If you’re a mom pursuing your education or career training online, or if you are thinking about online education, you have probably wondered how you are going to get your studying done while still caring for children! Here are 5 study hacks for the stay at home mom.
And, as any mom may understand, there are literally not enough hours in the day to do all the things. So, what’s a mom to do?
We’ve compiled a list of helpful hacks for study-at-home moms who need to squeeze every opportunity to study. Some of them are unconventional, but they do give you a few more minutes every day to get your study time in!
Hack #1 Listen to your textbook
Okay, okay. So not every textbook is available in audio format, but you can find some! More importantly, we do know of an incredible FREE resource where you can take any digital text and copy it into a program that will read it to you. Granted there are programs you can purchase that may have better-sounding voices, but Central Access Reader (CAR) seems to do the trick. Now you can do dishes and listen to your text! With this FREE program you can even convert it to a digital audio file. That way when you are chauffeuring your children to and from school you can squeeze in just a few more minutes. This makes for a great first read of a chapter, or you can use it as a refresher of what you just studied.
Hack #2 Memorize in the shower
On the rare occasion you actually get a shower (because when do we have time to shower?), you can actually put those two minutes to better use. Take a plastic cover sheet and put your vocabulary or notes in, and tape it to the wall of your shower. Maybe you are one of our medical transcription or coding and billing students and you have a ton of medical terminology to learn. This is a great opportunity to sneak in a few, somewhat quiet minutes to memorize terms. Another option is to tape a plastic cover sheet on your mirror while you do your makeup, or on the wall above your kitchen sink, so you can sneak in just a few more minutes as you do your dishes.
Hack #2 Carry your notes with you
Do you sit and wait in line to pick up your kids from school? That is a potential moment to get some studying done! Throw your most recent notes into your purse so that when you are sitting and waiting to pick up kids from school, you can study. You might even purposely plan to be early somewhere so you can sit in the parking lot or waiting room to slip in a few more minutes of study. In our technologically advanced world, you can even take notes on your phone and carry them everywhere. We recommend the app for Microsoft One Note to help you organize and keep track of all of your notes because it will sync from computer to phone—you’ll never lose your notes again!
Hack #3 Cancel out the noise
To some moms, the noise of kiddos playing is just white, background noise. Personally, we think that this type of mom is as rare as a unicorn, but may still possibly exist. For the rest of us, sometimes putting the baby to bed early is the next best thing. Try to put your babies to bed at least three hours before you will be going to sleep, so you have an uninterrupted study time AND you can get some sleep too! If your children are older, or you have another adult help in the house to help, go ahead and purchase some noise canceling headphones to keep things quiet in your mind.
Hack #4 Use an app for EVERYTHING
With the advancement of technology, there are few of us who leave our homes without a smartphone.
And with dozens of apps geared toward studying, there are endless possibilities of how you can study on-the-go. Many of our students may want a medical dictionary to help them understand new words or terminology. Need a flashcard app? Here’s a great one that turns your flashcards into games. Want apps for specific study topics? Search your app store for any topic and see what comes up! Or use YouTube for free videos on specific subject matter.
This tiny pocket computer is a game-changer for studying, but can also help you organize budget, home chores, plan meals, your closet, to-do lists, and your schedule! Plus, your phone always goes with you, so you never have to search the house for that envelope you wrote on.
Hack #5 Trade out babysitting
Even when you use all of the above hacks, you might find that you still don’t have enough time. Why not volunteer to trade babysitting with another mom in your neighborhood? Switch off for 2-3 hours once a week. You’ll be surprised at how much you can get done in a quiet house! And don’t be afraid to call on family or close friends to care for your littles or house while you study.