To Learn is to Parent- Earning Your Education With Kids at Home
The idea of going back to school as an adult can be overwhelming — especially if you have children and you’ve settled into a routine with your life. However, research from 2020 showed that 38% of undergraduates were considered adult learners over the age of 25. Now, more than ever, people are going back to school well into adulthood.
As a parent, you might wonder how you would ever have the time to take college classes while balancing care for your kids, or even a job if you work full-time.
The good news? It’s easier than you might think. Earning your degree doesn’t have to feel like an impossible task, as long as you’re willing to manage your time effectively while prioritizing your children.
Let’s look at how you can earn your education at any age, even when you have kids at home to care for.
Understanding the Advantages
If you’re struggling with guilt over the idea of going back to school, consider switching your focus to the potential advantages. In general, adult students tend to have an advantage over “traditional” college-aged students thanks to things like
- More maturity and motivation
- Real-world experience
- Fewer “college life” distractions
- Less time to procrastinate
Needless to say, your chances of success in attending school as an adult are much greater. You’re likely to get your schoolwork done faster, perform better, and even enjoy learning that much more.
However, and more importantly, there are advantages for you as a parent. By going back to school, you’re showing your kids how important education is, and how far it can take them.
You’ll also be a living example of what it means to go after your dreams, no matter how difficult it is to achieve them. Showing your children the value of hard work, learning, and dedication is essential, and they’ll learn life skills from it that they’ll eventually take into adulthood. They’re watching you more closely than you might realize!
Asking for Support
As a parent, it’s normal to feel like a lot of things fall on your shoulders, but going back to school with kids doesn’t have to be something you do on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support from your loved ones.
That includes setting goals and talking about them with your spouse or partner, family members, and closest friends. When those closest to you understand your drive and passion, they’ll be more than willing to step in and help wherever they can. That might mean driving your child to soccer practice or picking them up from school every once in a while.
As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Don’t be afraid to lean on your village as you work toward your goals.
Managing Your Time
The most important thing to consider if you want to go back to school is how you’ll manage your time. Parents who work full-time have to find ways to balance their work and home lives, and going to school is no different.
The easiest way to manage your time is to prioritize what’s important. Putting your kids first in every situation will ensure you don’t feel guilty about the time you’re spending in school.
Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever to stay organized and manage your time while taking classes. You can do hybrid courses or fully-remote classes. Or, consider scheduling your classes when your kids are in school, or in the evenings after they’ve gone to bed and someone else is there to stay with them.
It can help to have a well-organized schedule and routine. When your days are planned with precision, you’ll feel less overwhelmed and stressed about everything you have to do. Consider using mind mapping to give yourself mental clarity and to find a healthy balance between work, school, parenting, and everything else you need to take care of. When you can “map out” your schedule, you’re more likely to find a successful balance.
It’s never too late to follow your dreams and go back to school, even with kids at home. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of the experience, and to find the right balance between being a student and a parent.