As a mom, you may have considered continuing your education several times. However, attending in-person classes becomes nearly impossible when you have young kids or work full-time, often preventing you from taking that leap.
The good news is that online education is here to make your dream come true, thanks to its accessibility and flexibility, making it perfect for stay-at-home and working mothers. With online education, you can take care of your kids and work responsibilities while progressing in your academic and professional life.
An online degree is much more convenient for busy moms than the traditional on-campus degrees; still, it requires dedication, focus, and hard work. Below are some tips for moms pursuing online degrees to succeed in their learning endeavors.
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1. Choose a degree you can easily manage
When choosing a degree program, the general approach is to choose one related to your previous field of study, no matter how technical it may be. However, as a mom, this step can be a little trickier for you, especially if the previous degree was very demanding. You may want to consider a program that is not challenging, easily manageable with kids, still has scope in the market, and can benefit your professional life.
If you previously earned a bachelor’s degree, pursuing a master’s in education, such as a Master of Music education, can be a good choice. A degree in education is typically less technical, and the best part is you can select from various majors in the education field.
Moreover, education is a growing field with a flourishing job market, so you can find plenty of job opportunities if you like to pursue a professional career.
Below are some education programs for you to consider:
- Master of Arts in History
- M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education
- MA in History
- M.Ed. in Health and Physical Education
- M.Ed. in Library Media
- M.Ed. in Adult Education
- M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction
These are short programs and can be completed within a year.
2. Spread out your degree program
As a mother, you might be required to put extra effort into strategizing your learning schedule. Since you will have to squeeze in time for studying along with your family responsibilities, we recommend you spread out your classes.
Even if you are tempted to sign up for maximum classes, remember that taking on a higher workload may exceed your capacity to manage efficiently. It is especially true for the first couple of semesters when you are still learning how to manage your new life and creating a schedule.
By moving slowly in the beginning, you can decide how many hours you can efficiently allocate to your studies and manage other responsibilities without getting overwhelmed.
3. Be sure you have your family’s help
The one factor that can immensely enhance your experience of pursuing online education is the help and support from your family. So, before you choose a degree, ask everyone in the house if they are willing to assist you.
Can someone take care of the kids while you attend online classes? Are other members ready to help with bulk cooking on weekends so you can focus on studying during the weekdays? Will your children understand and give you some space at specific times for studying?
There are countless questions to ask and aspects to weigh before finalizing your decision for online learning.
Having a family who is as excited about your continuing education as you are can be a huge blessing. Being sure about their support enhances your focus and keeps you on track.
Remember that clear communication with family members before making important decisions can create an understanding and supportive environment.
4. Ask for help when necessary
Education, whether pursued online or on-campus, can be very demanding at certain times. You may have a particularly challenging course or an exam that requires you to extend your study time beyond what you initially planned. In such times, asking for help from family members becomes imperative.
Don’t hesitate to ask your spouse to look after the kids for an extended period or to manage some house chores while you study for your exam or project. It’s fine to ask for help during difficult times, and your loved ones will be happy to assist you.
5. Make the most of small pockets of time
We all know that in some situations, like when your child is not feeling well or when you have guests at home, sticking to a strict study schedule can seem impossible. Thus, during these situations and even in general, you can take advantage of the small pockets of time. You can revise a topic or concept while baking a cake in the oven, waiting for your kid in your car when you go to pick them up, and waiting for the water to boil.
6. Avoid distractions
In a world where you have so many distractions, focusing on your studies during your limited time can become challenging. Therefore, to make the most of your study time, minimizing the outside “noise” and distractions is imperative. Ask your kids and family to give you time alone, switch off your phone, or put it on silent mode. This way, you can focus on your studies and take full advantage of your learning time.
7. Maximize your time
Maximizing your time means prioritizing your activities. For instance, studying at home during the weekends can be difficult because your kids are around for the whole day, or you may have guests. In such situations, allocate more time to studying during the weekdays.
Spend quality time with kids and family on weekends to catch up on family fun. Allow yourself to do what you love, like reading a novel, sipping your favorite coffee, taking nighttime strolls, or spending a romantic evening with your spouse. All these activities will give you a boost of energy required to go through the challenging routine of the weekdays.
8. Dedicate a space for learning
Having a dedicated spot, such as a corner in your bedroom, where you can study peacefully is essential. Keep your laptop/computer, pen, diary, books, and materials together in this space so you can find them easily. This will be less frustrating than rummaging through the whole house. Having a dedicated space to study puts you in the right frame of mind, allowing you to cover more material or listen to more lectures in less time.
It is no secret that managing a house, working full-time or part-time, and looking after kids require considerable time and effort, making it challenging to balance these responsibilities with an on-campus degree. However, online education can be a blessing in such situations; its flexibility and attainability help stay-at-home, and working moms continue their studies without compromising on anything.