If you've been wanting to return to college but are apprehensive about doing so because you have a family, you are certainly not alone -- many modern parents have made the decision to further their education, often juggling the demands of employment along with taking care of a family and going to school. Although it can be challenging to make it all work when you've dealing with multiple obligations, most people find that it's well worth it in the end because they are better equipped to provide a good quality of life for themselves and their families rather than being forever stuck in dead end jobs. Following are three strategies designed to help older students navigate the juggling act involved in pursuing higher education while raising a family and maintaining a home.
Rethink the Online Option
Online schooling offers optimal convenience because it allows students to peruse course materials and listen to lectures in video format at times that work for them. However, online learning takes a lot of self discipline, and if you've got an active family that makes a lot of demands on your time, you may find it easy to put your schooling on the back burner and leaving studying and otherwise keeping up with your coursework to the last minute -- and this can seriously jeopardize your chances of success. However, attending classes in a brick-and-mortar environment provides you with a solid time frame and gives you built-in boundaries between your education and your family obligations, and you may find that being around others in a learning environment is intellectually stimulating. Before you dive head first into a commitment to any specific classwork venue, test the waters by trying both brick-and-mortar and online coursework. You may find that you vastly prefer one over the other, or you may decide that a mixture works best for your individual needs and preferences as a student.
Find Good Childcare
One of the reasons why many of those with children decide to focus on online learning is because they can learn on their own time in their home environment. However, there may be times when a good childcare source can make all the difference between scholastic success and failure even if all of your classes are online. For instance, if the demands of your outside job and assorted family activities and obligations causes you to fall behind in your studies, you can count on a reliable childcare source to provide you with the space and solitude that you need in order to get back on track with your studies. Some parents find that childcare does double duty as a time saver -- it provides children with valuable social time with others their own age, decreasing the need for scheduled playdates and visits to the park. Don't feel guilty about leaving your kids in a child care center -- studies have shown that kids who go to childcare in their early years frequently live more successful lives, particularly if they are from disadvantaged families. For information about your childcare options, contact centers like Learning Tree Schools.
Practice Self Care
Students of all ages frequently fall behind in the self care department, but adult students with families are particularly vulnerable. After all, simply by virtue of being a parent, you've got an obligation to put someone else first besides yourself -- and, although this can make self care tricky, it doesn't mean it's impossible. Schedule time for exercise classes, lunch or dinner with friends, movies, or anything else that makes you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. Leaving the kids in a childcare center for just a couple of hours per week while you pursue your activity of choice will make a positive difference in your life.Share