Saturday, July 13, 2013

Depression and Home-schooling

I've been thinking a lot about home-schooling lately ... about why I've chosen it for our family, about why I'd consider stopping, about what I like and what I don't like. I've also been reading some wonderful homeschooling blogs like Small World and Simple Homeschool, which have encouraged me and helped me want to continue on this journey.

I've come to a recent epiphany, though. As I've read about the need to prepare our children for 'real life' and the ways in which home-schooling can do such a better job with that than regular schooling, it's occurred to me that I'm afraid. I'm afraid that I'm letting my children down by home-schooling them because I feel like I don't know 'how to do real life.' I fail miserably at keeping a tidy and peaceful house. I fail moderately at cooking healthy, delicious meals. I don't have great ambitions or career goals. I struggle with depression and motivation and relationships. So if I'm supposed to be preparing these children of mine for a fulfilled life ahead, I'm not sure how on earth I'll accomplish that. 

If I can surrender myself fully to God's love (as I hope to) and see transformation take place in my spirit and life (as I pray to), then perhaps I'll have something worth teaching my children. They can look back with me on these dark days where everything seems murky and meaningless, and know that it's possible to come out on the other side. They can hopefully learn that true 'success' is only by God's grace and strength. But that's a lot of 'ifs' and in the mean time, we're slogging away with math and history in the midst of untidy chaos, less-than-stellar meals, and up-and-down mood swings.

I hope I'm not doing more harm than good. And I pray that God redeems this confusion and depression, enabling the kids and me to grow in love and peace.


Sarah Gannon said...

That's the main thing that discourages me from homeschooling (well, that and my unshakeable laziness): the fear that while I may be intellectually qualified to be a teacher, I am desperately unqualified in terms of character.

Dennis said...

We do the best we can. If we do it with love, kids won't have to spend as much time in therapy or jail in the future. You are not the only one parenting your children. Steve comes into the equation too.

These days may not be seeming dark to them. They are on their voyage of discovery. I am in awe of all the things and opportunities you give your children.

Your feeling good or worthy are illusions society has taught us and it is through our God that we can say that we're all right.

Misty said...

Lisa, I hope things are better for you now. I did a search of "homeschooling & depression" & found your blog. I am struggling right now & we are almost mid-way into our 5th year of homeschooling. We've had many a good day & many a bad. But here lately things seem different. I, like you, fear that I'm failing my 3 kiddos. My motivation & desire are lacking & laziness & indifference have set in. It's a terrible way to feel. I trust the LORD & know that He will see us through this time. But it's hard. I guess I just wanted to tell you that I understand how you feel & I'll be praying for you. Thanks for writing about this. Somehow it helps knowing that I'm not alone in this.

Lisa Gertz said...

Thanks for writing, Misty (and Sarah and Dennis!) ... I'm up late at night because I'm still not at peace with myself and God and the way I'm raising/teaching my kids. I wish I could say things were better, but they're really not. I'd be interested in dialoging more with you, directly if you like. As you say, it's nice to know I'm not alone... Blessings, Lisa

Tonya robertson said...

I also googled depression and homeschooling. I've battled anxiety, and depression my whole life. I am generally a positive person. Yes I know that makes no sense haha. I wasn't always positive, but over the past few years I have been practicing positive thinking. It worked great for a long time. Until this year. This year has had many set backs. Significant other had a heart attack, family strife, being treated poorly ( to say the least ) , and fear of loss. Home school has taken a back seat. I feel so guilty, but seems my six year old is flourishing with no teaching. I feel guilty for my house, my 'laziness', my fatigue, my fear, and so much more. I fight. I fight every day to overcome. I pray. I refuse to give up. I chant. just the dishes then rest. Over and over. I chant things like that then its done and I sometimes go forward. Sometimes I rest. I would love to talk. My significant other is amazing. He is so supportive, but has no clue of what it's like. I only know 1 homeschooling family. I often feel alone. With all of that being said at the end of the day I remind myself of my blessings, and that its okay t just cry if when I'm done I get p and move on. Hope you find peace. It is within, but sometimes we have to fall apart to find it. God bless you.