The Essential Guide to Continuing Education for Stay-at-Home Parents
Did you know that over 10% of adults in the U.S. choose to continue their education in later stages of life? Yep, there are many individuals out there juggling school, work, family, and everything in between. The good news is - you can do it too! Below, Woombie outlines the essential guide to going back to school - stay-at-home parent edition.
Pick the Right Degree
Ultimately, you want to choose a flexible degree that works with your schedule. An online program will be much better suited for stay-at-home parents, as you’ll be able to keep an eye on the kids and cut down on that commute time. Studying from the comfort of your home is undoubtedly helpful, too, as you’ll be able to juggle all your (many) tasks with ease. There are also many online degree options out there for every kind of learner. From information technology and teaching to nursing and MBA healthcare management, you’ll have your pick of programs to support re-entering the workforce when it’s time. If you’re looking to improve your business acumen, you can also opt for programs like an MBA, MBA in information technology management, management of leadership, or data analytics.
Affording Your New Education
According to Fox Business, approximately 51% of Americans drop out of school because they can’t afford tuition. To avoid being in such a position, do lots of research on affordable opportunities to go back to school. For example, opting for an online degree over in-person learning will help offset the expenses a little bit. In addition, be sure to explore the many financial resources you have available to you. This list by Student Loan Hero lists some of the grants and scholarships available to you. In addition, be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This gives you opportunities to access loans, work-study programs, and more - with no age restrictions! Even if you’re not eligible for the grants, use the FASA to access federal student loans, as they come at lower interest rates and more generous repayment terms.
Running a Business?
If you have that entrepreneurial fire within you, you’ve likely added business ownership to your list of responsibilities. And we get it - entrepreneurship is one of the most rewarding career paths out there. In order to better balance learning with running your business, start by getting your spouse on board. Open communication about kid and school obligations will be a must, as you’ll need all hands on deck. Another tip is to implement your learnings in your business. If you’re pursuing a business degree, easily apply concepts like H.R. management, client relationships, and more to get the most out of your education.
Essential Tips for Success
So you’ve got your program ready, finances sorted, and duties listed out. What next? Handling so many tasks at once can be a bit of a juggling act. To ensure you’re on top of things, start by making a schedule - and stick to it. Include elements like cooking, cleaning, and assignments (and don’t underestimate the time required for each task). Next, you’ll want to create a designated work/study area, so you’re not distracted by the happenings in the house. Keep your books and other work material there, and be sure to let the kids know that when you’re at your work nook - it’s ‘do not disturb’ time. While you’re working away, you’ll also need a sitter to ensure the kids are well taken care of. Find a good quality sitter you can trust to have the time and space to get your work done with ease.
Being a parent is a full-time job that is time-consuming and exhausting. Deciding you want to pursue that degree you’ve always dreamt of on top of your existing responsibilities is truly commendable. But with that drive and passion, you’ll breeze through your years of schooling in no time. Happy studying!
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the Woombie blog. We have lots of informative content for stay-at-home parents, so be sure to browse awhile.