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Making Online Learning Work for Busy Moms

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This post is sponsored by The American Women’s College and SheKnows Media
I was given the opportunity to attend a class at The American Women’s College at Bay Path University in exchange for sharing my experience in a series of posts.

Online learning is so different from sitting in a classroom.  Gone are the days of uncomfortable chairs and ticking clocks! Everything about online learning is so forward-thinking, even if you aren’t tech savvy it really is something that is doable. Especially if you are taking courses at The American Women’s College.

Online learning utilizes videos, presentations, documents, etc. all on a computer. For the most part, your interaction with fellow students is within discussion boards (forums), and you can take your learning wherever you need to (bed, sofa, desk, coffee shop, etc.).

So, I’ve been in my class for a couple of weeks now and I’m starting to see how easy it can be to work a schedule that lets you go to school on your time. Granted, I do work from home and that gives me more flexibility than someone who leaves and goes to work, but if you sit and create a schedule for “all the things,” it can work!

Being in week 3 of my TAWC course, I want to share a few tips that are already helping me!

  1. Time blocking! I don’t know why I haven’t been doing this for years. For working on course materials, it’s very easy to plan out your day and set aside a very specific chunk of time. You don’t have to get crazy specific, but time block for “household” when you do laundry, cleaning, etc and time block for “errands” when you leave the house for things like grocery shopping. You can move these blocks of time around as needed, since I know we have various things each week that do change like sports. Time blocking lets you set aside the hour, two hours, three hours or more that you need to complete required coursework.
  2. Limit distractions! This is the hardest thing for me because before starting this course, I was very used to having something on TV while I worked or did things around the house. I use mornings to play catch up on my favorite DVR’d shows, but now I need to use some of that time before the kids get home from school for research and writing, so I have to limit the distractions and turn off the TV. For some moms, limiting distractions means getting completely out of the house because there is so much going on at home. It’s okay to set yourself up at a coffee shop if it means you won’t miss deadlines!
  3. Know your learning style and struggles! I’m a procrastinator and I’m not proud of it but I AM proud of how that procrastination makes me turn out some really strong work. It’s the pressure. I also know that being a procrastinator means I am more at risk for missing deadlines. Thankfully, the award-winning SOUL program at The American Women’s College is just amazing. There’s just so much support, so when you do have a struggle like with time management or being a procrastinator, you can reach out and connect with advisors who can help you with these.

Now, I don’t want to brag, but I do really love checking my grades and seeing that I AM doing well. It feels good to see my percentage, and to see where I might be slipping and which areas I should be focusing on more.

As a mom, I haven’t had a grading system in anything for so long, I don’t get points for staying on top of the laundry or scoring good deals at the grocery store. But at TAWC, I can see that my hard work is paying off. Guys, I’m so going to pass this course and say I earned college credit! That’s a big deal to me.

I like my course. It’s pushing me, and I’ve had a couple things come up that had me stressed a little. We were in Chicago for a cheerleading competition, then we spent a weekend away as a family, and both of those fell right on due dates for assignments and discussions. Time. Management. I knew what was due, I knew when it was due and I knew that I needed to take my laptop with me and if need be, take time away from activities and the family to get things done. It honestly wasn’t a big sacrifice because I made it work when the kids were either away or sleeping.

The American Women’s College (TAWC) is a really great option for any woman looking to go back to school – either for a degree or just to pick up a few courses of interest – because you can go 100% online and have a flexible schedule. It’s something to consider and explore what’s offered, what financial aid exists, and if you’re already asking those questions – maybe it’s your time?

Tell me, what’s keeping you from going back to school? And what degree would you consider if you went back? I’m giving away a $100 Visa gift card today to one lucky reader.

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