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Practical steps to make study a possibility while raising a family



For most people, the thought of returning to study to embark on a new, fresh career can be complicated when they’re already juggling professional commitments. But what happens when you add raising a family to the mix?

At Monash Online, we recognise the myriad of personal and professional obligations that the average postgraduate student is likely to face, and that’s why we created one of the most flexible yet quality models of online education on offer.

Over the years, our Student Success Advisors have had thousands of interactions with people just like you that have ongoing commitments to their kids and family, but have not let that deter them from pursuing their own dreams.

Using their expertise, we’ve prepared this guide with some practical steps to help you make study a possibility too, while raising your family.

Treat your study like a job

Monash Online student Leanne Tander knows a thing or two about returning to study after over a decade of working, followed by a short career break to have kids. Leanne found that a key factor to her psychology study success was to “treat my study like work and make it a priority.”

“We’ve seen positive psychology in action with students who like Leanne, treat their study like another job,” says Scott McCallum, Team Leader, Student Success at Monash Online. 

“Their families learn to become a little more self-sufficient in the hours when mum or dad are ‘at work’, and it does wonders in making kids and partners realise that some things just have to wait,” says Scott.

Plan for the unexpected

As a parent, this is likely to be a motto you live by every day already, but it has a lot of relevance to returning to study. It’s inevitable that your kids will either become ill, forget an important project deadline or need to attend an impromptu event. To tackle such circumstances, it pays to create a list of trusted carers or babysitters who can be available on short notice, before you commit to studying.

Make it all about the family

There’s no greater reward of being part of a family than when you’re all helping each other to succeed and be the best version of yourselves. Leverage this important benefit by planning and organising a six-week schedule that involves your kids and your partner too.

“We’ve found that when your whole family is involved in creating a family timetable that covers the six weeks you’ll need to devote to study, they’re more prepared and are onboard with the upcoming changes,” says Scott, Student Success Advisor.

“That way, everyone is invested in your success and it won’t feel like it’s something that’s keeping you away from your loved ones,” continues, Scott.

The Monash Online Study Time Planner, is also a great tool designed to take your daily routine, family and work commitments into account, and give you an idea of how much time you can devote to study every teaching period.

Create a home ‘office’ worthy of a leading CEO

Keeping in line with our advice to treat your study like a job, it makes sense that you will need a home ‘office’ that’s also conducive to study success. Whilst we’ve got some great tips of our own about creating the ideal study space, we also encourage you to read recommendations from some of the world’s leading CEO’s about what you’ll need. Hint - it includes a door or two.

For more tailored advice and ideas on how you can fit study around your family and other commitments, call a Monash Online Course Consultant today on 1300 655 671 or book a consultation at a time that suits you.