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Online Education – Amazing Flexibility for Working Parents

Going back to school as an adult can be immensely rewarding, as well as help you advance your career. Of course, it can be a challenge sometimes — especially if you’re also caring for children or elderly parents or working full time.

While advancing your education requires some serious juggling and exceptional time management skills, thanks to online education options, it’s easier to manage than ever before.

What to Study?

There are different ways to approach continuing education as an adult. Before you start taking classes, ask yourself what your overall goal is.

For instance, do you want to expand your knowledge (and hireability) in your current profession, or do you want to branch out and try a total career reboot? If you choose the latter, consider up-and-coming industries with good professional prospects.

Create a Balance

If you’re working, raising kids, and going to school, you’ll need to create a manageable schedule that allows you to function in all capacities without stressing you out or making you overwhelmed.

Online education programs often allow you to work at your own pace, and if you can get your employer and your family to buy into your efforts, you’ll have even more room to juggle your competing priorities.

Having some flexibility at work, especially around exams, can help, and getting your family’s support with managing the bulk of household duties and meal prep can also be useful. Routines are beneficial, both for you and your kids.

Find “Extra” Time for Online Education

While there are only so many hours in the day, you can get creative in finding pockets of time to study.

For example, keep digital textbooks on handheld devices so you can read during your lunch break, in-between meetings, or even while you’re watching TV with your kids. Listen to recorded lectures while you’re driving to work or going for a walk. You might even go into the office earlier than usual and use the beginning of the day for uninterrupted study time before the workday begins.

According to Psychology Today, even small life changes can help you better manage multiple responsibilities and lower your stress.

Involve Your Kids

online education

If your kids are old enough to be in school themselves, you can make a habit of doing homework together. If they’re still young, you can impress upon them the value of education, and model good study habits for them. This might mean having quiet time while you read textbooks and they look at picture books. Otherwise, believe it or not, even babies will enjoy hearing you read your textbooks aloud to them!

Watching you advance your education will help your kids develop respect for lifelong learning, and show them what patience, determination, and dedication look like.

Ask for Help

When you’re managing three major life dynamics at one time, you’re going to need some help along the way. Employ the help of a reliable babysitter or mother’s helper as needed. Even a standing appointment can allow you to carve out time, either to catch up on homework or take time for yourself to work out, make a spa trip, or otherwise relax.

Self-care will be critical to your success. According to Health.com, you’ll need to get adequate rest and exercise, eat healthy, regular meals, and avoid the temptation to consume too much caffeine.

Keep an eye on your anxiety levels and look for ways to regroup as necessary so you don’t burn out.

Returning to school as an adult to advance your education is an admirable and worthwhile pursuit. Establishing clear boundaries, prioritizing tasks, asking for help, and building in time for yourself will all help you be a success.

What do you think?

Written by Emma Grace Brown

Emma Grace Brown lives her life by her rules, and it works! When she's not snuggling puppies, Emma promotes female empowerment through her website. Her mission is to help those who live with self-doubt to realize they don't have to mold themselves to conventionality.

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