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Top Tips for Balancing Online Studies and Parenthood

Feb. 12, 2022

LSU Online graduate celebrating with his child

As a parent, you only want what is best for your children. One way to help provide them with the best life possible is by furthering your education through an online bachelor’s or master’s degree program. Additional education could lead to more work stability, higher pay, or more opportunities for career growth. Finding the right balance between completing your studies and continuing to care for your children will be a necessity when moving forward in your education journey. The time invested into creating a new life for yourself and your family will pay off in the long run. Here are seven ways parents can manage both school and family responsibilities.

Stay Organized and Build Routines

Organization and scheduling are critical when trying to keep up with the demands of daily life. Having a well-thought-out but flexible plan on how exactly you will spend your time will be an invaluable asset. One way to create this plan is by making a calendar where all the children’s activities can be scheduled and accounted for. You will be able to know when are where you can study and plan your time accordingly. After enough time has passed, these schedules will fall into a familiar routine for you and your family. This will create more concrete study times and morph your schedule into an established habit.

Communicate Needs

As a parent, you have always put your children first. However, if you are to pursue higher education, there will be times when you will be required to focus on yourself. In situations like these, it will be important to explain to your children why you are taking online classes and what will come of the result. Once they know that you are taking these classes to create better opportunities for them and yourself, they will be more willing to go along with this new endeavor of yours. Of course, there will be times when they do not want to see the status quo changed or simply forget. In the end, you may be surprised how your children will be there for you as you have been there for them.

Ask for Help

Having a support group to help during your education journey will be invaluable. Whether it’s family, friends, or neighbors, be sure to reach out to those who would be willing to watch your kids for a few hours while you catch up on assignments. Additionally, if you are confused on any particular subject matter, get in touch with classmates or reach out to your professor directly. If there is anyone who understands how much you want to succeed, it will be these people.

Know Your Priorities

When looking at the assignments you will receive during your time during online school, there will be times when you might feel overwhelmed by the course work. During these moments, it will be important to know the due dates of each assignment and how much weight each assignment carries in each class. Also, important will be to coordinate this information with the activities of your children so that everything will be done when it needs to be.

Specific Study Area

Designating a specific spot in your home as your study space can come with many advantages. Going to the same place to study can create a focused mindset that will make you ready to work. Being as productive as possible during the time you have is key to success. Having a dedicated location to study also signals to your children that you are working and need to be left alone. This precedent can help build habits and get acclimated to the new rules of the house.

Take Alone Time

For the sake of your grades and mental health, it is very important to take time every so often to recharge and relax. Go do something fun with your children, friends, or just have a relaxing night at home alone. Do not underestimate the power that a fun or relaxing moment can have on your outlook and attitude.

Include Children in Study Time

When you are planning your study schedule, try to find times that line up with when your kids do their homework. This could prove to be a unique bonding experience, showing that the whole family is working together in their education. This could also become a teaching experience. Being able to show your kids the value of hard work and education could turn them into lifelong learners and encourage them to earn their own college degrees.

You Can Do It!

Throughout your time in an online degree program, there will be times when you feel stretched thin between your academic and parental responsibilities. When this happens, take a deep breath, and know that you can do this. LSU Online is committed to helping you feel confident in your education journey. Our staff is ready to answer any question you may have and assist you as you begin to explore your options.

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Media Contact

Christina Bourg
christinab@lsu.edu

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