Between taking care of three children and working a part time, or often even a full time job, parents barely have the time to focus on themselves. Until recently, you could not bring the level of your education up to date without messing up your entire schedule. Today, there is the option of pursuing an online degree program; allowing you to advance your career without taking anything away from your commitment as a parent.
So, where do you start? Well, the first thing you need to do is find a good course and a good university. You need to make a choice between Universities that are exclusively based on online studies and the traditional ones offering only certain degrees online. A good example of a university specializing (only) in online degrees in the UK would be NC Italian University London, offering more convenience and flexibility as a consequence of focusing solely on "online".
Other options involve finding traditional university online degrees or certificates offered by external companies like Coursera or edX. At first, the decision to take an online course might seem rather complex. The pointers in this post are meant to help you learn how to effectively and effortlessly balance your studies with your responsibilities as a parent.
1. Choose the right course
It is all about your confidence, but if you take a challenging course immediately after having your third baby, then you may end up dropping out before the second month expires. You should take less technical courses, and no matter how confident you feel, you should never take too many courses at the same time. The trick to successful studying of this nature is timing.
2. Make a study schedule
This is the part where you plan and prioritise your activities, probably even have a discussion with your family about letting you have a few hours of study on particular days. Just because it is online does not mean it is not real. Online courses need just as much hard work and commitment as any other on-campus courses, if not more. There are deadlines to be met, and considering that you also have to change diapers and pick up kids from school, they might be even harder to meet than if you were balancing it with your typical student responsibilities.
It is advisable that you set aside a few hours in the day solely for studying. Before doing all this, however, you should make sure your day-to-day schedule is flexible enough to accommodate one or more activities. If you have too much on your plate, then consider taking a certificate course instead of a full degree.
Some activities, like working the treadmill or cooking, do not take up too much concentration. During such activities, you can read a book or listen to an audio book on your course. Mashing these little activities together will help you manage your time more effectively, keeping you up-to-date with both your parenting and your academic commitments.
As mentioned earlier, it is all about confidence and timing. Do not commit to more than you can handle. Juggling parenting and studies requires a lot of sacrifice, but with support from your family and a firm belief in your abilities, balancing the two will come as naturally as the sun.
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