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Any single mums who juggled PGCE and home-life?

(8 Posts)
vivy85 Tue 07-Jun-11 22:59:11

Hi, I was wondering whether there is any of you ladies who is or has completed a Primary PGCE with 2 kids! I have been accepted for the part-time Primary PGCE at the Institute of Education, and I'm due to start this September. DS1 will be 3 years 7 months and DS2 will be 9 months when I start. My mother will be helping me out with childcare with DS2, and DS1 will be at nursery all week from 9 to 3 (funded by the childcare grant). I feel very nervous about starting this PGCE, sometimes I keep asking myself "what am I doing?". The thought of juggling a part-time PGCE course while mothering two very young children is getting to me! I am a single mum, and my ex helps out (he has DS1 on weekends) and I feel very nervous about September. I was wondering whether there was anyone out there that has managed to complete any type of course with two young children in tow? Any comments or advice will be greatly appreciated smile

Teachermumof3 Tue 07-Jun-11 23:22:10

Wow-have no practical help on the single mum front really, but I just wanted to wish you all the best. I did my PGCE when I was 21 straight after my degree, so I had no children then.

I would try to get batch cooking/cleaning done at the weekend (when your ex has the kids?) so you can save time when you get in. Save planning/marking/assessment/essays for the evenings when you've spent some time with the children and put them to bed and also make the most of teaching resources that other people have created; don't try to reinvent the wheel.

Bear in mind you'll probably need to be out at University (or more likely at school) from 7.30/8 until 5.30/6 each day and there will still be lectures during half term etc. so figure that in to your childcare. My friend did a GTP last year with three children and had a nanny for the youngest two (she got various tax credits) which worked well with wraparound care.

Good luck-it can be a great job smile

overthemill Wed 08-Jun-11 11:33:23

good luck! just done p/t pgce (finish n 2 weeks!!!) and it was brilliant - different age group but it was inspiring. Advice would be similar to above but also see if you can get some help maybe one evening a week so you can study when kids asleep - going to the library seems more productive at night, for me anyway). also beg steal or borrow books - really expensive to buy. what i did was sit in lectures and log on via phone to reserve books lecturer said were 'essential'. then zoomed across to pick them up! what else, get a head start on reading now, try to build in some slack so you do have time to met essay deadlines, doing them last minute is bad enough without sick child.

i do have dh but as he works very full time he was as good as useless poor love.

SpareRoomSleeper Fri 10-Jun-11 00:53:39

Ive been on the part time primary pgce course at the institute of education, OP. YOU CAN DO IT.

Its good you have opted for part time, its alot more relaxed, you have alot of time at home, and you will have alot of support on the course as alot of students on the part time are mature students and lots if not most will be parents.

I will post back tomorrow for some useful tips!

vivy85 Sat 11-Jun-11 22:34:08

Thank you SO much for your tips and advice!

@Teachermumof3 - To be honest, I never thought about freezing food in batches, so I will get to it just before and during the course! Is it really necessary to be in school from 7.30AM/8.00AM until 5.30PM/6.00PM? I mean, I could be in school from 8.30AM and leave at 5.00PM but earlier than that (for the morning) or later than 5.30PM in the evening seems a bit much! As I've mentioned, I have my amazing mother on hand to look after the youngest and I hope she will be able to pick up DS1 from nursery if I stay late, during my 1st year, the ex has decided to help in the mornings by picking him up from mine and dropping him in the morning - the nursery is only 5 minutes from my home. The ex will help out with the school and nursery run during my second year (in September 2012, DS1 will be in Reception and DS2 will be in DS1's current nursery), so it isn't too bad if I have to be in school that early or leave late. smile

I am very much looking forward to becoming a teacher, I absolutely love school life (all that chaos is just serenity for me!) and I'm very looking forward to the course smile

@Overthemill, thank you SO much for that library reservation tip! I remember when I used to be at uni 4 years ago and books always seemed to be flying off the shelves before I knew it sad . I have bought all of my essential reading books last year (as I was accepted for the full-time PGCE at the Institute but had to drop out because I couldn't defer it - due to being pregnant with DS2) so I have been doing my reading when the kids are in bed (I aim for 1 chapter every 2 weeks).

@SpareRoomSleeper - I can't wait to hear your tips! smile

Many thanks again for your words of encouragement and your helpful tips! xx

MavisGrind Sat 11-Jun-11 22:42:17

I am in the middle of my final placement of a Primary PGCE as a lone parent with 2 dc's aged 5 and 2.

You absolutely can do it. It's bloody knackering however I've found it easier as a lone parent rather than as a parent in a couple as after I've got the kids to bed I can work, it's my time without worrying that I'm neglecting another adult!

My only tips are to be as organised as possible, take advantage of any help that's offered (my mum has been a star this year helping out with childcare), lower your standards when it comes to housework, take some time to relax for yourself and enjoy it!

Best of luck.

MavisGrind Sat 11-Jun-11 22:48:55

Just re-read the OP and see you're doing it part time - def doable!

WRT hours on placement - it really depends on the school. We're advised to be in school by 8.30 and not leave before 4.30. Some of my fellow PGCE-ers are putting in really long hours but I have a really understanding school who are letting my do my PPA from home, letting me do the school run twice a week.

Your institution should have an understanding of your situation too. Speak to your tutor early on.

FWIW a number of the more mature female students on my course are lone parents so it's quite useful socially too!

Newbabynewmum Mon 13-Jun-11 01:05:02

I'm starting a maths pgce in sept & am a lone parent with a DD who will be 1.

Mime is full-time. I figure I'm just going to be mega organised! It's good to have family around to help too.

Good luck! I think we'll need it! But it'll be so worth it in the end x

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