Thursday, 19 September 2013

Tips for studying with a young family

Busy parents can fit learning into their lives with a flexible course from NEC

One of the main advantages of distance learning is its complete flexibility. We talk a lot about how studying with NEC lets you learn whenever and wherever suits your personal circumstances; for many people, it’s simply not possible to attend regular classes or follow a strict timetable.

One such group of people is parents of young families. Looking after small children is a full-time job in itself, so finding the time to gain a qualification while being a committed parent can be incredibly challenging. Many of our learners are in this exact situation, so here are some of their tips on how to get the balance just right:

1. Designate a family study time
If your children are of school age, why not combine their homework or reading time with your studying time? Studying as a family means you can all help each other, and form a regular routine.

2. Create a study group with other parents
If you know other families with similarly aged children, why not meet up and study together. You could encourage friends to learn something new as well, and your children can play together at the same time.

3. Consider going to the library
If you find that you’re just not getting anything done at home with your kids, try taking them to the library. The peace and tranquility could be just what you need to focus on your studies, while your children can explore the wide collection of stories and knowledge available to them.

4. Don’t be afraid to get a babysitter
If you’ve got an exam just around the corner or a deadline you have to meet, you could try asking a babysitter or family member for help. Although this isn’t ideal and can prove costly, sometimes you might just need to get your head down and focus solely on your work.

Studying with a family is tough, but with dedication and discipline it can be done. The flexibility offered by distance learning has helped many of our students to successfully juggle parenthood with studying.

One of those students is Louise, who combined her love of reading with gaining a new qualification when she enrolled on NEC’s A level English Literature course. She had this to say about her experiences:

‘The flexibility of studying at home suits my family and work situation. I would suggest making sure people set aside adequate time for study: make sure all your jobs are done first so you can settle down to it because it can be difficult to concentrate without classroom discipline! But it is a great way of fitting learning into your life, especially when you have a young family and work.’

A level Biology student Emma was in a similar scenario when she was studying for her NEC course. Becoming a parent made her reassess where her life was going.

‘I chose to study by distance learning because, at the time I began the course, I had a baby under one and also worked in an office three days a week. This meant I could not dedicate a set time to my study each week. Having my baby made me think about where I wanted to go with my career, and I decided that I would be interested in physiotherapy, so decided to study A level Biology.’

For more information about our full range of flexible distance learning courses, as well as our special 10% discount off all courses for September, visit our website or get in touch. You can also subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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