Studying whilst parenting a child is a daunting prospect.
Parenthood is a tough enough task on its own, but lots of people rise to the challenge and combine it with lifelong learning. Here are some tips to help you.
If you’re going to succeed, you need to be prepared. So take a thorough look at your course content, break it down into manageable tasks, create a study timetable – and then stick to it.
You should also set yourself short and long-term goals as a way of measuring your progress and staying motivated.
However, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t achieve your aims for the day or week due to unforeseeable circumstances — simply take some time to evaluate what went wrong and what you can do to improve.
For more tips on how to timetable your studies, check out a student resource website such as The Student Room.
Every second counts when you’re both student and parent, so be prepared to study anywhere.
Study timetables are terrific, but if you find yourself with a spare five minutes while you’re waiting to pick your child up from school, why not crack out some flash cards and have a mini cramming session?
No one’s suggesting that every bit of spare time should be spent on study but doing a little bit extra here and there will give you a nice feeling of accomplishment that inspires you to push on through towards success.
Distance learning is highly flexible and therefore a great option for those of you with children.
Being a parent comes first, so the flexibility of online learning is tailor made for your requirements. These online courses enable you to work at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Imagine — your child’s in bed and you’re sitting in your pyjamas, tapping away at your laptop to complete course modules. What a lovely way to learn.
There are plenty of courses to choose from — for instance, if you’re starting your own business, specialist provider Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning offers an online MBA aimed at entrepreneurs.
This might be counterintuitive, but one of the best ways to ensure you’ve enough energy for parenthood and learning is to block off time for activities unconnected to both — like hobbies, socialising and simply resting.
It’s important that you see yourself as more than just student and parent, so try to find an activity that allows you to let your hair down and chill.
Extra-curricular activities are a great way to meet new people, and as a parent/student, having a strong support network around you is key. Using the Mummy Social app is a great way to connect with fellow mothers online, then make in-person social arrangements once you get to know them — and dads won’t feel left out for too long as its makers have plans for an equivalent for them.
With preparation, focus and commitment, you’ll be able to effectively balance the demands of studying whilst being a parent – these tips will help you walk that tightrope with total confidence.
What advice do you have for parents who are studying? Share your tips in the comments section.
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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