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What To Do If You’re Depressed While Pregnant

What To Do If You’re Depressed While Pregnant

Pregnancy is often described as a joyous time in a woman’s life, where feeling of happiness mostly outnumber any negative feelings.

Unfortunately, similar to any other time in your life, depression can appear as a result of drastic life changes in your body and life. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that between 14-23% of pregnant women will struggle with some depressive symptoms.

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Being depressed while pregnant is not something that is commonly talked about, but it is crucial for women to know that there are numerous resources that they can access to help relieve the pain.

Remember: you are not alone.
It is important to go to a mental health professional if you suspect you are suffering from depression during your pregnancy.

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Here are a few things that can help you cope with this illness:

Know the difference between moodiness and depression

It is important to recognize the difference between common mood swings that come from changing hormones in your body and suffering from clinical depression. If you are having trouble enjoying anything, having trouble sleeping and/or having trouble getting out of bed, having feelings of worthlessness or seem on edge all the time you may be suffering from depression. Pregnancy can cause you to feel extra fatigued and emotional, but if it seems to last all the time it is possible that depression is the culprit.

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Do not use natural remedies if you are suffering from depression while pregnant

Natural remedies like St. John’s Wort that are known for naturally treating depression should not be taken by pregnant women. The safety of using remedies like these when pregnant are unknown and as such they are not a good alternative. Solutions like psychotherapy, and certain antidepressant medications that have been proven to be safe to consume during pregnancy are superior options.

Try different therapies

If talk therapy does not seem to be helping, there are other types of therapy that might be more effective. Light therapy, for example, has been shown to be a great alternative to more traditional methods.

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Seek a support group

There are always a variety of support groups for depression available, no matter where you live. If you can, try to find a prenatal depression group that you can attend at least once a week. Look into local hospitals or clinics for these support groups or ask your therapist if they can point you to the appropriate support group. Junior colleges and adult learning centers often offer these types of groups also.

Ask your spouse for extra help

Do not feel ashamed for asking your spouse/partner/loved one for extra help, whether it is with chores around the house or just having someone to talk to. It is important that you are honest with your partner and do not feel guilty for not being able to do certain things. Carrying a baby is no small feat and it is important to find extra support when needed.

Take extra care of yourself

Along with medical help, make sure to take extra care of yourself at home, as well, if you are suffering from depression while pregnant. Take long, frequent baths with lavender-infused oils, and eat healthy, wholesome meals. It might be tempting to give into pregnancy cravings with a donuts or a bag of potato chips, but this is a quick fix that will only contribute to an unstable mood in the long-run. Consider signing up for a prenatal yoga class at your local gym; that will guarantee to get your body moving and put your mind at ease. For more mindfulness, try downloading an app like Calm; it will allow you to take a few minutes to regroup anywhere, anytime.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on November 7, 2018

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

Figure Out the Laws

Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

Decide on an Approach

Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

Supplies/Resources

Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

Find a Community

Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

7 Different Homeschooling Methods

1. School-At-Home

Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

  • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
  • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
  • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

2. Classical

One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

3. Unit Studies

Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

  • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
  • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
  • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

4. Charlotte Mason

This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

5. Montessori

Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

6. Unschooling

Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

7. Eclectic/Relaxed

As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

Email

Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

Google Drive/Calendar

Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

Ebooks

Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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E-Courses

When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

Some recommendations:

Youtube

Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

Some recommendations:

Final Thoughts

Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

Reference

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