You’ve made the big decision to head back to school for occupational therapy graduate programs, but you’re starting to sweat over what’s actually going to happen during these first few semesters. After all, you’ve already got a ton of responsibilities at work, and, as a single parent, your kids need you. However, anything is possible. Read on to discover how to ease your way back into higher education.
1. Don’t even try to do it alone.
You’re going to need a strong support network, so look around and identify your strongest team players. Tell them about your plans to head back to school and how much you’re counting on them to help you through tough times ahead. If you don’t already have this kind of support, check out the resources at the learning institution you’ve selected.
2. Aim to nab the most consistent childcare on the market.
Finding a good babysitter is one of the most complicated tasks facing single parents on their way back to school. Without proper childcare, new students won’t be able to find the time they need to attend classes and study outside their homes. Many universities offer on-campus childcare services or local references.
3. Identify and maintain realistic goals.
Whatever you want to accomplish by going back to school, make sure it stays in the forefront of your mind so that, when the going gets rough, you’ll remember why you’re working so hard. Organize your priorities so that you can meet your main goals; you may not have time to do everything you used to do, but it’ll be worth it in the long run.
4. Engage your kids in helping you through school.
By contributing a little bit more in terms of household chores, your kids will be able to help you quite a bit. You can also help them stay on top of their class work by sitting down and having simultaneous homework sessions. Sit your kids down and have a talk about what they can expect in the coming semesters, and provide them with reward incentives for their extra hard work.
5. Stay as organized as possible.
Now that your time is extremely limited, it’s best to use all of it wisely. If you have no choice but to work full-time as you care for your kids and attend classes, planning your actions in a date or book or calendar is all but essential. Being prepared for things to go slightly wrong can also be a great timesaver. Get your kids used to their new routines and responsibilities in the weeks before you start classes.
For more information on student-centered graduate programs, visit RMUoHP.com.