Tips Needed ★ Studying from Home

June 5, 2013 by flyingdrunkenmonkey


So I may be crazy but I enrolled for a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping through Open Colleges. It’s all online, self-paced and I have up to 2 years to complete it. When it’s completed I will be able to manage the books for Mr Monkey when he starts his own business. I’ll also be able to contract my services out to other businesses, enabling me to work from home while the girls are growing up. Although I already have access to all of the materials for the course, I don’t have to start until the beginning of July. Of course, being self-paced I could really start whenever I wanted.

I’m currently alternating between thinking that this is a fantastic idea and will set us up well for the future, and that I’m crazy and I’m never going to be able to manage studying online and looking after a toddler and a newborn.

Being a self-paced course is excellent as it means I’m not restricted by deadlines but I am also worried that will mean I will get lazy and will do the study/assignments “when I get around to it”. Sometimes I need structure and deadlines in order to get my butt in to gear.

In my most anxiety-ridden moments I think about how hard I struggle to keep the house clean, blog routinely, have Lily doing things other than watching TV all day, and then wonder how on earth I’m going to add in a minimum of 5 hours study a week as well?!?

Of course, I know my main issue is laziness. I could do much more, and on my more motivated days I do, but half of the time I just can’t be bothered.

So, I know I will have to set myself a routine, set myself some deadlines and kick myself in the butt and stay motivated. I already know I can do most of the subject matter – I did Accounting for a year as part of an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality and actually got a High Distinction. Of course, that was before I had two kids and seemingly lost most of my brain cells. But at that time I was also living on minimal sleep as I was working full time, studying full time, travelling 4 hours a week for study plus planning my wedding. This should be simple in comparison!

So do you have any fantastic tips for me for managing studying at home with a toddler and newborn?

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  1. FABULOUS!!!! Congratulations!!! Thats a great idea – and one I have been looking at too! I have no studying tips.. but if you are watching tv when you should be studying.. get up and move to the table :)
    Yvette @ Little Bento Blog recently posted…It’s a me! Super Mario CakeMy Profile

    • Cassie says:

      haha funny you should say that! I haven’t sat at the computer desk in ages. All of my computer work gets done on the laptop on the couch with the TV on in the background.

  2. CJ says:

    I study through OUA for a BA majoring in ‘literature and communication’ and ‘history and politics’. I’m also doing a diploma of Business and Management through an online learning place called Evoca, which is pretty good!

    I’ve had study periods where I got nothing done. When Ari was born I took a study period off, and Any number of other times I’ve taken on less than a full course load because life just wasn’t going to continue otherwise. Be realistic, be KIND to yourself, and when you fall off, miss something, or muck something up, forgive yourself and don’t let it stop you.

    Hubby and I have set up one day a week (Saturday) which is MINE to go into the bedroom and study, read, write, whatever I want to do. Right now he works 3 days a week and I’m a SAHM/writer (for all the money that pulls in LoL), but he recognizes that study is important and in the future it’ll make a big difference to us. I don’t think I could do this without his support!

    I did my Media Law exam on Monday, waiting for results now!
    CJ recently posted…My ‘not brothers’My Profile

    • Cassie says:

      Sounds like you’ve got great support! I’m sure Mr Monkey would do this for me but with his hours it’s not really possible. I do have Fridays when Lily is in childcare but I still have Chloe.

      Thanks so much for the tips and good luck with your results!

      • CJ says:

        It’s hard with the baby (she’s 7 months now) – My 3 year degree will have taken me 6 by the time I’m finished next year (but they give you 10, which is good). When in doubt, find a study buddy – even if it’s just someone on twitter or something that you can complain about the work load with. It’s amazing how much having a good complain can help sometimes Lol
        CJ recently posted…My ‘not brothers’My Profile

        • Cassie says:

          Mr Monkey’s degree took him 5 I think as he had to go part-time as he was also working full-time when Lily was born.

          Study buddy is a good idea! I think you can set that up through the course :)

  3. Trish says:

    Sorry no tips except be organised and set yourself a schedule to study when hubby is at home sometimes, regular time, every week – shut the door and leave him to it.
    Trish recently posted…PouringMy Profile

    • Cassie says:

      I don’t like enroaching on Mr Monkey’s time off as he gets so little of it but I think I’m going to have to start taking an hour or two when I can. Thanks!

  4. Open education is such a great idea. I would suggest booking in an hour at night, on a couple of nights, that your partner takes over. And if you are a wine drinker you will have to abstain! Too many of my best laid plans fall apart if I have a wine. And a couple of hours on the weekend too. I think it’s really great for a dad to have some one-on-one time with their kids. You might need to get out of the house though – I always work well in the local library.
    Rachel @ The Kids Are All Right recently posted…Argumentative teenagers – when is it time to get help?My Profile

    • Cassie says:

      Sounds perfect but with Mr Monkey being a chef it’s rather hard to get that time. Thankfully I can’t drink wine at the moment (breastfeeding), so that’s not a problem. And as Chloe is still only new I’d only get an hour or so out of the house at the moment. But definitely something to think about later! :)

  5. I completed my studies by distance ed pre-kids but with a demanding job to work around. It took me almost 6 years to complete but I just kept chipping away. There were times when I couldn’t be bothered & I had to push myself, or drop units & come back to them. I had deadlines for submission that kept me on track but I did struggle sometimes. Knowing you want to complete it for all the right reasons will keep you motivated, but as CJ wrote – be kind to yourself – you will get there!
    Jodie@FreshHomeCook recently posted…Coconut, Lime & Papaya Surprise MuffinsMy Profile

    • Cassie says:

      Thanks Jodie! I think I will try and work out my own deadlines for each unit and try to stick to it. But yes, I will definitely be kind to myself :)

  6. Kevin says:

    Good choice… but a tough one. I did some post-graduate stuff a few years ago. I missed one exam because my first daughter was being born.

    My 2 tips…

    1) have somewhere to work that’s away from everyone else, preferably when little ones are asleep
    2) Make sure your partner is really behind you. I couldn’t have got through it without her being really understanding and supportive
    Kevin recently posted…Sex to Sleep – Top 5 ways to avoid getting sick from your kidsMy Profile

    • Cassie says:

      Thanks for the tips! Yes, I’m beginning to think I need to set up a study area instead of just using the laptop on the couch. And thankfully Mr Monkey is very supportive.

  7. You’re a braver woman than I. I just have enough motivation to write from home – but then I get paid for it so kinda have to. I hope it goes well Cassie!
    Emily @ Have a laugh on me recently posted…The movies – a place where you can undo your pants and enjoy two hours of pleasure!My Profile

  8. Good on you! Wish I had the discipline to do some external study. But then again maybe I should take my own advice. ‘If it’s important, you’ll find a way. if not, you’ll find excuses’.
    No advice here but I’ll be on the sidelines cheering you on.

  9. Keira says:

    Good luck with study! I am about to start studying as well. My little guy is 9.5 months so he’s not a newborn. But my tips would be;
    1) Create a space where you can study
    2) Study in short sessions when bub is napping

    I find it easier to commit to 10min reading rather than committing to say 1 chapter.
    Keira recently posted…Becoming a Working MumMy Profile

    • Cassie says:

      That’s a very good point! I was thinking in terms of setting aside an hour or two each day but I think I might be better at looking at 1/2 an hour periods during the day.

  10. Nicky way says:

    Invest in one day a week having your kids minded it makes it much easier. Otherwise u need to commit to when the kids go to bed u study. I have just started back after two years off and I found it does get eAsier I have 3 1/2 year old and 10 mth old

    • Cassie says:

      Hi Nicky! Lily goes to daycare every Friday so that makes it a little easier. For the moment Chloe is probably too long to be looked after but it’s probably something we’ll look at it in the future.

  11. Hello, a girlfriend of mine embarked on her MBA the year she had her first child as she thought she’d be bored. For her second child she launched her own business. I admired her mentalness. I admire yours too. You’ll do brilliantly. She said that everything since then has seemed quite cruisy. Can’t imagine why? :-) x

  12. Emily says:

    I work full time from home, and also take care of my baby on my own – no question it can be hard, especially when you find yourself staring at a screen more than at your darling child. But you’ll find that there are periods in the day and in the week when you can get a lot done without distractions, eg when your darling is asleep, or when you suddenly find all the housework done and the dinner cooked. Focus on working at your studies in these times, and don’t worry too much about the others – enjoy the chaos!
    Emily recently posted…Travelling with Children – Part IIMy Profile

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