Studying in a vocational college can be a difficult task for many ordinary students who leave school straight for college. For someone who decides to take up a vocational course after they have children, this can even be more difficult. Going back to vocational college after you are a mother or father is more difficult because most of the times you have extra responsibilities that your peers may not have. It may also involve having to give up a job or working less hours in order to make time for studying. For this reason, you need to follow some tips to help you manage.
It’s understandable why some parents would want to return to vocational college after they have children. A vocational qualification comes with a number of benefits. The kind of skills people get from a vocational college is in demand. This can help a parent to get a job which pays more. With the extra responsibilities that you have as a parent, any extra pay that comes with better qualifications will be much appreciated. However, like everything else in life, nothing improves overnight. When you return to vocational college you will be faced with a number of challenges.
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Acknowledge it will be challenging…
Surmounting challenges is much easier if you acknowledge them. Starting a vocational course as a parent will be challenging and you have to recognize this. Acknowledging the challenge ensures that as you return to college, you know exactly what you are facing. Issues that you will need to consider will include whether you have enough money to look after the kids while you are studying. Will you need to continue working or are you going to be supported by a partner? You will also need to understand that some of your family time will have to be taken up by studying.
Understanding the challenges ensures that you are prepared for them when you eventually meet them. Also, when you know what you are up against, will help you resolve that the challenges will not stop you from meeting your goal. Going into something challenging like vocational education when you are a parent requires this kind of resolve.
Select a school that meets the needs of parents
As a parent, you will most likely find yourself not being able to attend lessons when your child is sick or something else like that. This is the reason why you will need to find a vocational school that has eligibility and attendance policies that are friendly to people in your situation. There are certain vocational colleges that don’t treat not being in school as a result of parenting or pregnancy as an absence. If you enroll in a vocational school that has strict attendance policies, you may not successfully complete your course.
If it’s not possible to find a kind of part-time learning vocational college, you will then need to ensure that you make arrangements for someone to look after the kids or take them to the doctor on days when they are not well.
Look for child care services in your area
In the United States and other developed countries, the government offers child care assistance for parents who want to return to college. Hence, it would be a good idea to check if you can receive child care support while you go to vocational college. Apart from assistance with child care, you could also receive financial assistance to take care of other bills like electricity and other utilities.
Set a timetable
If you are generally disorganized, this will have to change. As a parent enrolling in a vocational training program, you will have to start being organized. Having a timetable helps not only you but your children and partner to know the times when you will be busy. It will also be important to have a schedule of important dates such as when a child needs to be taken to the doctor. This helps you not to forget important things when under pressure.
The great thing is that the internet is filled with great applications such as 24me. This is an application that automatically sends you reminders, helping you not to never miss an important event. This application takes your to-do-list, calendar, and notes into one place. It can also synch with other applications so that it automatically does certain tasks for you like sending congratulation messages to your friends on their birthdays. You can also use it to share notes with fellow students. This is an example of an app that runs your life for you.
Ask for help
No matter how dedicated you are, doubling vocational training with parenting will always leave you short of time. This is the reason why you will need to set up a network or people you can turn to when you need help. For example, when you feel that you are under pressure, ask a relative or friend to look after the children. Make arrangements with other parents in vocational schools to take turns looking after each other’s kids. The advantage of this is that it doesn’t have to cost you money to have someone look after your kids when you are really busy.
Work with the kids
If you are a parent of a child or children who are much older, you can study at the same time as they do. This will help you to study while also enjoying some productive time with the kids. This will also help mitigate against the feeling that your studies are compromising the time you are having with the kids.
While no one can pretend that vocational training and raising kids is easy, this should never stop a parent from achieving their vocational qualification dream. If you prepare adequately and take the advice above seriously, a vocational qualification will become a reality. No matter what you do, ensure that you build a network of people around you to assists during times when you are under pressure.