Not too long ago, we talked about some of the benefits you can get from being a working parent. While it may be tough to find a balance between work and family, your role as a working parent can be beneficial for your children.

Aside from maintaining a career, you also have the option to start your own business or go back to school. The latter is becoming more and more popular among parents, especially since there are now online programs in various fields that you can complete from home.

Getting started with going back to school is also easier than you think. To help you take that first step, here are some tips and tricks you can follow.

Pursue Your Passion

Online courses are easy to find these days. Reputable schools such as Merrimack College are making their programs more accessible. There are lots of programs to choose from too. You can, for instance, enroll in the 36-credit English as a Second Language program from Merrimack. The ESL master’s degree online is formulated with professionals and working moms in mind, so you should have no trouble at all completing the program and earning a degree.

What’s perhaps most important is choosing which course to take in the first place. One of the challenges you will face along the way is staying motivated, and this is certainly a challenge that you can overcome easily if you are already passionate about the field you are studying.

Be the Master of Your Time

Before you enroll in an online program, it is important to review the course requirements and the kind of load you can expect should you go ahead. With an understanding of the course load, it will be much easier to manage your time accordingly.

Ideally, you want to allocate one or two hours every day for studying and working on course assignments. It is best to set aside those two hours so you can focus on school. Better focus leads to a more effective learning experience.

Time management is also needed when you have other things to deal with and you have to choose between family and school. You will have to be able to replace the time you take out of the allocated study time to maintain balance and pace.

Set Objectives

One last thing to do before deciding to enroll in a program or an online course is setting the objectives you want to achieve. Why do you want to take the course and pursue a degree? Is it a way to achieve your personal dreams? Will you be using the degree to return to professional life once your children are old enough?

Set clear goals and visualize how you will achieve them; the higher the goals the better. Once again, having clear goals that you know you can achieve will help you stay motivated for longer. The rest should be easy from there, especially since online programs like the ones from Merrimack College mentioned earlier are designed to be very flexible. They are perfect for stay-at-home moms and professionals alike.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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