Help-I want to Homeschool again. Depression.

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Help-I want to Homeschool again. Depression.

Postby amazeandgrace » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:58 am

Hi all!

This is long and I am sorry about that.

I need your help and advice! I need to tell you a bit about my past, as it is a big part of my problem with homeschooling now...

I had homeschooled in the past, when I was married previously. Sadly, that marriage ended. I have since remarried a wonderful man who supports myself and "our" girls tremendously. But there is now an issue with homeschooling. It stems from the problems I had homeschooling a few years ago.

Over the last few years, in my previous marriage, I went through a lot of medical problems and life changing surgeries. I was sick or ill a lot of the time and also became very depressed and suffered from anxiety on top of the physical medical issues. I was not available to my girls as much as I would have liked. The girls schooling suffered tremendously.

The girls and I endured the divorce and thankfully, children are resillent! I got better, quite better, but still suffered from the depression and anxiety when I met my current husband. I was heavily medicated for it as well, which made me sleepy and tired most of the time.

My new husband saw this and really wanted the best for the girls. I agreed that the best thing to do was to enroll them in public school since I was unable to teach them well and socialize them as they needed. The school held the girls way back because they did not test well and had poor reading skills. I was unhappy, but I was reassured that the school would work with them. My husband assured me that we could work with them as well.

A few months before this we found out that I had another medical issue and had been medicated for panic attacks which was actually a gall bladder issue. I recovered from yet another emergency surgery and was considering stopping the depression treatment...which I did a couple of weeks before the school year started. Over the time the girls were in public school the first year, I began to feel much better and more capable.

I continued to get better, working through it all. The girls were at the top of their class (as they should be, being held back so far). I figured once they got the swing of things at school...that the school would start pushing them to excell to a grade closer to the public school norm for their age. To my surprise, this year, they did not.

This was not a huge problem for us with our youngest, as she is only a year behind and enjoys being around a lot of children. (Although I do have problems with her peers and their influence on her attitude.) But this is a huge problem for our oldest, who is 4 years older and stuck in the same grade as her younger sister. Our oldest was 11-12 and in 3rd grade, youngest 9-10 and in 3rd grade. Want to talk about being in a socially awkward position?!! The public school put her there!

So my husband, the wonderful husband, and I decided that I needed to pull the oldest out and work with her to get her up to a more appropriate grade. We have to play the pull her out of school game and re-enroll her in a higher grade next year.

I am working with her and although it's new and not is going well. I enjoy it. I do not, however, enjoy having to teach her to prepare her for the state tests. If I was just homeschooling her, the testing would be on my terms and cover my teachings. I love the idea of homeschooling her freely again!

I still have a hard time, from time to time, with the depression. But I work through it. I am trying very hard to both teach her what I said I would, and socialize her because...

I want to keep them both out of public school next year, with the blessing of my husband!

I want this badly! I am willing to put in the hard work and work through my problems. I am going to work all summer long on both of the girls, teaching them and socializing them with some local homeschool families. (My husband really needs to see socializing in the same age group, as well as with other ages. He has a more limited view on homeschooling and socializing that I am hoping to gently change by example!) I am hoping that by the end of the summer my husband sees that this can work! I hope he realizes that he can spend more time with them too!

Any ideas on how to do this? Any encouragement? My biggest concern is that if I have a "down" day, that I will beat myself up because I want this so badly! I have been out of the "social" scene for a few years and I was never really involved enough the last time. I would appreciate any advice.

And mostly, God Bless YOU, for listening!

Elyssa Grace

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Postby kerry1968 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 11:47 am

Personally, I would continue to homeschool the oldest who is far behind her grade level. Even with an intense program it will be difficult to get her through 3 grade levels until the next school year. The youngest enjoys schools so why not leave her there and put your focus on the one who needs the most help. HS 2 kids will split ur time. I have one in ps and one at home it works fine. Good luck in any choice u make..

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Postby Miguelsmommy » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:04 pm

First let me tell you I understand how hard fighting depression can be. Myself, My husband and our son have mood disorders.

Take them to the library every week. Have them take out as many books as allowed on their cards. Don't worry if it's to easy or books on tape or what not. Have them Do this site when it maches books

Ask them one thing that they would like to learn and on your card get books about it. Get a science experiment book and craft book. Look at math books and let them pick the type they like.

The best way for me to avoid down days is to have a relaxed approach. Your kids are old enough to do a lot of things together or on their own. You could also look into getting a program like and tell them to jump on the computer days that are bad. I home school year round so when brakes are needed they can be taken. I also take a calender and his math book and label them 1-300. So he knows what pages he has to do he can go ahead or not but it let's him complete what I want with little intervention from me. I do a lot of movies and try to stay as far away as work books as possible. I could go on for hours about things that have helped me. If you want send me a message.

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Amazeandgrace's response

Postby amazeandgrace » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:52 pm

Thank you all so far

In response to what Kerry1968 wrote
I have considered keeping the youngest in public school. Which is what I'm doing now. I am just considering the benefits of taking her out, because of the attitude change I am seeing in her. She has become irresponsible and boy-crazy...she's 9. I realize this has to do with the company she keeps in all areas of her life...not just school.

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that I have adminstered the state of Texas TAKS tests to the girls (the practice/old versions) and my oldest has passed (with 80's and above) both the 3rd and 4th grade tests in December. With no prior teachings or practice from anyone. The school could do nothing with this information while she was enrolled in public school though. Which I understand. BUT the school did nothing to test her or advance her.

All of this said, teaching her enough to get her past 3rd grade level is not an issue at all. She missed out on a lot, but she already had learned so much. Just not how to "do school"...because I had unschooled them. (I forgot to mention!!

In response to what MiguelsMommy wrote-
Of course, I always forget the library, (Did I just hear a collective gasp from the crowd?!!). That's a resource I definately need to utilitze!

And I had considered doing already for my oldest...but I did not think about it covering things if I'm having an occasional "down" day.

Thank you!!

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Postby isamama » Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:01 am

It would make your life more "relaxed" as miguelsmommy said, if you hs both your children. I could't imagine having a down day and having to pull up my boot straps and go do the ps dance as well (been there done that). I also agree with miguel to limit workbook type assignments. Maybe only do a math workbook then learn through games, the library books, field trips (getting out in fresh air and sunshine is good for depression), and projects. I bet your dh would love to help out on the projects - putting something together, taking it apart, or figuring out how something works.

Speaking of "how stuff works" here is a link to a site that you could send your kids to and tell them to read something of interest and then come tell you about it; write about it; or demonstrate it.

Quartermile Race is another exciting, easy on the parent, math drill game using their choice of a race car or horses. Can be found at these sites:
or ... arter+mile

For english I'd just have them read a book and perhaps list words they needed to look up in the dictionary with the definition beside it. Then use those words later to "quiz" them on. (Let the kids take up the slack lol)

I found an inexpensive spanish cd at staples (Spanish with Phonics by Encore) It is a pretty good activity cd, perhaps that can be yet another subject one dd can work on independantly while you work with the other dd.

Just remember we'll always be here when you need some support or motivation :o)
I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. - Woodrow Wilson.

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Postby amazeandgrace » Sat Apr 19, 2008 2:16 am

Thanks ISAMAMA (sp? sorry my window closed on me :)

Yeah we are already dealing with a conflict here in our household. We just rejoined the YMCA...which is 30 minutes away. Not a big deal, but if I go during the day with my oldest who is HS, then I miss out on being able to go with the PS'd girl. If I wait until she's out of school, it's later, busier, not as much fun and cuts into her homework/chore time at home. I know it's a small thing, but it's just one of the many things I want to do with them!!!

Lucikly, summer is around the corner...and I can really work out a schedule for us where both girls are available...then I can say that it only gets better once the school year starts up and all of those great private classes come around again!!! We have some great private arts schools in the area for homsechooled kids that I'm dying to get back involved in!!

And I've been to the PS "programs" where the kids all sing or something. Compared to what I've seen my kids do recital and drama wise through homeschool classes....the public school's special activities are really not that great....i dread spending time on them!

Thanks again!

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Postby Jazzy » Sat Apr 19, 2008 6:06 am


I just want to encourage you that you CAN do this! I think it would be great for you to homeschool both of your children again.

Just don't set yourself up or failure by thinking everything will always go perfectly. We don't struggle with mood disorders here, but we do have down days occasionally. I think everybody does.


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Postby isamama » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:14 am


Just the other day I saw moms buying "poster/project/display" cardboard at Staples. Man! I sure didn't envy them. That was just anothet pet peeve I had about ps, being told what to buy along with when AND how to spend our family evenings and weekends.

Vacation and sick time was always a battle with the ps. God forbid my dh would want to take us on vacation during the "off season" when fuel is less, lodging is less, crowds are fewer, and his work load is less. If the kids caught the flu; I was frowned at as a bad parent if I followed doctors instructions by keeping them home.

Extra curriculars weren't useful for us either; ds tried basketball in Jr Hi what a bunch of hoopla. The time and place for practice always changed. In hs ds joined a basketball team and we always knew ahead of time when and where, unless it was canceled or changed do to weather or something. Ds got to participate in a national tourneyment in OKC; that just wouldn't have happened in ps. One, he would have been benched cuz he wasn't "good enough" and Second, that is assuming they would have let him play anyway what with his adhd caused poor grades and other hoopla. The hs team was about enjoying the sport and including everyone interested in it.

Ya know, looking back, I probably could have used some prozac when they were in ps lol. Have a great day!
I not only use all the brains I have, but all I can borrow. - Woodrow Wilson.

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Postby momo3boys » Sun May 11, 2008 4:57 pm

Depression has been part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have had to learn certain ways to cope. I have a seasonal depression light that helps me so I don't have to take as much meds, and I make sure that the boys make me go outside everyday.

Your husband sounds wonderful and he cares about you a lot. He doesn't want you to bite off more than you can chew. So do you research. Is there a rhythm to your bad days, seasonal, extra stress? Mine is seasonal so I do less demanding things in the winter and more in the summer. (hs flexibility) If there is a trigger then you either avoid it or work around it and prepare for it. When you know you are going to have a week that is stressful or crazy, minimize the effort. this past week, we had three dentist appointments and a load of dirt came in that I wanted to fill up by new garden with. So...we did spelling, reading and writing. We had some great times together, read some great stories and I didn't get stressed out trying to fit hsing into a week that didn't have room for it.

You can do this, and I would pull your youngest out if dealing with the ps school is a trigger. Tell your husband that too. Let him know what you've found out, and how you are going to handle it. He just wants to know that you are going to be ok.

I also strongly recommend getting involved in some type of small group, whether a book club, prayer group, or hs support. These women can help you through anything, if you let them.:)
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

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Still Here

Postby amazeandgrace » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:47 pm

Hi all I'm still here...My mom got very ill and is on hospice care in our home...I will add a new update post to the boards-It's titled Getting Started Again under the Getting Started section.
Thanks for the support and advice.

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