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How to balance studying with parenting

Balancing the pressures of parenthood with the pursuit of further education may seem like a difficult task. Children are bundles of energy that expect much of our attention, and for those returning to study they can be a common distraction.

By making sure your children feel included, as well as allowing yourself time to focus solely on your work, juggling the two can become a bonding experience for you and your child. We have compiled a handy list to help make study time fun, for both you and your child.

Turn it into a game

Flash cards and other memory games are a great way to remember information. Creating colourful cards and enlisting your child to hold them up for you, or work with you, is a wonderful way to learn. As an added bonus, children are great at repeating things back to us, and anything they pick up may help remind you of things you learn! 

A special study toy

Pick one special toy for your child to play with only while you are studying. This will encourage children to view your study time as an enjoyable time for them, and they are less likely to distract you. 

Take a break

Make sure to plan breaks in your study time, so that you and your child can spend some quality time together. Our brains need to take regular breaks while studying in order to retain information and stay alert. Use this time to play with your child, and encourage them to view study time as the “quiet time” and breaks as “active play time.”

Don’t forget to take “me” time

Make sure you schedule in some time to study alone, without any distractions. Depending on your schedule, this might mean an hour before children wake up or after they go to sleep.

If you can, ask family and friends to help for an hour or so, allowing you to completely focus on your studies.

Make use of time saved

With a little bit of clever planning, extra study time can be found throughout an average routine.  For example, if your family enjoys take-away dinner one night of the week, you can count on having some extra study time on that night because there is no need to cook. 

Look at your routine and responsibilities and identify things you can delegate to others, or modify in order to take things off your plate.  Other time-savers include online grocery shopping, cooking in bulk, enlisting family or friends to do school drop offs and pick ups, or using an after-school program. Any time saved is time you can study. 

Raising children while furthering your education is a challenging task, but one that is ultimately worth it.  Not only will you unlock career opportunities, but you also set an example to your children that the pursuit of education is an important one.

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