Being a mom is hard enough, and so is being a student! Finding a balance between the two on some days seems impossible. If you ask my son right now what his mama’s job is, he will tell you writing papers! Cracks me up. It does seem like all I do is write papers and answer short answers. When you take online courses, I have notice the pattern is writing! I remember the scantron days, multiple choice tests… but in online school everything is papers or short essays. Makes sense on the academic honesty sides of things for online students, and it works for me since I actually enjoy writing.
So if you’re thinking about going back to school or switching to online courses, here are some tips that I have learned about taking classes online.
1. Fill out a Fasfa and apply for scholarships: there is FREE money there!
Even if you think you don’t qualify for financial aid, fill out a Fasfa anyway! Financial aid has been the reason we have been able to invest in my education. I actually was denied financial aid when I went back to college, and let me tell you, actually paying for classes taught me to be a responsible student. Since going back, I have had to fight another denial with appeals to the school board! I was finally approved after showing them I was serious about my goals by achieving good grades.
Like anything, trying to get scholarships or financial aid takes A LOT OF WORK. The money is out there though, but you will have to dig for it. Outside of my financial aid, I did receive a scholarship for this school year. I applied to many, but got one and I am forever grateful I even got that! To me filling out 100 applications and short essays is worth any amount of free money for my education!
2. Set a schedule
Many of my classes follow a pattern when it comes to due dates. For example: Weekly journals due on Tuesday’s, Quizzes and Test on Friday’s, and Discussion questions Sunday’s.
I get most of my work done in the morning’s before my son wakes up, or after he goes to bed, and also on Sunday’s! Thank goodness for my husband being so supportive and running the tribe while I step out to study. I hate working on school work Sunday’s especially during the fall, but sometime it is necessary if I don’t get my course work done during the week. While I have to be responsible for my class work, I am also responsible for my son and to be honest there are some days where I just don’t get much done.
If I can stick with my mornings, and Sunday’s, I stay ahead and on track with my course work!
3. Get Organized
Write in your planner (EVERYTHING), keep your papers in order, keep your computer updated, have a decent area to study (a bed is not the place), and keep your home tidy! Life is already stressful enough. You must stay ahead, and prepared for your studies! Things are easily forgotten and the house gets dirty quick.
4. Respect Time
Life in general is already so busy. We tend to want to rush things and if you’re anything like me, you just want to get college done with! But slow down. Know how many hours you can take, while being an active mom. Don’t forget that just because you took 18 hours last semester, you might want to only take 12 hrs. since you are taking a course you already know will give you hell this semester! Besides when you just try to rush through courses, you aren’t really learning much! Slow down with life, you’ll get there some day.
5. Take Care of Yourself
As a mom, wife, student, and little farmer…. I tend to think of myself last and usually those are the times I find myself most stressed. While school, your family, and animals are priorities, so are you! You need to make sure you have a good diet, exercise , and get plenty of sleep at night! (I love doing cleaning power hours! Nothing like cleaning with a little cardio)
Enjoy the ride, and know you are very capable of achieving any goal you have set! There is literally nothing stopping you, and with a little dedication you too can become a successful student/ parent! The tools and resources are out there, it is up to you to find them!
Hugs from Texas,