How do you manage to study when you have children?(12 Posts)
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.
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?
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Thanks for these ideas. It's nice to hear your success stories too.
I have to say it was pretty silly of me to try to read 18th century philosophy with children fighting in the next room.
Yes. yes that was silly.
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!
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 ) 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.
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!
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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