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#1 of 9 Old 08-04-2011, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 19 month old, and I am starting college for the first time in a couple weeks. I am taking 3 classes, of 3 credits each and they are online. I am currently working a part time job with about 20 hours a week. I have my work station set up in my bedroom, away from the activity and noise of the house. My husband is currently looking for a job, so he is home and able to watch our son when I'm doing my school work.

 

Does anyone have any tips on how I can be successful at being a parent, a wife, and a student with this type of schedule? Thanks in advance!


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#2 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 12:54 PM
 
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I work full time and go to school full time (insane, I know).  My one bit of advice for you is make sure you make a "school schedule."  For example, at 6:45 every night you have a block of 30 - 60 minutes to log in, go through class emails and log in to the classes' forums (that was how my online classes where set up) and set it in stone.  I know life gets in the way, but if you KNOW you are supposed to do xyz at this time, it's easier to stick with it.  I had to log in every day for my class participation grade on the two classes I did online.  Then you work your homework time in around your life schedule, whether it's getting up an hour earlier or going to be an hour or so later.  Do a little bit every day so you aren't scrambling and overwhelmed by due dates.  Good luck!


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#3 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 08:10 PM
 
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I would leave DH and the toddler and head to a coffee shop or something that has wifi and do school work. I would do that in a couple 2-3hr time blocks each week...I get way to distracted at home...plus even if DH is watching the kids they just want me.

 

Good luck however you work it out!!!

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#4 of 9 Old 08-07-2011, 07:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMomma83 View Post

I would leave DH and the toddler and head to a coffee shop or something that has wifi and do school work. I would do that in a couple 2-3hr time blocks each week...I get way to distracted at home...plus even if DH is watching the kids they just want me.

 

Good luck however you work it out!!!


me too. My husband works a normal 9-5 schedule so I have to make my school schedule work around his so we don't have to pay for childcare. I go to class in the morning and evenings, before and after he works. 

I asked this question about a year ago when I was starting school and was worried about study time. I got some great responses. Some suggestions that work for me:

1. Go to bed early and wake up early to do homework while the kid(s) are sleeping.  I do most of my homework and studying at 5:30/6 in the morning.

 

2. I wasn't sure about this one...but it's actually really helpful especially if/when you DH starts working: Go to a place with a "playland" and tables like Mcdonalds. Your little one might be too young for this one right now, but in a few months you'll be amazed how helpful it is.  I've sat in Mcdonalds for hours while DS played and got amazing amounts of work done.  I usually just buy a coffee, but DS is getting to the age where he asks for the meals all the kids around him are eating.

 

3. Leave the house. You just have to do it to get anything done. I set up a room to do all my homework in and it just didn't work. I could hear when DS was crying, laughing, etc.  It was too distracting and tempting to shut my book and go have family time.  If I leave, I'm more efficient.

 

You'll be fine! You'll find what works for you. Good luck!

 

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#5 of 9 Old 08-07-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakah View Post

1. Go to bed early and wake up early to do homework while the kid(s) are sleeping.  I do most of my homework and studying at 5:30/6 in the morning.

 

2. I wasn't sure about this one...but it's actually really helpful especially if/when you DH starts working: Go to a place with a "playland" and tables like Mcdonalds. Your little one might be too young for this one right now, but in a few months you'll be amazed how helpful it is.  I've sat in Mcdonalds for hours while DS played and got amazing amounts of work done.  I usually just buy a coffee, but DS is getting to the age where he asks for the meals all the kids around him are eating.

 

3. Leave the house. You just have to do it to get anything done. I set up a room to do all my homework in and it just didn't work. I could hear when DS was crying, laughing, etc.  It was too distracting and tempting to shut my book and go have family time.  If I leave, I'm more efficient.


Yes to all of these!  I have been an undergrad student for the last few years.  I was preparing to apply to pharmacy school, so some of the classes were no joke.  I learned a lot about juggling school and family.  But, hey, it worked!  I start working on my Pharm. D in a couple of weeksyikes2.gif

 

My DH is also a student (math major) and we can't afford daycare.  So we arrange our schedules so that someone is always home.

 

The PP's experience with studying at home is something that we have found to be very true.  For me, an hour studying out of the house = three hours studying at home.  Even if you try to lock yourself away, the kids will find you.  You will hear crying and feel guilty.  You will be distracted by the pile of laundry on the bed, or realize that you should probably start cooking dinner, etc.

 

Also, Indigo73's suggestion of having a schedule and doing a little bit every day instead of cramming at the end are smart suggestions.  I try to do as much as I can early in the semester and get as perfect of grades as possible early on so that I have wiggle room at the end (I usually don't need it, but it helps keep my stress level down).

 

DH and I try to "prioritize"the person that has the most going on at any given time.  Last semester, he had a full load with some challenging classes.  I was only part-time, so  I stepped it up and took care of most of the house.  This fall when I have 18 credits and he is half time (although with classes I find ridiculous like Calc III), he will be doing a little more child care and housekeeping.  I learned that when I have priority, I need to be conscious of taking the time I need for studying.  I try to let go of any guilt and remember that our situation is temporary.  A few hard years will be worth it in the end.

 


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#6 of 9 Old 08-07-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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I second the early morning thing too - I actually forgot that I've done that (I've been out of school sense last fall, but, I am hopefully going back soon for an MBA). Also I second the statement about the guilt...it really helps to remind myself that the harder I push through the sooner I will be done and spend more time iwth my family - also ideally have a higher paying job so that it is my only job (I was working 3 jobs until last year) I have a "real" job now that is covering our bills, and I'm hoping once I get my MBA together with my current experience I will have a job that more than pays the bills and/or be able to afford living closer and losing commute time so I can spend more time with my family :-)

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#7 of 9 Old 08-08-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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What has worked for me with online classes is making a schedule of when assignments are due and scheduling in when I need to work on homework before the due date.

 

I also go somewhere outside of the house to focus. I can usually write a short paper at home, without any trouble. But when it comes to taking a test, or writing a long paper, I will head to the library, find a quiet, secluded table, and do my work there. Tests are usually timed in online classes, and I just can't risk hitting the start button and then my kiddos distracting me or needing me instead of their father.

 

Good Luck! 3 classes is a great place to start!


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#8 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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Great tips.  I agree with the other moms about getting out of the house... maybe your child will let you work if you disappear into the bedroom, but my daughters wouldn't.  They would come bang on the door of our office, insist Mommy do something for them, or just generally make enough noise that I couldn't concentrate on what I was doing.  A few times, I ended up taking my laptop down to a local coffee shop just to get some work done.  (And when you do this, be prepared to WORK.  I typed 1000 words in an hour one day, just because I had a limited time to get as much done on a paper as I could.  I'd also had time to think about that paper, while chasing my daughters, and just needed the time to write it.)

 

You'll also have to get good at multi-tasking (but hey, every mom is, isn't she?).  McDonald's is a great idea (depending on the PlayPlace -- I've found some that have slides small enough for my 1-year-old) as that's a contained space where they can play.  My girls like playing in our park, so if I can take a book or something to read while they are doing that, great.  I just have to make sure that I keep an eye on them as well as my paper.  I am also occasionally guilty of using the TV as a babysitter, though I try to limit that to about an hour a day.  Maximize naptime as well.

 

Overall, be honest with yourself and with your husband about what you need to get done and when you need to get it done by.  And work ahead, whenever possible.  You might think you have lots of time to get some reading done or start a paper... start it anyway.  If you have extra time, then you can relax and do something else.  That's better than scrambling last minute.  I also did three classes last year (without working), had two daughters at home, and NEVER pulled an all-nighter (or even stayed up past midnight) to work on assigmnents that were due.  Use an agenda.  Keep track of when things are due and start on them early.  :)

 

And good luck!  I'm back at school myself this year.  Drop by my blog for some stories of how last year went for me (search university or student).


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#9 of 9 Old 08-10-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Once you get some experience with how much study time you need, it's a good idea to get out your calendar at the beginning of the semester and map out the "hours" that you will need. I've been known to use the stopwatch on my phone, in order to keep track of how much study time I was getting out of the little here and there chunks. Keeping track can reduce stress levels (see how much you're doing?) and keep you on track (I really can't slide right now, my goal was ten hours this week and I only have six).

 

I also second or third the suggestion to take your work to a library or coffee shop! Even when my kids are at their dad's, I don't work at home because of all the distractions.


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