Latoya Ford from @purenourish is here today to talk about tips to balance distance learning and motherhood. Mindset & Career Coach and long term advocate for empowering women to thrive, she certainly understands how important it is to find a work-life balance that works for you, and your family.
With so many tips to her name, we asked Latoya to share her top six pieces of advice for balancing distance learning and motherhood.
Distance learning is more popular than ever, with easy access to courses from Open University to Udemy. It is especially popular for parents who might not have access to childcare and therefore can’t attend in-person lectures. However, distance learning requires a lot of motivation as unlike college or university, you don't always have someone nudging you to complete your work.
As someone who has balanced distance learning with motherhood for over 3 years, I would love to share some tips to make this new way of learning manageable and successful for you.
- Invest in a yearly wall planner and a study planner/journal solely for your studies. The Boxclever Press Simply Study Student Planner is a perfect choice. It has separate sections for inputting exam dates and deadlines and also has a section for you to personalise your timetable. It is important to schedule your allocated study time to ensure that it is manageable around parenting duties and so that you can use your time effectively.
- Have a clear and uncluttered workspace. This can be a home office or a simple desk, just make sure that it is organised so that you aren’t wasting study time clearing up the mess before you can start your coursework.
- Join the online community for your course. Many courses will either have a forum for students or a Facebook group where you can get to know others on your course and ask or offer support.
- Find a buddy. You are more likely to stick to your timetable if you have someone to ‘report to’. An accountability buddy can be someone who is on your course or even just a friend or family member. I find it helpful to check in with my accountability buddy once a week to ensure that we are both up to date with our coursework.
- Ask your partner or family member for support by taking the kids out for a few hours over the weekend so that you can focus on your coursework, or if you are studying in the evening like me, you could schedule in every second night to study while your partner or family member handles the kids' bedtime routines.
- Work alongside the kids if you don't have help by setting up a study table for them to do their homework or reading while you do your coursework. This is also a lovely bonding experience, and they will be more motivated by watching you study.
Latoya Ford (Mindset and Career Coach)