The amount of parents who are returning to education is wonderfully encouraging. Whether you’re thinking of studying as a parent through long distance learning, or you’re taking the plunge and heading to University, it can be a little daunting to head back into the academic world.
But have you given much thought to how you’re going to balance your academic dreams and parenthood? It’s going to take a lot of dedication and hard work to make studying as a parent work, but it will be worth it! Read on for 6 ways to balance your studies and parenthood.
Make studying a little easier
Having the right software and websites available to you means that you can make your studying a little more streamlined and efficient. Struggling with your spelling and grammar? Check out an online proofreading service. Worrying about plagiarism? Search for a plagiarism checker. Confused by citations? Take a look at this modern language association citation generator tool. If you know where to look then you’ll be able to soar through your studies without too much gripe and focus on the little things.
Make a schedule – and stick to it!
Get yourself a whiteboard, a magnetic chalkboard or draw one by hand and make everything a little easier by creating a schedule. Doing this will help to keep your modules, course work and everything else on track and covered. It also guarantees that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten about. Include the kids doctor appointments and playdates on their too, that way you’ll know where you need to be and how much time you can dedicate to certain parts of the day.
Make a to-do list
Now you have your schedule, you can focus on a specific to-do list each morning. You might have a 3-hour study block coming up, but within that you might have to read certain books or complete certain parts of your coursework. Breakdown each event and complete the hardest task first.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Not everyone finds asking for help very easy. But sometimes when you’re studying as a parent, it’s the only way you’ll get things done. Whether you need your parents to entertain the children for the afternoon or you’re worried about falling behind and need to speak to your tutor or professor, there are people who want to help you. So don’t ever be afraid to reach out.
Don’t overstretch yourself
You might want to volunteer for the bake sale at school, but you might be stretching yourself and what’s realistic if you’re also studying as a parent. Always maintain the focus on your children and your studies. Anything else will have to come second. Try to see if there are other, smaller activities you could help at school with instead if you want to be involved.
Create a study space
Studying on the carpet amongst the kids’ toys while they fight over the TV remote doesn’t work. You need to have a space that is purely dedicated to your studies so you can concentrate, work hard and actually enjoy learning!
Are you thinking about studying as a parent? Do share your thoughts on making it work below.
*This is a collaborative post