Welcome back my fellow esoteric home educators! Today’s podcast is a little different than our normal chats, but it’s something I felt extremely called to talk about in light of recent events.
As most of you know, we are a military family stationed at Pearl Harbor. If you read the news last week, you probably heard about the shooting on base in which two people died and one committed suicide.
As I discuss in length in my podcast, this was a VERY triggering experience for me because I have no doubt this event was linked to some form of untreated mental health illness. This instantly took me back to 10 years ago when I was facing my own demons and tried to take my own life.
I know what it is like to be in a dangerously low place with what feels like no support. I do not blame my parents for not being open to my mental health issues, things were A LOT DIFFERENT even just 10 years ago.
With that being said, times have changed y’all.
Either you are on board with accepting mental illness as a very real thing and doing something to actively change it or you can find another podcast/blog to follow. I honestly don’t have time for people who can’t get behind creating a healthier world mentally, physically, and spiritually.
So you might be asking yourself…
What Does Mental Health Have To Do With Homeschooling?
The answer? EVERYTHINGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!
As homeschooling parents, or just freaking parents in general, I truly believe it is our obligation to ensure our kids are receiving proper tools to navigate their mental health FROM THE START!
I am 30 years old and just now figuring out healthy coping mechanisms and responses to my anxiety and depression that doesn’t involve taking prescription pills.
Our children shouldn’t have to go to therapy to recover from their childhood. That is such an old paradigm we need to break free from. We should be teaching our children how to deal with things like anxiety, depression, jealousy, etc, AS THEY ARE EXPERIENCING IT.
It’s your choice how you want to incorporate mental health into your lesson planning, but I truly believe it is an essential part of any well rounded homeschooling curriculum.
Ways To Encourage Positive Mental Health In Your Lessons
If you are a complete loss for where to start, I will give some tips for things that I personally love to incorporate in my lesson planning.
- Identify Feelings – One of the easiest way to promote positive mental health is teaching your children to identify their feelings. How does their body react when they feel sad, happy, or angry? Likewise, how might they be able to tell if someone else is feeling a certain way? Encourage your kids to journal everything they know about different feelings and how they experience these feelings in their own bodies.
- Journal Prompts – Use journal prompts to help your children put their feeling into words. I really like to include prompts to not only identify feelings, but to cultivate feelings of self love. I also like to use journal prompts as a way for my kids to make an action plan when they start to experience difficult emotions. There are a TON of excellent, age appropriate journal prompts floating around on Google and Pinterest.
- Meditation – Meditation is a useful tool for LITERALLY EVERYONE so I highly encourage this to be an activity you and your children participate in together. YouTube is an excellent source for kid friendly meditations. Once you start to feel comfortable meditating with your kids, I encourage you to make it fun and unique. Have you child be the one to guide you through a meditation. Create a chant or mantra together that speaks to your family personally.
- Read Books About Different Emotions – There is no such thing as doing too much in terms of identifying emotions. Sometimes reading books is a great way to get a new perspective on what certain emotions might feel or look like in other people. The library has tons of early reading books on emotions so I highly encourage you to sit down with your kids and read them together.
- Exercise – It’s common knowledge by now that exercising releases feel good hormones. This is true in children as well. Get them up, moving, away from screens, and get all the sillies or pent up anger/sadness/whatever OUT! As I mentioned in my last podcast, make exercising with your kids fun! You don’t have to lift weights or go for a run. You can make up a silly dance or maybe an obstacle course. The more fun it is, the better! For more kid friendly exercise ideas, check out this Pinterest board.
- Open Discussions – I think this is what I talked the most about in my podcast. Speak freely with your children! Make it well known that you are a safe space for them. Be open and accepting to listen to any and every single thing your child is going through. If there is ever a point your child is struggling to talk with you or you feel like their troubles go beyond the scope of what you can handle, openly work WITH them to locate a doctor or therapist that they are comfortable with and who truly has their best interest at heart (and not the interest of pushing pills on your child).
Additional Resources For Mental Health
As I mentioned in the podcast, I will be listing some resources for you to check out in the event that you or your children need it.
National Crisis Line:
or you can text “HOME” to 741741
Call 1-800-342-9647 or visit
I have personally used Military One Source before. They are very responsive and dedicated to getting you the help you need as close to home as possible. Everything is confidential and if you do not like the therapist you chose, you can change at any time.
Take REALLY Good Care, My Friends
With all that being said, I am going to hop off now. If you are interested in hearing my personal story with mental health issues, give the podcast a listen.
I’m sure this isn’t the last time you will here me chatter on about mental health because as you can see it is something I am very passionate about. If there is anything else you would like me to address regarding mental health or you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or directly message me on IG @the.hippie.homeschooler.
Thank you so much for taking the time out to listen and/or read about my journey. Until next time, take good care of yourself and those kiddos. Peace out homies!