6 Tips to Create a Study Space While Parenting

Attending college while not only working, but caring for a family can be a mountainous task. However, it can also prove to be a great example to your children of all the things that are possible with the human spirit. As a parent studying at home, you navigate a unique path where the demands of parenthood intersect with academic aspirations. The familiar scene of a bustling household, filled with the laughter and energy of children, is now your study space. How do you navigate being able to focus on your studies when you have noise, children, and distractions all around you?

  1. Establish a Routine

In everything you do, children will thrive on routine. So establishing a regular routine from the moment you begin your education is foundational to successful studying at home as a parent. Some tips to do this include, but is not limited to:

  • Identify an Optimal Time – deciding this has a lot of factors – would you study better when your children are in bed or when they’re at school? When are you most alert to study?
  • Communicate your schedule – Your family should know when you are studying so they do not disturb you. Your partner should know not to interrupt, and it is important to teach your children the importance of studying unperturbed. This will help minimize distractions and maximize learning.
  • Utilize Time Blocking – Consider using time-blocking techniques to specify time for different tasks and responsibilities. For example, you might allocate morning hours for family activities, midday for work or household tasks, and evenings for focused study sessions.
  • Stay Flexible – While consistency is essential, be flexible and adaptable to changes in your family’s routine. Life as a parent is dynamic, and unexpected events or responsibilities may arise. Adjust your study schedule as needed while maintaining a commitment to your academic goals.
  1. Create a Dedicated Study Space

Where you study is almost as important as when. Your mind cannot focus if you’re in a room with rampaging toddlers or energetic children. Additionally, as a parent and someone who takes care of a home, it’s hard to study with clutter or where other tasks need to be done. For example, don’t study in a kitchen where dishes are piling up because you may distract yourself with what you need to do to keep your home.

Designate a quiet and organized study space within your home, free from distractions. Ensure that your study area is well-equipped with essential study materials, books, and supplies, allowing you to dive into your coursework without disruptions. Make it comfortable – if you study best in a soft chair with some light jazz on, do so.

  1. Involve Your Children in Productive Activities

Inevitably, children will want to be where you are. They seem to gravitate to you regardless if you’re cooking with hot oil, using the bathroom, and even when you’re in your study space. It’s unavoidable – but unmistakable for how much they look to us as role models in everything we do. Allowing your children to join you during your study time will help build studying skills of their own to utilize as they age.

Not only that, but an effective studying skill is becoming the teacher of the subject you are trying to learn. Recruit your child, if they are willing to listen, to be your student. Sometimes breaking down your subject into what is understandable for a 5 year old not only means you’ve mastered the subject but brought easier methods and tools for you to remember that information on a test or an assignment.

If they aren’t willing to be your student, send them on a mission to study or do their homework beside you. Children are mimics, and they may be more willing to do their schoolwork if you work on your own with them. This fosters a sense of cooperation and understanding – mom and dad are students just like them, they should strive for success as you do.

  1. Use Technology Wisely

The boom of technology has allowed us to study in more enriching ways than ever before. Some examples of technology use during a session could be exploring study apps, online resources, and productivity tools that enhance your learning experience; setting timers for study intervals; and utilizing noise-canceling headphones or white noise apps to create a focused study environment amidst household activities.

However, you should also utilize caution when interacting with technology during your studies. Don’t allow the use of your smart phone take you from watching informative videos about your program to scrolling through social media until it is time for bed. It’s important to unplug from digital distractions as you study so that you are using your time wisely to learn.

  1. Consider Time Management

Effective time management is essential for balancing parenting responsibilities and academic tasks. While studying is important to your education, your family and work are also important facets to your life. Dedicating too much time to one without paying attention to the others can lead to general disarray in your life.

Click here to learn how you can properly manage your time to fit not only parenting and working into your day but studying for your degree as well.

  1. Take Breaks

While many of us wish we were perfect robots that could run on and on without stopping, we are human, and our batteries run out of juice. Parenting, working, and studying are all hard things to accomplish on their own, trying to juggle all three can seem impossible some days. Make sure to take care of your mental health by taking breaks between all of the tasks you set out to do. You can do several things outside of your study space:

  • Meditation
  • Focusing on a hobby/fun activity
  • Exercise
  • Have a snack
  • Connect with friends
  • Stretch

Utilizing some of these tips, or other things that relax you, can allow your body to regulate itself and help you avoid burnout. When you have a clear mind, you can return to studying, being a parent or partner, and being an employee with better results.

Navigating the intricate balance of parenting and studying at home requires dedication, resilience, and effective strategies. By establishing a routine, creating time and space for studying, managing your time, and taking breaks, you can create a better balance between all the roles you take on in your life. You are not just a student, you are not just a parent/guardian, you are not just an employee. You wear different hats for different responsibilities, having an organized rack will help you keep them all in line. Embrace the journey of continued learning and adaptability, knowing that your resilience and determination will lead to meaningful achievements and a brighter future for you and your family.

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