Balancing School and Family
You are considering going back to school but like most adults you are not sure what this will mean for your family. You are plagued by indecisions about managing a balance between a school schedule and a family life and not certain how to cope with it. Firstly, you are not the only person considering re-entry. An increasing number of adults are going back to school, whether it is to upgrade skill and knowledge for a higher paid job, to fulfill a dream, or just to enhance their learning. Secondly, most of them, particularly those with families, are having second thoughts about the time, energy, and money that they would spend. The sacrifices they will have to make in terms of family time and personal time.
Will Your Family Face a Problem?
Yes they will. You may have to miss your child's parent-teacher meeting, or her sports meet. Each family member will be required to share tasks at home. Postsecondary education does not come cheap. You college and tuition fees will cut into the family purse. You will be exhausted with your work and study; there may not be time, or energy for family outings, friends, or even simple evenings around the fire. In view of these short-term issues, let's view some of the positives that will happen.
How your Family Benefits
In your new life as a student, you will be extending your social horizon and so will your family. You status as a student entails both you and your family to libraries, media center resources, and computer labs. Your children will learn from you. The way you prepare your tuition bills will teach them financial management; your skill in managing time between your work, family, and studies, will set an example in time management; the way you select your classes for each semester will be a lesson in decision making. A college degree is the guarantee for a better job, higher salary, sometimes medical benefits, and other perks and facilities that will mean tangible long-term gains for your family. Also visit Is Going Back to School the Right Decision For You?for further information regarding returning to college as an adult student.
Tips to help you Balance Family and School
Juggling between two demanding lives will be stressful and may seem depressing unless you follow certain rules and compromise to an extent that will help you achieve the best of both worlds. These tips are actual real-life processes that have helped other adult learners facing the same concern.
Have a sit-together with you family. Let them know about your dreams; elaborate why you want to go for a higher degree. Explain to them that you need their cooperation, if you want to achieve this. Once they know of your aspirations and how important it is for you to attain your goal, be sure that they will stand by you.
It is always a very productive way to engage your family in your study process. Discuss the interesting things duringdinner time or even better sit with your books when kids have their study time. In this way, you not only spend time together but also motivate your kids. Sometimes explaining your class lecture to your spouse is a good way to recapitulate.
Set some rules in the house. Give each member some specific duty that will lessen your burden. Explain your need for undisturbed study time and let it be known that you are not to be disturbed unless there is an emergency. It is also wise to explain which situations qualify to be an emergency.
Set written study goals, so that you are not flustered when deadlines and submissions loom close.
Discuss these issues with classmates, some of whom will be facing the same situation. Exchange notes and look out for productive ideas that may help you.
You can also opt for a day, night, weekend, or online study as suits your family and work commitments.
Make a weekly schedule for cleaning, shopping, and laundry. Try to stock the refrigerator in a planned manner.
If you are confident of your dreams then do not neglect them. Initially your family will take time to adjust to your new schedule, but once they see how they can be a part of it not only in terms of making your dream come true but also in the shared benefits that are sure to follow, they will support you. Do not forget to show appreciation with an occasional thank you note or an unexpected night out. Since one of the main concerns of higher education is the financial burden, please visit U.S. Department of Educationfor additional information.
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