Homeschooling your children means providing them with a warm, familiar, and loving space in which to learn important life skills and knowledge that will navigate them towards a fulfilling career in the future. It is also known to be exceptionally rewarding for parents, offering them more control over their children’s education and a greater sense of purpose.
Many parents who are considering homeschooling, or even those who have been doing it for a while, wonder if it is possible to juggle educating their kids and a career of their own. The short answer, in many cases, is yes, it is. What remains a slightly bigger mystery is whether or not it is possible to home school your children and continue expanding on your tertiary education in the process. Here is a breakdown of everything that you need to know.
Is it viable?
In the same way as pursuing a career when homeschooling your kids, furthering your studies while educating your children is an enormously demanding pursuit – but it is doable as long as you take the correct approach! Essentially, the path to success means ensuring strategic planning and making the most of the flexibility available to you.
Choosing your course
Thanks to the rapid evolution of technology, parents now have the option of choosing between studying at a traditional college campus or studying online. There are countless benefits to opting for online learning, especially when you have a host of other responsibilities on your shoulders. For example, it offers maximum convenience and flexibility, allowing you to plan your study schedule around your everyday commitments.
Secondly, it is usually infinitely cheaper, with many online courses costing less than half of the courses offered at traditional universities.
Thirdly, you still have a world of thrilling programs to choose from, including online accelerated BSN programs for non-nurses, which is ideal for those who have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline and wish to venture into the healthcare field. You might have originally thought that courses in such practical vocation would not be available online, but that is not the case. In these instances, you have the chance to complete the vast majority of your coursework online, followed by clinicals in the field. Not to worry, though, online colleges are usually highly attuned to the needs of parents and will ensure that you are placed somewhere close to your home and that your schedule is designed to fit in with your requirements.
Planning a schedule
Ideally, you should start every day with a comprehensive to-do list of everything that you need to get through school-wise with the kids and everything that you need to complete for your course. From there, it is important to figure out what kind of set-up works for your family. Perhaps you prefer to dedicate all of your focus to the kids, and their schoolwork in one go throughout the mornings and early afternoon and then shift your attention to your own coursework? Or maybe it works better to focus on teaching the children for an hour or two, followed by an hour or two spent delving into your own textbooks, and back to the kids once again? It is about trial and error and making adjustments as you go. Your approach to getting everything done is likely to change as your children grow too, so do not become too set in your ways. This juggling act is all about staying flexible and remaining in tune with both your and your children’s needs.
As tempting as it is to try to be a perfect teacher, mom, student, and wife, it simply isn’t possible – and certainly not all on the same day! To navigate your way through this undertaking without losing your sanity in the process, you will need to learn the art of prioritizing. Every morning, ask yourself which tasks on your to-do list are absolutely essential to complete that day, which ones are important but not critical, and which ones are tasks that you are keen to complete, but that can be moved out to tomorrow if necessary? This will help you to streamline your day and reduce stress if something unplanned derails your carefully structured schedule.
When taking on so many things at once, it can be extremely easy to let self-care slip as you struggle to keep up with the duties that constantly keep piling up. For instance, you might opt to cancel a date night with your partner just so that you can catch up on some studying after a busy week. Or you might sacrifice a long, relaxing bath in exchange for a quick shower so that you can get back to your assignment after the kids have gone to bed.
There is no denying that these sacrifices will be necessary every once in a while. Having said that, it is vital not to make them a habit. If you slack on self-care for an extended period of time, you increase your chances of burnout, falling ill as a result of a weakened immune system (due to high levels of stress), and giving up altogether. As such, it is essential for home schooling parents who are also pursing a higher education to prioritize self-care just as much as they would their other responsibilities. It is, after all, just as imperative to solidifying success.
Staying positive and focused on your goals will help you to remain on track towards achieving them. Accept the fact that the path that you have chosen will not always be easy but make a promise to yourself to keep pushing forward even on those days when you feel exhausted. Rest assured that with hard work, focus, and a solid support system, you will soon be where you want to be!
Good luck over the next few years, and do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it. You’ve got this!