Family Matters

by

Part V: Family Matters

by N. Menendez, Meaghan Lally, Sonia Montenegro, and Melissa Rebullosa

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

Juggling family with school can sometimes be a very hard thing to do.  We all know that school is very demanding at times, add in all life’s other things like work and family and it is enough to drive even the sanest person crazy.  It can be very overwhelming at times and it’s easy to get stressed out about it. Make sure that you remember that your family is important and that no matter how busy or stressful times get, your family is always there.

Tips for the adult learner making the most out of family time:

Family First

Very often the people closest to you are the first to be forgotten. Don’t let your family and personal relationships suffer because you’re back in school. Make sure to set aside time each and every day to spend with your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, or good friends. You need the quality time with those you love to keep your sanity in check! Don’t let your personal relationships slide because you have more on your plate. Instead use the little time you have to strengthen your relationships and have lots of fun!

Make Second Grade Art and Your A-5 Competence go Hand-in-Hand

A neat way to spend time with your kids and at the same time study is to involve your kids in what you are learning in school.  Some subjects are easier than others but for the most part it can be done.  For example if you are taking a science class of some sort, set up a fun science project for your family to do all together.  You can break down the basic principles of what you’ve learned and teach it to your kids while doing an activity that is fun. This creates a fun memory for your children, but also helps you retain the basics of whatever subject you are studying, after all, you learn best when you teach!

Bills, Bills, Bills

For most adults, balancing the cost of education and family bills is one of the biggest challenges.  Along with having a cut in your salary due to decreased work hours, you also have to deal with all the expenses that come along with going back to school which include books, supplies, and tuition. You are essentially faced with a dilemma as to whether you should be stressed and get the degree, or not get a decent job with decent pay.  Many families are faced with salary cuts because of this that in turn makes it even more stressful. Therefore, you find yourself in a situation where as an adult, you need to go back to school and either get your degree or finish your degree while working to support your family and making sure you still are taking care of your kids or husband. So, take a breath and remind yourself that it can and will work out. Be honest with your spouse and make a budget together. Outline all of the family needs and make sure both you are on the same page financially. Create a splurge jar that every one can take part in. Every time a child helps out with an extra chore, Dad takes the day off to take the kids off your hands, or anyone gets an A, put a few bucks in the jar. At the end of a few weeks take the money and put it towards a nice stress-free family dinner or day at the zoo.

Schedule Together

One of the most important strategies is to know how to balance and manage your time.  As we mentioned before take the time to weekly map out not only your school schedule but also your family’s. Make sure to also keep on a schedule. Keeping on a schedule will not only help you get things done in a timely matter but will ensure more time spent with your family.

You’re Not Alone in This Battle

It is very important to make sure your family and friends are aware of your decision to go back to school.  When they know your exact plans, they will be able to provide support and encouragement, which in the long run will be very helpful. Juggling your family with your school could be a very great struggle and it is comforting to know that you have people who are supporting you in your decision.  Sometimes this will be the only way you make it through.  Therefore it is important to make sure your family and friends are aware of your decision and bring a positive attitude with it.  When your family and friends have a positive attitude it will rub off on you and keep you less stressed and more determined in your studies.

Learn While Folding

Going back to school with small children at home can be a struggle. Along with feedings, baths, naps and all the other things that require the house to run smoothly, there seems to be no time for much of anything else. Make sure to get your child or children on a schedule.  When they have a routine, you have a routine. Utilize naptime!!! Use your child’s nap as a time to study or finish your homework. It’s okay to let them watch a little TV! Let’s face it, TV is a wonderful tool in helping you get things accomplished while you child is preoccupied with Elmo. But remember, everything in moderation. Set up a quiet time with your children. This especially works well with older children. Set up coloring books, crayons, puzzles etc on a table. Sit with your child for a set amount of time. You can catch up on homework while they concentrate on coloring.  Most times the child won’t mind a little quiet time as long as you’re near them.

Previously: Work Hard For Your Money

Up next: It’s All about me

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One Response to “Family Matters”

  1. That’s a Wrap! « Connections Says:

    […] Family Matters […]

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