxiety.)

 

 

Those of you who do suffer from depression, do your spouses/partners understand?  My husband is helpful when he's not at work, and I know that he understands how trying it is just being home with 4 little boys all day... but I don't think he "gets it".  I don't think he has any clue how debilitating depression can be, and sometimes I wonder if he just thinks I'm lazy, and took on more than I could handle (as far as homeschooling).  

 

 

CoBabyMaker, I didn't mean to hijack your thread!  Lol, just nice to hear from other mamas who get it.  I don't suppose any of you are in the Seattle area...?  

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Sorry that I have not responded yet.  Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions.  It's nice to know I'm not alone.  I think we can do this.  Exercising is helping, though there are still some days that are yucky.  I guess we just get through one day at a time.

 

Xzaviers Mama, I'm glad that this thread could encourage you too!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › Homeschooling with depression