You’ve seen the stock photos of a mum enjoying a coffee while she studies with her children happily sitting beside her. In reality, studying with children, especially young children, isn’t always such a pretty picture.
Returning to school after having children, whether studying online or on campus, can be a daunting and frightening idea.
How will I find the time to do everything? How will I find the motivation? Will I even remember how to study?
Taking the plunge and finding out just what you are capable of not only benefits you and proves that yes, you can do it, but it also sets an excellent example for your children. If mummy can do it, then so can they.
Whether you are thinking about enrolling in a program or are currently undergoing an adult education course, keep these tips in mind when juggling learning with little ones.
SET A FAMILY STUDY TIME
For example, make 4pm every week day family homework time where everyone sits down around the table and studies, reads, draws or does something creative.
KEEP THE KIDS HAPPY
Have snacks prepared and some activities that your kids can do with minimal supervision.
One option is to set up four different activities (play dough, blocks, colouring and LEGO, etc.) and set the timer for 15 minutes each. This gives you an hour of study time and the kids get a taste of toy circuit training.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR PRODUCTIVE TIME
AKA – their sleep time. This may mean getting up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later, but it also means you don’t have to sacrifice your family time for study time.
USE VISUAL REMINDERS
Make a timetable with study times, project due dates and check-lists for the different things you need to accomplish each week. Use coloured textas for every subject and make your visual board bright and fun. This will make it easier to actually do what you have to do.
Plus, tick off each item from your checklist – there is nothing better for your motivation than seeing your list of things-to do diminish.
Get all your chores out of the way before you study so you don’t hear the beep beep beep of the washing machine every time you turn a page. Plus, turn your phone off and log out of Facebook!
THINK OUTSIDE THE TEXTBOOK
If you can, purchase a tablet so you can browse through the lecture slides while feeding bub on the lounge or rocking your little one to sleep. You may even be able to get some lectures through audio so you can play them through your phone or iPod while walking the kids to school or on your afternoon stroll to the park.