Back to School with a Family at Home: Tips on Balancing Life and School

Balancing school and family can be difficult, especially if you find that your studies are cutting into family time. It might take some trial-and-error, but there are ways you can do your best at being both a parent and a student without missing out on much of either. Here are some things you can try to make juggling family and school a little easier.

By Sarah Wright

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A Delicate Balance

Finding a way to be a good parent and family member while also doing everything you can to excel in school is a daunting prospect. But there are ways to bring the two seemingly disparate parts of your life together. You just need to get creative and approach both roles in a way that's different than parents who don't go to school, or students who don't have children.

By trying to think of yourself as both a parent and a student at the same time, rather than as one or the other at different times as needed, you might end up coming up with your own creative ideas to make life easier. Here are some things you can try to get started.

Use your family as study buddies.

If you have older kids, you can enlist their help with things like preparing for tests and proofreading papers. Chances are they have some good tips and tricks for studying that you might have forgotten since the last time you were in school.

Combine your school chores with your kids'.

Your morning routine probably already involves getting the kids ready for school. Now that you're a student, you might as well roll your own preparations into that process. If your kid needs a new notebook for school, you should think about whether there's anything you need from the school supplies aisle as well. Getting in the habit of thinking about your school to-do list as another part of your parenting to-do list may help you save some time.

Start a family group homework time tradition.

It can be difficult to spend time with your kids while you're trying to do your homework, so why not combine homework time with family time? That way, you can make sure your children are doing what they need to do while you're also taking care of your own educational responsibilities.

See if your school has childcare.

Paying for childcare can be a big expense, and it can make the prospect of going to school seem impossible. If you have to choose between going to class and paying for daycare, check and see whether your school offers childcare for students. If they don't, they might have suggestions for affordable options that you can pursue so you can keep taking classes.

Parents often fall into the category of 'nontraditional student', which should be cause for concern if you want to earn your degree on time.

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