Shhh, Mom's Got Homework

by Alicia Kaminski

I wanted to share some ideas I had on continuing education outside of the classroom. Many stay-at-home parents are discouraged when it comes to continuing their own education. They may have started college and never finished (like myself) or never got the chance to start. For many, they feel that it is necessary to put their own education on hold while they are raising their children. Although parenting is an education in itself and such a vital role, I'm sure it is not the only subject parents want to learn about. Maybe they cannot afford to take even one class at the local college or feel they don't have the time or energy to study for their class. I have found a very simple way to continue their own education and do it without spending but a few dollars on supplies. It is very easy:

  1. Start by making a list of the subjects that interest you or that you want to learn about like becoming an accountant or a gourmet chef or life in Italy or real estate or learning a foreign language, whatever.

  2. Go to the library and find books on your subject. Just like your kids do for a school report. Go through magazines or other resources that you might have access to find more material. Talk to family, friends or other people who might be of help to your particular subject.

  3. They might have old materials from their school experiences. Maybe you want to take a trip to Mexico someday. If you know someone who is Hispanic, they could help you answer questions, or teach you the language. Go to used bookstores or look at the discounted books in your local retail bookstore. Take out your dictionary and thesaurus. Dust off your typewriter and calculator. Brush up on your typing skills.

  4. Stop by the store and buy a couple of inexpensive single subject notebooks and some pencils. Maybe a three ring binder with dividers and loose leaf paper or some folders. This is an inexpensive way to treat yourself to new materials. It will help to fuel the fire about becoming a student again.

  5. Set aside time when you know you can study. Like when the kids are doing homework, having quiet time or early in the morning before everyone else gets up. Commit to your personal time just like you would if you really were going to school.

  6. Read, take notes, do research, use your computer and magazines to assist you in your studies. As far as everyone is concerned, you are now a student. Quiz yourself. Have your kids or husband help. Their support will help you to continue on with your studies. Especially since you don't have an instructor to push you other than yourself. Get into your subject as much as you can. Do a report on it. Become an "expert" on it.

  7. Your process of learning will never end but when you feel like you have learned enough about your subject for now, move on to the next on your list. Study several subjects at a time just like you would in a regular college. You don't need to be in a formal school setting to continue your education. You do need to be just as, if not more, committed though. If you continue this type of studying, imagine what a benefit it will be when you are able to go back to a formal college. You'll be prepped and ready to go!

This will do wonders for every stay-at-home parent. It will help their self esteem and build their range of knowledge. It will help to make them feel more confident as an adult and as a contributing member of our society and will encourage them to stay informed about the world they live in. If it does nothing else, it will teach our children about a lifelong love of learning and reading. It will also teach them about commitment and dedication, not to mention good study habits. What kid wouldn't love to see mom or dad doing homework too? I sincerely hope that this will encourage many stay-at-home parents. Good luck with your studies!!

I am a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful children, a nine year old girl and a three year old boy. I live in sunny San Diego, California. I took about a year and a half of college but left to get married and raise my family. One of my personal goals is to go back to college and get a degree (haven't decided on what yet). I can't do it right now but I have found a wonderful way to continue my education without having to rely on financial aid. I hope this will help others as well.

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