Is it possible for you to keep home schooling while struggling with depression? Yes, very much so. Depression is not a reason to quit.
Should everyone who is depressed continue to home school? I can’t answer that. What I’m saying is: don’t assume that you must give up.
Well, examine the reasons why you began home schooling, and you will still see all the reasons that you can keep home schooling. Your reasons may be different than mine, but I think my reasons for home schooling are fairly common, so we will use them for an example.
1. I want my children at home with me.
Is it unhealthy for your children to be at home with you if you are battling depression? Not always. Can your children have any benefit from being at home with a mother who is engaged in such a battle? Yes. The problem is when they don’t see you battling. It isn’t wrong or unhealthy for your children to see that something difficult has come against you and you are fighting to overcome it, the damage is from them seeing you give up, and quit. You are not a quitter. You can get up and keep fighting for your family. You can do it! Depression is not strong enough to defeat you.
2. My faith.
If you are depressed, should you put your kids in school? Not necessarily. Not even a Christian school can impart to your children your faith. Now most of us have made the decision to home school partly based on our religion- we don‘t want our children to follow the world‘s influence, but to stay in our church. But distance yourself for a minute from your religion, and take this personally. What about your faith. No one can believe their way out of this depression but you. You can believe for your healing! Jesus healed everyone who came to him. Your children will benefit from being at home seeing you grow in your healing. It will build their faith, not destroy it, when they see you overcoming depression through your faith in God’s word.
Your family can suffer because of depression, or you can use this time to see ways that your family life needs to change. Have you been doing too much, wearing yourself out? Maybe you need to cut down on extracurricular activities, and focus on family bonding at home? Are you carrying all the weight of the household responsibilities? Maybe your 10 year old can learn to do the dishes, or your eight year old could learn to vacuum and clean the bathroom. Maybe you won’t get everything done that you want to, but what CAN you do? I bet you can rest on the sofa with your kids and read them a great book. I bet you could go for a walk to the park with them. I bet you could choose easier, healthier meals; like fresh fruit, and whole wheat bread. If you put some things aside for now, this can be a healing time for your family to draw close, not to be destroyed by depression.
Yes, there is a temptation here for your breathing to quicken, thinking about all the things you are not doing- but don’t yield. You may just need to change your expectations for awhile. You can still give your children an education at home, and be a good example! Educate yourself, and let them see you learning! Read a library book on healing, and then tell them what you’ve learned. Rent some educational movies with them, and make a scrapbook page about what the video taught. Let each day be a day where your children can learn something, and be excited about doing it!
If you are severely depressed, even these things can seem too big, but don’t lose hope! Educate your children by letting them watch your life, and get some help. Let your children see you strengthen your faith for healing by receiving prayer at church, or by going to a bible study. If you are too depressed to read, get a bible on cd (or mp3) and listen to it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Get some bible stories on cd for your kids to listen to during this time.
If you are depressed, you can talk to someone. There are people around you right now who have been where you are, but maybe haven’t mentioned it. If you will talk to a trustworthy, optimistic friend, it can help you feel unburdened. Find a godly doctor, or health practitioner, and let others lend you a hand up. If you are in a pit right now, remember, the Lord’s hand is extended to pull you out.
In psalm 107:20 it says: He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.
Psalm 40:1-3 says: I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.