Balance Family and College: Student Story
Going back to school when you have children you need to take care of at home can be a really frightening thought. When will I have time for schoolwork? Will I ever get to study? What if my grades suffer because of my family commitments?
These are all valid fears, but if you make schoolwork a priority and practice good time management skills, you can be successful and reach your goals.
I returned to school as an online student when my oldest child was about 9 months old. I took breaks when we added our second, third and fourth children to the family, but came back to school as soon as we had settled into a routine. It took a while to balance it all with new babies, but now that my children are a little older (8, 6, almost 5, and 3 ½) it has become much easier.
Without implementing and adhering to a set daily schedule, I would never have had the passion to complete my bachelor’s degree or finish school with a 3.81 GPA. Once I knew I could manage going back to school while raising my family, I had the desire to eventually earn my MBA as well.
Here are some tips that help keep me organized and on the path to success:
• Organize your school week on Sunday night. Write out all of your assignments and their due dates.
• Get a head start on your reading! The sooner you start reading, the quicker you can begin your assignments.
• Make schoolwork a priority. Set reminders in your phone and in your day planner. Constant reminders can help keep you on track!
• Use sticky notes in your day planner. I like to use a different color for each course. I write the assignment on the note and put it in my planner on the due date. The best feeling is taking those notes out and throwing them away. This means I’ve completed my work!
• Post on the discussion boards every day. This maximizes your discussion point and creates a classroom feel to the online discussions. It also greatly enhances your understanding of course concepts.
• Study with your kids! Nothing teaches our children the value of education better than studying together. They’ll learn to be diligent in their studies and appreciate the time spent together.
Organization and time management may be a difficult task to master at first, but if you follow these tips and stay on top of the assignments, you’ll most definitely be a success!
Have a great term!
Heather Jones-Kipp is a graduate of Herzing University. She completed the Diploma of Medical Office Administration in September 2015 and the Associate of Science in Medical Assisting Services in December 2016. In January 2017, she will begin the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management at Herzing University. She has been married to her husband Chad for almost 10 years and she recently published her first novel. On top of all of this, she is also a mom of 4 amazing and busy children!