Students who are mothers of preschoolers, your study tips/inspiration?

  1. Hi all,

    Fellow student/Mother of 4 (two are preschoolers)- starting NS at 42, after appx 20 yrs out of school. I decided to take the p/t eve's and weekend schedule, due to childcare issues. I was a little apprehensive about the quality/quantity of study time I will have available during the day, being that I will have my 2 little ones to tend to during the day and as you already know, preschoolers can be quite challenging at times

    Any tips to share on creating a good study environment for yourself with little ones running around all summer? I don't have the funds to get them into any summer programs/childcare/preschool right now, since we are pinching pennies in order to put me through nursing school.

    I am hoping all you mama/students can share your study tips/inspirations/ideas for getting in quality study time

    thanks so much,
    warmest regards!
    Last edit by Blessed2beStressed on May 22, '09 : Reason: typo
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    Joined: May '09; Posts: 55; Likes: 7


  3. by   CloudySue
    I have a three year old and a kindergartener. Studying is tough when they are around! I will often take them to fast food places that have playlands in them. I will also sit outside in our yard with a book when they play. You may also try trading study time with another classmate, by taking turns caring for each other's children to give each other some quiet time to study. Also, you may want to get some good educational software titles, Reader Rabbit Baby and Toddler and Jumpstart Toddlers gave me hours of good, quality time. Then, there's Mother's Little Helper, the television. Don't feel like a bad mom, just know that if you have to let your kids watch too much tv, you are doing it for the greater good of the family. I always feel guilty that I'm missing out on quality family time when I shoo them away to entertain themselves. But it's for the best, money is a great thing to have when raising children and keep reminding yourself that there will be better days when you have the $$$ to provide greater quality experiences with them. For example, we're going to Disneyworld after I graduate, and they know it! So that helps them put it into perspective why I study so much. They can't wait until Mommy's a nurse!
  4. by   Blessed2beStressed
    thanks for the input cloudysue Our kids are the exact same age. I will start NS in late August....but I have hired a tutor to help me brush up on dosage calculations/ fractions etc. I have devoted my summer to at least one hour a day of 'study' time...and I am struggling at that! I was not sure how I will work it when school actually starts.

    I also find that with the distractions, I have a hard time retaining info, but then again, i am not a math mind, so it could just be that what I am learning is taking a bit to 'get'.

    your tips are great! It's what I actually pictured doing but didn't know if there was something else I was missing - after all, it's been a long time out of school for me.
  5. by   CandyGyrl1985
    I have a 6 year old, 2 year old and a 1 year old. I take care of my mother and have been going to school this last year.

    Here are my tips

    Dont be afraid to study in the bathroom. Run the tub if you have too!

    If you are married- setup a dont bother me schedule

    If you have a vcr and access to netflix- order the kids a movie once a or twice a week and during that time study. Keep the volume low if you are in the room with the kids and dont face the movie

    Dont feel guilty if you study and feel like the kids are not getting enough attention. The truth is - you just feel guilty and they most likely will not be phased.

    Keep a tight schedule in your life- use a planner!!!!! I know with kids keeping schedule is almost a joke- but try. Setup hours that you can study - like an hour before dinner then make dinner and enjoy time with the kids at meal time, then study again before baths or bed. Keep a tight bedtime schedule - so that if the kids go to sleep early enough, you can have special quiet time at night.

    Try to study in your free time instead of watching tv. Maybe allow specific programs you can watch. I know I had 2 shows that came on 2x a week - and I made the time to watch them so I could call it "me" time. All other time was studying. Sacrafice some of your own pleasures so the kids are not losing so much time with you.


    I would also setup a reward system for youself. When you set goals- reward yourself. Or you could reward the family like going to the park for a picnic or going to a movie with the kids. This will also involve the kids in your studies and they will be excited about how you do in school.

    I also made flash cards and had my 6 year old hold them up for me when I would quiz. This worked in 2 ways - one it involved him for a good 5 minutes before he got bored. 2- once he realized it was boring he would go play and leave me alone in fear of having to help mommy with her boring work again. LOL

    Dont expect perfection (AND I DO NOT MEAN TO OFFEND ANYONE WITH WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY) - being a full time parent plus going to school and running your life is HARD!!!! I envy the students who get to go to school and who do not have young kids. I am sure there life can be just as complicated as our lives- but in different ways. That said- being a parent and student involves being in 2 places at once most the time- which is not possible. So, be willing to make allowances for when you fall short in schooling or as a parent. We are not perfect and striving for perfection when you have a full plate is almost impossible. Set realistic expectations for your situation and dont compare yourself to students who live at home with mom and dad and only go to school.

    Remember study as often as you can. I know there are many times in my life when I think- whats the point. I feel like a bad mom for not spending enough time with my boys and a crappy student if I dont get a 100% on a test. I want to throw in the towel - make myself a gooey hot fudge sundae and have a long over due cry.... But I remind myself - that crying wont fix anything and that even if I spend 3 more mins studying that is knowledge gained. It will be 3 more minutes of something instead of nothing. And if I am stressed bc my studying is chopped up in 15 min intervals- I remind myself that most people tune out of studying after 20 mins of straight concentration and that I am gaining more by choppy study work than if I spent 2 straight hours studying and then saying "WHAT IN THE BLANKITY BLANK DID I JUST READ?"
  6. by   Student4Now
    Some suggestions that were given to me: Post things around the house. Anything you have to memorize, put it on the refrigerator, put it on the bathroom wall, anywhere that you visit often. Make notecards to take with you to look at when you get an extra minute- at a stoplight, the park, while waiting at the doctors office or the dentist. HTH! I have 2 girls, one is 6 the other 3, I will be pulling my hair out but I know it will be worth it!
  7. by   picurn10
    I am a single mom and just finished LPN. For me, getting up before ds was a huge help. yes, that meant lots of 5am study sessions but the house was quite and free of distractions!

    I had another friend who had 3 kids under 5 while in school and she did most of her homework during our breaks and things. She actually managed to get almost all of it done and just had some brush up time before tests.
  8. by   animal1993
    I have a 4yo and a 1yo. If my husband isn't home, I have to wait until my DS (the 1yo) takes his nap to get any serious study time in. As for my 4yo DD, I set her up at the dining room table with some play-dough, and that usually keeps her pretty happy (with occasional minor disturbances) while I study across the table from her. She's usually pretty content just to be in the same room as I am!
  9. by   LifelongDream
    I just finished my ABSN. I stressed over trying to be a good mom and a good student for the whole first semester and made myself sick trying to do both. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I couldn't do both. I chose to be a good student for the next two semesters and I figured my kids would eventually forgive me. I was the product of a single mom that went to nursing school and I turned out just fine!!! I graduated last Friday and my kiddos are thrilled to have their mom back.

    So, my point is if they are fed, have clean clothes, and take a bath every other day, they will survive during the time you are in nursing school. Good luck. You can do it!
  10. by   NurseCubanitaRN2b
    Oh gosh this is very hard! I'm not going to lie to you. My study time was ALWAYS compromised because I have small children. I never got to study as much as I wanted to because of the kids. I wouldn't trade them for more study time. I still managed to pull a B average in LVN school. My kids were independent so that helped, but they would always bother me during study time. You have to learn to compromise your study time with them because they need you. I missed out a lot on their school activities and sporting events. But I remembered it was only temporary. Anyway, what I found to be most helpful was studying after they went to sleep, which cut into my sleep time but that was the only way to do it. I would also study after school before I got home from school, and also lunch time I would study. I'd get to school an hour early and would study then too. That's basically what I did because I didn't have any other help during afternoon or evenings. Good Luck
  11. by   Blessed2beStressed
    Firstly, HATS OFF TO LIFELONGDREAM, CONGRATULATIONS!!! These tips are awesome! thank you all for sharing. Keep them coming - I am so encouraged by you! I know having preschoolers has it's own challenges. My husband goes to school nights, so I don't have him home during the week to help....I also am in a program where we do clinicals every Sat and one sunday a the weekend time will be limited to study as well....

    I am constantly making mental notes about how to manage home and school. Like i said, been out of school for over 20 years now....finally getting back to what I dream of doing....becoming a nurse.

    I love hearing how everyone manages their time. right now, ns is a big mystery to me, I hear all about how time consuming it is. I look at the pile of laundry from having a family of 6, and it freaks me out now! omg. I just pray it gets done after school starts!
  12. by   pomegranate
    Man, even for those of us who don't have kids these are good study tips, cause everyone's got SOMEONE who wants to distract them or doesn't understand how important study time is (even if they aren't quite as bad as a toddler :wink2