It’s never too late in life to make a change. Just because you’ve settled down and had children, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have professional aspirations. Many people well into their older years choose to make drastic career changes or enter further education. And there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same. But if you have young children, studying at home with kids can be hard.
How are you going to find the time to complete a nurse practitioner degree or take your accountancy exams when you’re already overwhelmed with the responsibilities of parenthood? It seems like you’re constantly having to entertain your little ones, feed them, resolve screaming matches, and keep them fit and healthy. By the time you’ve put them to bed, there’s no time left to knuckle down and study.
But with the right strategies and some good time management, it is perfectly possible to fit your studies around your children. To help you out, here are a few tips for studying at home with kids.
Create a schedule
The best way to make the most of your limited time is to follow a schedule. And this schedule should apply to the whole family, not just yourself. Put it up on the fridge or another communal space where everyone can see it. This way, you can plan out all your essential chores and use the free time in between to crack the books. With everyone following a schedule, your kids and partner are much more likely to respect your need for privacy. Of course, there will be times when things don’t go to plan, but having some structure in your day makes you far more likely to succeed in your studies.
Create a study space
If you’re working in a living room or kitchen with kids constantly coming in and out, you’re going to face distractions and interruptions all day. Try to find a quiet space in your home that you can use for private study. You don’t need to have your own home office, but try to designate a specific room for study during the day that other house members aren’t allowed to enter.
Pick the right times
Any parent knows to treasure those moments when your kids are asleep or engrossed in a game, and you get some blessed peace and quiet. Whenever such an opportunity arises, grab your textbooks and try to squeeze in a quick study session. You will need to be a little flexible about your learning, but it’s a great way to balance your family and academic commitments.
If you live with your partner, make sure they are carrying their share of the parenting responsibilities to allow you time to study. Perhaps they work full time during the day, but if so, you could use your evenings to get your head down while your partner takes care of the children. If you are a single parent, ask for favours from friends and family to take your kids out for the day so you can focus on your learning.
*This is a collaborative post