28 Sep HELP! Studying Seems Impossible
After a little over one week, it’s finally starting to set in that I finally passed the California Marriage and Family Therapy Clinical Exam! It has been one LONG journey, but I’ll save that story for another day. I just remember feeling like there was no way I’d be able to study. No, I don’t work a full-time job outside of our home, but I do have additional responsibilities. I am a wife and homeschooling mommy. I work part-time for our church, do some work for a homeschool curriculum here and there, started blogging and taking a blogging course during this time. Needless to say, we all have our own obstacles when deciding to further our education in any way. Once I was able to purchase study materials, I was very uncertain of how things would work out, or where this “additional” time to study would come from.
Initially, I would attempt to study and begin falling asleep or become distracted by the many things going on in our home. I began praying for direction and asking others how they made it work, and about two months later, I was able to develop somewhat of a study routine. I took my exam September 19, 2017, and was able to slay my giant by the grace of God. Yes, my situation is unique to me, but the opportunity to rise above our circumstance is available to us all. I did it, and you can do it too!
Are you in school? Studying for a certification, licensure, etc?
Many of you are currently in school and wondering, “What was I thinking?” While some of you wanted to go back to school this fall but put it off again, for just one more semester?
Do you dream of furthering your education or knowledge in a specific area but don’t think it’s possible with children? If so, I am writing this for you. My hope is to encourage you, a working spouse with kids, to continue to follow your dreams. Change your perspective from one of “there’s no way I can do it with kids” to “I want my kids to see that they can do all things through Christ who gives them strength.” You have or have had these dreams and desires for a reason.
Before you give up or say no, check out these tips for possible ways of getting it done. Be encouraged by other parents who have been where you are now but have found the strength, time, and energy needed to successfully conquer a higher level of education, licensure, and individual coursework. Enjoy the following tips, which I compiled with input from Angela Hall, LCSW (2017), Taurean Clark, MBA (2017), and Dominique Clark, LVN (2017).
Survival Tips for Parents in School
- Carve out time to study, and stick to it as often as possible.
- To minimize distractions, study while your school-aged kids are playing at the park or somewhere they can be entertained. If they are in extracurricular activities, study while waiting.
- Study before the house wakes up, during naps, or immediately after the kids’ bedtime when it’s quiet.
- Get creative: listen to audio lessons while in your car, create songs to sing your notes, tape your note cards in your drawers, pantries, etc.
- Set a playdate schedule with a friend so that you can study when it’s your friend’s turn to watch the kids.
- Utilize your village.
- Communicate. Let your spouse and kids know that you are going back to school, taking a class, studying for an exam, etc. and discuss how they can help you succeed.
- Study in small increments (ie. 30 minutes a day), at a set time, and make it consistent. This way the kids will become use to your study schedule and know what to expect.
- Manage your time wisely.
- Realize this will be a season of give and take. Be ok with both giving and taking, for greater balance.
- Set your schedule based off of your priorities. Don’t forget to prioritize your spouse and children.
- Be flexible. I know, this may sound contradictory to tip number 1. But, we want to remind you to have your plan and stick to it as often as possible, but be ok with a change of plans. You may have had to forgo study time one day. So, add in extra study time on a day that allows for more time to catch up.
- Give yourself grace and extend it to those you are around.
- Stay focused on your goal, and know that you CAN do it.
- Pray without ceasing. Give it all to God.
If you are back in school or studying for a license/certification, stay encouraged. If something isn’t working for you, change your plan. You can do it! If you have been putting off school, course work, or studying to be licensed, don’t put it off any longer. Go for it! No matter what your situation may be, God knew it would be so, and He will help you through it. Your children will see your obedience, diligence, flexibility, perseverance, endurance, courage and more. And it will help develop godly character in them as well. You have this. Now GO FOR IT!
About Angela Hall:
Angela Hall, LCSW is the beautiful wife and mommy of 3, and somehow finds time to balance it all! Taking care of her family, working for the County in the Department of Health and Human Services, Black Infant Health Program, serving her community, while studying to be licensed as a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Angela has persevered and endured through many trials, while finding time to encourage other women to do the same. You will often find Angela not only caring for her own children, but brining someone else’s child along with them. Even in the midst of of finishing school, obtaining internship hours, and studying for not one, but two exams, Angela continued to prioritize her family and career.
About Taurean and Dominique Clark:
Taurean and Dominique are amazing parents of two, who have overcome many obstacles to get where they are today. Taurean and Dominique both work full-time jobs, raise 2 full-time student athletes, all while serving in their community and completing their degrees. Tauren and Dominique were recently blessed to graduate together from National University. Tauren earned his Masters in Human Resources and currently works as a contracting specialist for US Department of Defense. Dominique earned her Bachelors in Public Health and works as a Care Coordinator in Case Management for Sharps Hospital. Taurean has also been blessed with the opportunity to obtain his doctoral degree! Check out part of their story here.