When you’re young, going to school is your life, while working is a secondary concern. When you have children, you’re often juggling work and family. Trying to return to school to earn a library science degree is challenging, especially for parents. Here are a few tips on how to juggle your life as a parent and earning your library science degree without dropping a few balls.
Choose the Right Program
One of the worst things you can do is earn a diploma that has no value in the workplace. There are programs that award degrees that aren’t valued by employers. The best solution is to find a library science degree that is AACSB accredited. An ideal case is earning a library science degree that doubles as an MBA so that you can step into a variety of positions in document management, curation and departmental management. A master’s degree in information systems and library science means you could work in a company in document control, configuration management, and digital subscription management as well as manage their physical library. The MLIS option opens up jobs as a media resource center manager, GIS map specialist, IT technologist, digital archivist and other positions.
Attend School Online
Don’t try to find the time to drive to a brick and mortar school, attend classes and return home. Go for a masters of library science online instead. You’ll appreciate the hour or more of commuting eliminated from your schedule each class day. Whether you use this time to clean up after dinner, help the kids with homework or do homework yourself, the modest time savings by eliminating the class commute cannot be understated. You may even save money by earning a library science degree by finding a program that is cheaper than the one at the local university. You’ll certainly eliminate the costs for gas, parking and wear and tear on your vehicle.
Cultivate Multi-Purpose Activities
You should look for ways to combine activities to accomplish as many goals as possible. Arrange a playdate at a restaurant with an indoor playground. Now instead of talking to the other mom, you can watch a lesson you missed while connected to the free Wi-Fi, or work on an assignment. Take your kids for walks with you to combine exercise and family time. Have your children spend time with the other parent while you attend classes online. Engage the kids in helping you cook and clean, so that you get help and they gain more time and attention with Mom. If you’re sitting on the side-lines during soccer practice, this is a good time to either walk around the field for exercise or study.
If you want to succeed as a parent/student, first choose a program that will yield the greatest return on the investment, and be careful not to give your hard-earned money to a diploma mill. Attend school online to save precious time. Combine activities to save time, and give yourself permission to say no so that you can better devote time to what matters most. It is OK to say no to the demands of others and rely on others for help while you’re trying to juggle school and children, especially if working, too.