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OU study, single mum, with school-age kid(s) - did you give up work to do it?

(13 Posts)
NumberSix Fri 11-Apr-08 21:58:04

Cos I'm intending to next Jan, to do a 60 pt level 1 course. I just can't see how I could fit in 16 hours a week study if I continue to work (3 days a week), especially during the summer holidays. Every spare minute would be spent studying, i think I would end up having a breakdown! From reading threads on here though about how hard some of you have worked or still are working, it looks as if I'm being a bit of a wuss!

kama Fri 11-Apr-08 22:04:10

Message withdrawn

NumberSix Fri 11-Apr-08 22:39:26

I have a boyfriend who is over about 3 times a week. Of course, I am prepared to put him off & use some of that time for studying if i needed it, in the future (esp in summer hols) but I'm not willing to do that on a long term basis.

Evenings are my worst time too, i'm always so tired. I am doing a 10 pt course now with no problem at all of course, and have done half the work in the evenings too & intend to study next year in the evenings as well, but I really can't see myself being able to keep that up every night -plus do the other stuff that needs doing, shopping, housework, paperwork etc. I know my own limits and have always been so determined that I have my down time. (dd's strict bedtimes being a case in point! wink)

stressybint Fri 11-Apr-08 22:57:23

then you need to prioratise, I have 3 children from 10yrs to 13wks I don't work but have done with a child & know how precious time is with them, I too stick to strict bed times even for my 10yr old she's in bed on school nights by 7.30pm with 15mins reading, littler one's in bed by 7pm, then it's my time (hubby works 5 nights a week) and I study.
You need to sit down & ask yourself which is more important improving your education - & therefore maybe improving your families future ( I don't know which course your doing or aiming for) - or your you time, tell your b/f what you intend to do & tell him that you NEED to be studying. Although it's only 4 hours over 4 evenings so he could still come over the 3 ngts, you don't need to be at it every night, just make sure that you ae strict with yourself about doing it.
Only you can decide what you want to do, but be honest with yourself.

sunnylabsmum Sat 12-Apr-08 07:25:56

As a former OU tutor who taught a 60pt course my experience is that some weeks the guideline of 16 hours a week is a little excessive and most students say it is a little less than this. One good tip is to start as soon as you get the materials and not wait for the official start date, that way you can get ahead and if something crops up then its usually better. Do make use of your tutor.... the students who talk to their tutor either face to face or via email tend to pass better than those who don't!!

NumberSix Sat 12-Apr-08 16:18:31

Thanks guys.
It is exactly as you say stressybint, i am doing it because it's about time I made a change in my life and work towards a better future, doing something that I am really interested and that pays better, etc etc. It's now or never too, I haven't got forever esp if I want to settle down & have another child with my boyf, it's much easier to make these decisions while I'm completely independent than when I've got a partner to answer to as well iykwim.

I need that better future, but I don't want to have a miserable time getting there either (esp as I would be more likely to give up doing it at some point as well). If i give up work, I will be horrendously skint but at least I will have a better quality of life (ironically)- more chilled out because I will have time to both study properly (properly focused) and do things like exercise properly, etc. I will also be there 100% for my dd, which I know she would be very happy about!
I am in a very priveleged position to have the choice to do this, I know a lot of people don't.

jellybeans Thu 24-Apr-08 15:30:18

Hi, I am not a lone parent but have school age kids and study with OU doing a 60pt course. I don't think I could work on top even though many people seem to. When assignments are due it can get very stressful. I would also say that you can get away with quite abit less than 16 hrs a week but you do more as it goes along and near assignments. I only have enough time for housework and study and then you know how busy it is after school. I too would be too tired to do it in the evening every night. I see study as instead of a job as I would not work more than 16 hrs anyway. You would not be being a wuss to give up work, do what you feel OK with.

CapricaSix Thu 08-May-08 20:25:26

Just saw this Jellybeans, thanks. (changed my name to CapricaSix!)

I thought the whole thing through and I'm now thinking it wouldn't be a good move financially to give up work. I was remembering why i went back to work in the first place - i couldn't cope with the lack of money any more (not that i'm much better off!)

I will find out all I can about how studying would affect my benefits whether or not I was working, just in case i change my mind, and I have also set up email alerts from job websites re other part time jobs to see if anything either closer to home or less hours or more money etc jumps out at me.

The thought of 5 free schooldays a week in term time is so so tempting but I think the downside of no money at all would be too depressing.

AMAZINWOMAN Thu 10-Jul-08 15:19:00

i am in the same position as you, and would LOVE to give my job up. But can't afford it.

But I am really worried about how I will cope

sandy4 Thu 10-Jul-08 18:16:11

When I studied for my first OU degree I was a single parent to 2 DS's (aged 2 & 7 when I first started).

I decided not to go out to work as I studied full time for 2 years &, part time for 2. I was a bit skint though.

So pleased that I did it though & started another one this year.

CapricaSix Thu 10-Jul-08 18:39:25

Thanks Amazinwoman & Sandy4!
Don't think I could cope with being "a bit skint" again sandy4!

Have decided to do the 60 pt course from sep-jun instead of jan-oct, so I won't be having to study in the summer holidays when dd is off school. plus if i do a summer residential course it won't be an extra load then.

allgonebellyup Sat 12-Jul-08 11:01:07

i manage it, and am a single mum too.

i work 3 days a week, and ds only goes to playgroup in mornings til 11.15.

This year i will be working 3 days a week, volunteering in a school 1 day a week and studying the remaining morning plus weekends when i get a chance!

This year i am (foolishly) doing a 60 point level 3 course AND a 30 point course at same time, along with a Maths GCSE, AND a booster course from a separate Uni so i can do my PGCE next sept!!!!

(God, reading that, i sound like a loon who lives in denial)

CapricaSix Wed 16-Jul-08 17:07:24

wow allgonebellyup, your work load is making me feel faint! I have just registered for the 60 pt Exploring science course for this sept! I am going to swot up this summer on the maths. scary but exciting... No point putting it off.

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