Thursday, December 17, 2020

Pursuing Higher Education as a Parent Means Getting Creative

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Guest Post by Erica Francis

Higher Education As A Parent Means Getting Creative 

Going back to school as an adult is intimidating, to say the least. But when you want to get ahead, there are few better ways to do so than by earning your degree. As the founder of the Twinkle Teaches blog, Tina Winkle knows the value of lifelong learning. Here is how to pursue your own higher education while navigating life with a family.

Find funding.

First and foremost, you should know that pursuing higher education as an adult looks a bit different from a financial standpoint than going to college fresh out of high school. Fortunately, while many scholarships and grants are earmarked for the younger crowd, there are many lending opportunities available for older students. These include grants made available to the US government and, possibly, your or your spouse’s employer.

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Decide on a major. 

If you don’t already know what you want to do, it’s time to sit down and take a close look at your options. Think about your prior work experience. If you are tech-savvy, for example, you may consider a degree in information technology, which can land you a career in analytics, cybersecurity, or networking. Have you worked with children before? Maybe you’re ready to earn a teaching degree. You may also consider easing into school by pursuing a certification in an area such as dental hygiene or online marketing. According to CNBC, there are more than a dozen professions that are expected to be in high demand throughout the next five years. These include everything from nursing assistant to software developer.


Consider online classes. 

Considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic, in-person classes may not be available. Do not let this discourage you. Keep in mind that your education is just as meaningful when you earn your degree online. Something to keep in mind here is that your internet may need an upgrade. Many online classes require that you watch streaming videos or log in to video meetings. Because time is valuable, the last thing you want is for your classroom videos to lag.

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Utilize audio textbooks.

As a parent, it’s often difficult to find the time to sit down and study. Fortunately, there are many tools available that can help you learn while you continue to handle your responsibilities at home. Audio textbooks are a great example of these. There are services available that feature more than 80,000 textbooks. When you need to clean the house, transport sleeping babies to and from the grocery store, or your kids simply want in the room, pop in your earbuds and listen away.


Share childcare duties.

If your children are older, you can complete your education while they are at school themselves. But, when you have the pre-kindergarten crowd at home (or your children have transitioned to virtual learning), you may have to get creative. Even if you do not take a full load, going back to school takes time and lots of it. Plan to share childcare duties with your spouse or partner or, even better, swap days with your closest friends. One day, you have their children, the next, they have yours. This will ensure a quiet house at least a few days each week. On the days you have your children, give them a notebook and some crayons and let them “go to school” with you. 

Having kids and going to school as an adult is tough. But, once you know that higher education is right for you, online classes, audio textbooks, and childcare swaps can help you get through it. Congratulations, and good luck as you begin your college-as-an-adult journey.

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This guest post was written by Erica Francis with 
This is posted in collaboration with on Twinkle Teaches 


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