Learning from home comes with many advantages. The flexibility to learn when, where and how you want. No classrooms, a healthy work-study balance YET one of the hardest things you will encounter is trying to study in the holidays – especially if you’ve got children.
Naturally, you want to spend time with your family and do fun activities. However, you also need to make time to study so you don’t get behind or miss any deadlines.
So, what can you do? How can you successfully study when your family and children are also off?
Here are our top tips for studying during the school holidays:
- Create a schedule – you need to be honest with your family about your study needs, so you don’t sacrifice your learning in a bid to please everyone. Instead, by being open about your schedule and showing them when you need to study and when you’re free, you can work together to create a plan of action that suits everyone.
- Plan your schedule in advance of the holidays and share it with your family;
- Be realistic – the honest truth is, you probably won’t get as much done as you normally would when your kids are at school. This means, be realistic with your goals and don’t be overly ambitious.
- Pace your studies – spread them out across the entire holiday and do them at convenient times. This will stop you from feeling overwhelmed or doing any last-minute studying;
- Use your calendar and try to schedule your studies into 20-30 minute bursts – these will be easier to slot in than trying to find a spare 2-3 hours here and there;
- Look for ways to save time on your daily tasks – chores, meal prep, etc. will all cut into your study time, so where possible try to find ways to save time;
- Meal prep – cook in bulk and freeze what you can. TIP: before your next weekly shop, sit down and plan out your meals for the week. Once you know what you need, you can order your food online and have it delivered to your house. This will save you time from having to do the shop yourself;
- Get your family to help with chores – set up a reward system for your kids. This will entice them into helping whilst allowing you to study (as they set about completing the chores);
- Re-think your chores – for instance, how clean does your house really need to be. If you know over the hols, you’ll be out a lot seeing family, visiting friends and attending dinners – so will be out of the house a great deal – slow down on your cleaning and give yourself a small break.
- Create a study space – if you haven’t got one of these already, then we suggest making one as this space will be somewhere you can retreat, get all your stuff done and store your materials. For instance, with a dedicated space there will be no need to pack up/set up every time you want to study – cutting into your actual study time. Instead, you will be able to instantly pick up from where you last left off.
- If you’ve got a spare room, nab it. If you haven’t, find a room that is rarely used and where you won’t be disturbed. More importantly, choose a space that is calm, relaxing and where you won’t get easily distracted. NOTE: make sure your kids know this room is off-limits when you’re studying. You can achieve this by letting them when you’ll next be free. This will deter them from interrupting you;
- Create storage – this tip is useful if you haven’t got a designated space, as you can safely store your materials until the next time, you’re ready to learn.
As you can see from these initial tips, there are tricks you can use that will enable you to successfully study during the holidays.
In our next post, we’ll cover more ideas of how to separate your studies from your family time, without having to making sacrifices to either.