Mom doing homework with child
Every parent knows how hard it can be to finish even the simplest tasks with kids at home during summer break. At Grantham University, there are many stay-at-home moms and dads who juggle watching their children with their online courses in the summer. Those three months can be tough for student-parents. Kids get bored and want attention. Fortunately, experience has taught us some handy tips for keeping kids occupied while Mom or Dad get much-needed study time.

If you’re considering going back to school for your undergraduate or graduate degree, don’t let life get in the way. There are ways to pursue a college education, while helping your children understand the importance of solid study habits and setting goals.

1.) Create incentives for good behavior. Think back to your childhood. Didn’t it feel good to be rewarded for a job well done? Kids today have a short attention span. If you want to find an extra hour in your day for your studies, create an engaging activity list for your kids that rewards their hard work. One rule: You’re not to be disturbed during the hour of time you’ve given your kids to complete their tasks. Once the hour is up, inspect their work and reward them as you see fit. While some parents might wince at rewarding their children for expected behavior, science supports this approach.

2.) Involve your children. Ask your child to help you study (think flashcards or other methods) in exchange for earning playtime. You may be surprised by his/her excitement to help you. Sometimes, kids just want our attention and to feel included. Working with flashcards can also improve their reading and memorization.

3.) Purchase educational books and activities. Summer is a break from school, but doesn’t have to be a break from schooling. Why not order your children books that cover reading, math, science and other subjects they’ll learn in the fall? If you’re home with the kids all day, even fun things like crossword puzzles, mazes and word games can keep them occupied, and mentally sharp. If you have a little artist in your midst, paints, colored pencils and craft supplies can create hours of fun and focus – giving you the time and flexibility you need for your schoolwork.

4.) Plan ahead with your partner, family and friends. Before you jump into your online courses, prepare your partner, parents and friends who spend time with your children. If you live with a spouse, agree on times where they can watch the kids while you study uninterrupted. If you can, head to your favorite coffee shop or the local library. If your parents live close, let Grandma and Grandpa spoil their grandchildren a couple times a week.

5.) Take breaks throughout the day. Let’s face it, you’re not a machine. At some point you’ll need a break. Whether it’s a little time to relax, or just to prepare lunch for you and the kids, it’s important to pause from your studies and spend quality time with your children. Let them help you make lunch, which can build their skills in the kitchen and give them a sense of independence. Going for a walk or visiting a park can also help you break free from the mental exercise of your coursework. Even professional psychologists agree, taking breaks enhances your brain’s ability to learn.

Busy Parents Should Consider Online Degree Programs

The benefits of going back to school are usually clear. Parents, for example, who are ready to kick their professional careers into high gear can still earn a degree while caring for a toddler – thanks to the flexibility of Grantham’s online format. And, employers will like that you have the ability to balance your home life and professional responsibilities. This also says a lot about your work ethic. Just make sure you discuss your schedule and goals with family and friends, as their support is critical.

Get the Help You Need to Make the Right Decisions

If you’re thinking about going back to school, feel free to reach out to Grantham for assistance. We can help you determine the program that best fits your career path, as well as discuss ways to finance your education via financial aid, tuition reimbursement programs and scholarships. At Grantham University, you can join a community of other moms and dads who are able to focus on their careers, while still being amazing parents to the ones who matter most.