Why busy parents should focus on online learning

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As a parent, it feels like you are always learning something new. Maybe it is the most efficient way to pack your family’s lunches, maybe it is the best way to get to school and work during rush hour or maybe you know how to handle allergies and sick days like a pro. While being a parent for children of any age seems like a constant learning opportunity, many parents want to learn more.

The problem is that they often don’t have the time. Between parenting duties, work, other obligations and actually spending time with family and friends, it can be difficult to find the time to learn, much less focus on the responsibilities of school. At the end of a long day, most parents want to relax and take it easy, not focus on lectures, textbooks and tests.

For those parents who still want to learn, even with everything else stacked against them, there is an option. Online school can be an ideal solution for busy parents. Below, we discuss all the benefits of enrolling in an online course.

parents should focus on online learning

Online school is on your schedule

For many parents, the biggest complaint that they have about not being able to pursue their dreams of higher education is that they simply don’t have the time. They have their children and their related needs and emergencies, along with everything else that goes along with being a parent. Having a structured school schedule and classes just isn’t feasible.

However, with online school, parents are able to study on their own schedule. If they need to commit to learning during the early morning, they can. If they need to make time to study during the night, they can do that too. Many of the classes and courses are pre-recorded and you can access all the resources online. This means you just need to make sure that you are taking the time to learn about everything you need. 

Having the ability to attend online school, all without your schedule getting in the way, can be extremely helpful for anyone who wants to pursue a higher education. However, for parents who really want to focus on getting the work done on a busy timetable, it can be invaluable. 

Additionally, you just need an internet connection, meaning that you can learn from anywhere. If you are constantly on the go, you can listen to your courses in the car. Alternatively, if you are stuck somewhere with a long wait time, you can optimize the use of your time with your courses. This flexibility is wonderful, and it allows parents to devote a lot of their time to learning and work.

Learning at your pace

You aren’t just learning on your own schedule, but also at your own pace. Everyone has different subjects and items that they really struggle with and others they are very good at. In a traditional school setting, you will find that you are pushed along at the pace of the classroom. This means spending a lot of time either sitting in lectures about things you already know or being rushed through material that you don’t know yet.

With online learning, you can focus on learning at your own speed. Even if you know the material, sometimes it can be difficult for you to fully absorb and understand it because you are constantly being interrupted. Whether you are constantly needing to take care of a newborn or needing to respond to a bunch of family emergencies, these interruptions can hinder your focus.

In a traditional school environment and even in a live classroom, the constant interruptions mean that you miss a lot of things. However, with a pre-recorded course, you can simply pause the video or the recording and attend to the emergency. Then, you will be able to come back to it and continue learning without having to miss anything.

Additionally, you can easily breeze through a lot of the topics that you know already, and then spend more time on the topics you don’t know as much about. This will help you gain a dedicated understanding of the subject matter and will help you prepare for the test or project at the end of the course. If you love the idea of self-paced progression, then this is the option for you!

The courses are diverse

Another great thing about learning online is that there are so many online courses available. If you don’t like the teacher or aren’t resonating with the content, then you can simply find another piece of content that you do like. Sometimes all it takes is a teacher who you don’t gel with to cause a lot of problems with your learning. You might discover that you know what the material is all about, but how it is presented is causing problems for you.

Thankfully, you can find all sorts of online courses that are designed for working professionals and busy parents. For example, you can find plenty of options for an Online Masters School Counseling course available through reputable institutions such as St. Bonaventure University Online. If you want to help kindergarten through high school students reach their goals and become better people, then a Master of Science in Education in School Counseling is a good option. With 100% online coursework and placement support for your local area, this program prepares you for the licensed professional counselor exam.

You will learn everything you need to know to help students overcome challenges, including counseling in a group, counseling different cultures and using play therapy. 

Courses are often cost effective

Money problems are often second only to time problems in the world of parents. Even if parents do have the time to attend and focus on education at a traditional institution, they often find that everything is so expensive that there is no point. In many cases, online courses can help you get the same education at a reduced price! Courses are cost-effective and you may pay much less than you would for a traditional in-person program.

Money problems are real, and they are only going to increase as children get older. To say nothing of all the other factors that can affect the value of your local currency. Getting a good education and a good job can help you focus on making more money, and then you can put that money back into your family. Find some courses, get a good look at some of the average prices, and then focus on saving up and starting to learn!

You will be able to find people like you

It can be very hard to network as a parent, especially because your networking often focuses on other parents. Now, they might be good, hard working people, but they aren’t likely to have anything to contribute related to your work. In many online course scenarios, you are not taking the course alone. Instead, you are working alongside other people who want to learn the same things that you do.

There are plenty of opportunities to network and connect with people in your classes. You might need to peer review, complete group projects or otherwise connect with your fellow students. Even if you don’t connect with the people around you, you can get to know the instructors. 

Many of the instructors for these online courses know what they are doing, and you can connect with them in order to access some much-needed resources. They might be able to point you in the direction of additional resources, mentors or opportunities if you show that you are doing the work and care about the subject matter.

Having the ability to access some peer support and networking opportunities will also serve to help you in the future, so make sure that you are taking advantage of it. It can be extremely easy to simply isolate yourself while working on online courses, and then you never talk to anyone. However, if you focus on connecting with all the people working alongside you, you might find some real advantages thanks to those connections.

A positive role model for your children

Finally, showing that you still want to grow and learn new skills can make your children smile. If you have younger children, or even older children who understand exactly what you are doing, then you can demonstrate how you can make time for learning. It is very easy to blame lack of time, money and growth for your current situation. However, it is much harder to do something about it.

If you are showing your children that you can always find the time to better yourself, no matter what, then that is a lesson they will learn. Additionally, you can show your children that you are also able to achieve a goal and use that education to get a job that you enjoy. If your children are at the age where they are questioning the value of their education, your renewed vigor into your own learning might help them out.

Spend more time with your family

Finally, you won’t be commuting to a new college every single day to further your education. If you are constantly working and then going to school at the end of the workday, then you will be spending a lot more gas money and a lot less time with your family. However, having the ability to study from home means that you are able to spend more time with your family.

This can be extremely beneficial, especially with younger children who really need the support of parents. You will also get to spend more moments with your children, which every parent really likes to be around for.

How to get started with online education as a parent

Of course, we could rattle off the benefits of online education all day long. However, the best thing that you can do is to focus on how to get started with online education as a parent. Even if you have found a course, paid for it, and are excited to learn the material and earn the degree, you might still find that fitting the course into your busy life is a struggle.

Here’s what you need to do in order to make sure that you can start and succeed with your online education: 

Talk to your family

For starters, your family needs to know about everything that you are doing. Talk to them about the expectations of the course, what you are going to be doing and when you plan to study. If you have young children and are a stay-at-home parent, you need to tell them what you will be doing and that you might need to be left alone.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask your spouse for help and support. They might need to take charge while you are working, or they might be able to help you with your studying. If you can take on the entire process as a family, you will be one step closer to true success. 

Find time when you are alone

You will have some time in your house when you are alone. That may be whenever everyone else is napping, or early in the morning or late at night. You might need to make some sacrifices in order to find the time for your education, but it will be worth it. Don’t be afraid to focus on carving out some time for yourself to study, and then guard that time.

Tell your family that you shouldn’t be disturbed for the duration of your study time, and then do your best to minimize distractions. Close doors, put on your headphones and leave your phone in another room. You want to be 100% focused on studying, and that means that you should get the work done without distraction. It might take a while for you to get into that zone while working, but once you do, you will find that you can get a lot done!

Take notes and ask for help

Finally, the type of learning that online education requires isn’t static. You need to ensure that you are actively taking notes, focusing on what is being said, answering questions and completing the activities required of you. The more actively engaged you are with learning the material, the better it will stick in your brain. Additionally, don’t be afraid to focus on reviewing your notes.

Reread the content on your own time and make sure that you fully understand the material, and then if you need more help, ask for it. Many online courses have ways to allow you to contact the teachers. You can submit questions, call during office hours or simply send them an email and ask your questions. The more that you can connect with your teachers and get the help you need, the better it will be for you.

Take care of yourself

Even if you have the ability to handle school, parenting, life and everything else, you will still find that you need to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to relax, turn your brain off and just focus on your self-care. Do something on your own or with your spouse that makes you happy and allows yourself to rest. Not only does resting have all sorts of benefits, but it also allows your brain to take the time to absorb everything that you have been learning.

Putting the time to rest in your schedule is a good idea, but it can be so easy to forget about as you are focused on getting through day-to-day life. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you don’t forget about it. Take care of yourself and enlist your family and friends to remind you to take a break once in a while. It will be extremely helpful for you in the long run in all areas of your life.

Online learning can be a lifesaver for busy parents

As a busy parent, you might find that continuing your education seems like an impossible task. However, the benefits are well worth the effort. Look into the various options you have, ensure that you want to pursue a degree based on those options and then get started with working towards your goal.

You will need to work with your family, friends, teachers and fellow classmates to make it all work. However, it will eventually be worth it when you get your degree and are able to take advantage of the benefits that it will provide to both you and your family! 

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