The Stay-At-Home Parents Guide to Going Back to School

The Stay-At-Home Parents Guide to Going Back to School

College campuses are no longer just for students coming out of high school. Colleges and universities across the USA, as well as in other countries, are now seeing a new demographic of their student body, which now includes adults, working professionals and even stay-at-home parents. In the case of the latter, making the decision to go back to school is a challenging one, especially for parents that have a household to maintain on a regular basis.

Lay Out Your Schedule Before Applying
Before attempting to apply to a college or university whether traditional or online sit down and create a detailed layout of your daily routine. Establish time frames during the week when you have your most important duties and obligations, such as dropping off and picking up the kids from school, sports practices and games and other school-related events that require your presence and/or participation.

After doing this, see which blocks of time would be available for you to dedicate to school. Knowing your current availability will make it easier to decide what kind of college to apply to as well as which classes would complement your regular routine.

Look Into Online Schooling
Because stay-at-home parents spend the majority of their time in the home, opting for an online college or university will perhaps be the most convenient solution to pursuing a degree without creating a huge shift in your schedule and lifestyle. However, it is important to know that online schooling isn’t necessarily easier than attending a traditional college or university on campus. Choose your course of study wisely and pay attention to each course description so that you’ll have a better idea of how much time you’ll need to devote to homework assignments, writing papers and participating in forums or other virtual classroom activities.

Set Aside Time for Yourself
Stay-at-home parents of school-age children should use the time their kids are out of the house to not only focus on their studies but to set aside personal time as well. While maintaining the home is important, it is even more important to make sure that you have an hour or so set aside each day to do activities that you enjoy, such as reading, taking a nap, taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood or watching a movie.

Ask for Family Support
Going back to school is a huge decision and as such, it is vital that stay-at-home parents keep the lines of communication open with their children. Explain to your family why you want to go back to school and what kind of support you’ll need from them in order to help everyone make the transition much smoother. For example, delegate new duties or chores that you normally would do among your kids accordingly. If you’ve got a special time frame during the day or evening when you want to focus on school, explain to your kids that they cannot bother you for something during this time unless it is for an emergency. The more your children understand your actions and the reasons behind them, the more supportive they’ll be, as well as eager to help out and assume more responsibilities around the house.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Avoid taking a full load of classes if you know you can’t handle it. Start off slow with one or two classes at first until you get familiar with the workload.