If you’ve decided to go back to study or training after spending time at home caring for your children, the idea can seem pretty overwhelming. How will I cope? Am I too old? I don’t know how to study. What about childcare? These are some of the questions you might have.

Where do I start?

If there’s a job or industry you’re interested in, you can ask yourself the following:

  • What training do I need?
  • Where’s the best place to get this training?
  • How much will it cost me?
  • When would I like to start?
  • How long will the course take?
  • Can I commit this time? How will I work around this if not?

Don’t worry if you can’t answer all of these questions - ParentsNext  can help.

How will study fit in with my family commitments?

Many training providers have flexible options. They may offer evening classes, study online, part-time enrolment, or intensive study options that help you finish your course more quickly.

Woman with short blonde hair looking at the camera. She is sittinging in a university class room

ParentsNext can help you work out what kind of course you need. You might want a short or refresher course or something more extensive like a vocational certificate or university degree. The service can also help you access childcare subsidies.

I feel like I’m too old to go back to study

It might not feel like it, but being a parent equips you with valuable qualities – like time management and people skills – that will benefit you when you’re studying and working.

Study tips to prepare you for success

Plan your time

Set up a timetable of your weekly commitments. This will help you see how much time you have for study. From here you can add in study commitments – weekly classes or lectures, time to complete tasks like reading or writing for a class, and assessment dates and time to complete these.

Take advantage of support

Most training providers have student study skills support services available. Take advantage of them. They can provide help with understanding assessment task requirements, assignment writing and structure, time management, study planning and more. If you're feeling overwhelmed, most have student counselling services too. It’s important to make sure your family is behind you too. You might need to change how your household operates – who does some chores or who picks up the children and when. Single parents will benefit from having friends and family on side too.

Set realistic expectations

You may lack confidence in your abilities or have high expectations of yourself because you’re older. It will help if you can plan your approach. If all your assignments are due at the same time, arrange to finish some early. This will benefit you too if something happens – a sick family member or childcare emergency.

Don't be afraid of technology

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while or if you haven’t worked, getting to grips with the latest developments can seem daunting. It doesn’t have to be though. ParentsNext can help with refresher courses and your training provider is likely to offer computer skills courses too.

Be prepared

It will help if you have a separate study space where you won’t be too distracted – at home or the local library even. Getting any textbooks and organising childcare ahead of time will also help.

Posted by Elizabeth from  jobactive

Image sources: Jason Reekie, Department of Jobs and Small Business, Giphy