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How do you manage to study when you have children?

(12 Posts)
Schroeder Fri 29-Oct-10 22:15:40

I'm currently studying towards a degree with the OU. I haven't studied for more years than I care to mention, but I really hadn't realised how difficult it was going to be when the dcs are off school for half term.

I just haven't been able to get anything done during the day at all.hmm

I'm getting very close to my first TMA and am frustrated I haven't got more done this week.

What strategies do you use in order to get peace to study?

ballstoit Sat 30-Oct-10 08:48:14

I studied for a foundation degree part time. I had DS when I started and had DD1 and 2 during the course. DSS's also came to live with us.

I have just started a top up to an honours degree and am finding it hard to get in a study routine again. However, this is what worked for me before and what I'm aiming to make work again!

- Child swapping with friends. I have DSS friends round a couple of days, and they go to those friends houses a couple of days.

- Take DC to park/soft play when DD2 is sleeping. They play, fairly independently, and I read and note make. This does depend on being pretty harsh with other mums who try to start conversations even when I've got my head firmyl in a book.

- Get DCs to help with housework in the morning, then have an hour interacting for play and eating lunch. Then make it very clear that I am not available to referee squabbles/fix toys/restart DVDs. I found it interesting how co operative they could be with each other if I refused to get involved.

- In the week or so that I am completing assignments I do rely on friends and family for childcare. I am lucky that I have people to take my kids for a day while I really get my head down. Having said that I happily return the favour when my assignments have been submitted.

Hope this helps, partly it's getting in a tougher mindset. I tell myself repeatedly that it is beneficial for my DC that I complete my course, and also in their interests to be able to cope without me for an hour or so, as long as I'm on hand for emergencies.

Wilts Sat 30-Oct-10 08:56:18

I qualified as a social worker this year and found it virtually impossible to get anything done if the boys were about.

I used to get up early on the weekends as I found I was quite productive at that time.

I was also good at setting myself a time to study in the evenings once they were in bed. so I would tell myself you have between 8-10pm and that seemed to motivate me.

When the pressure was really on this year I went to the library till stupid times at night.

I have no solution for studying when the children are about, as it jut never worked for me!

Ilythia Sat 30-Oct-10 09:01:29

I am just starting my PGCE and 6 weeks into the course have come up with a sort of routine.
DD1 is at full time school and DD2 is at full time nursery, so over half term I sent DD1 into nursery as well. I stay at uni and work through lunch. I have been going in early as well to get a few hours done.

My main study poeriod though is after bedtime, they go up by 7 (they are early wakers) and then I have 2-3 hours to try and get some work done before trying to spend a few hours with DH.

This morning he is watching the girls while I go to the library to get a couple of hours in before our friends arrive as well. Any spare time I can get is filled with studying.

I also agree with the dvd/play thing, set them off and then I sit at the table in the room with headphones on and work. 'Lucky' for me dd's have been ill over half term so they have been fairly low maintenance!

CommanderGhoul Sat 30-Oct-10 09:10:30

I am doing an OU degree with three DCs 6 and under and yes holidays are a struggle. I study in the evenings and at weekends.

It helps to be fairly mercenary about it all andconcentrate on getting TMAs done even if you have to skip chapters of reading. I read some chapters just before exam which isn't ideal but I got through.

CommanderGhoul Sat 30-Oct-10 09:13:52

And yes I second studying in the mornings - much more productive than evenings.

I found sheer tiredness the biggest problem as I was often too tired to grasp anything complicated.

Ilythia Sat 30-Oct-10 10:00:11

Ooh, I meant to say, the other day both DD@s were in nursery and I went to costa for a break, but I had taken my netbook with me. Nice and quiet, no distractions, and no wifi meant I got 500 words done in anb hour.

So am liking the soft play idea!

Schroeder Sat 30-Oct-10 20:05:27

Thanks for these ideas. It's nice to hear your success stories toogrin.

I have to say it was pretty silly of me to try to read 18th century philosophy with children fighting in the next roomhmm.

Ilythia Mon 01-Nov-10 18:09:11

Yes. yes that was silly. grin

I have had to insist on not marking books over a weekend as I don't want to bring them home.
30 exercise books + 2 preschoolers with access to crayons = disaster!

BaggyCoconut Tue 02-Nov-10 10:00:31

I tend to only do my main studying when the children are in bed or being occupied by my partner or someone else.

When the chidlren are having (very rare grin) quiet time I just re read what I have already well studyed, helping it to sink in a bit more, but not having to put much effort into really working. I avoid doing any serious work with children about. I always end up having to re do it as I was not able concentrate enough.

TrappedinSuburbia Fri 12-Nov-10 00:07:13

I only study at night when ds is in bed, luckily during the holidays, he will sleep later as I let him stay up late in his room to watch a dvd (bad mummy) this means that I get a good sleep as well and am not too tired to study at night once he's upstairs.

I limit myself to 2-3 hours a night, anything more and my brain just switches off.

I also read up like another poster says if I get any quiet time during the day (haha) to let it try and sink in a bit more,roll on school!

mixedmamameansbusiness Fri 03-Dec-10 12:03:16

Plan Plan and Plan some more. I am anally organised. I use GPs OH etc. I am lucky to have a lot of people around who can physically look after the children (2 and 4).

Unfortunately, in holidays etc i think you just have to do it when they are in bed, or work more outside of holidays so you can take a break.

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