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Whether you’re a single parent or married, raising kids who arehealthy, happy, educated and disciplined is a full-time job. As aparent, you have to give up doing things you want to do foryourself in order to make sure your kids have your undividedattention whenever they can. And with the work of parenting takingup all of your spare time, it may be difficult to keep moving alongyour own career path. Working parents who want to gain new skillsor pursue work in a new career field often struggle to completecoursework while juggling their day job and their children.

Fortunately, parents who want to return to school now have moreopportunity to do so, thanks to the flexibility and convenienceoffered by onlineeducation outlets.

Online learning: convenient and flexible

The continuing advance of technology means that online educationis more accessible, engaging and interactive than ever. If you wantto attend traditional continuing education courses, you’ll have tocommute to a campus. Your local colleges may not offer courses youwant to take, and they may not offer them at times that you cantake them. And there are added costs when attending a traditionalbrick-and-mortar school. In addition to books and tuition, you’llhave to pay for or arrange child care when you’re in class. There’salso the cost of public transportation, or, if you drive, extra gasand parking.

When you attend courses online, you only have to commute as faras the nearest Internet-connected computer. Because you’re notlimited to the schools within commuting distance, you’re morelikely to find a degree program you want. You can also study whenyou want. Most online courses require you to log in a few times aweek at your own convenience to complete readings, watch a lecture,chat with instructors or classmates, hand in assignments orcomplete tests. So instead of arranging for child care, you canspend time with your children and then study when they’ve gone tobed (or before they get up).

Hybrid learning: less time in class, more time at home

Some degreeprograms can’t be completed entirely online. If you’reinterested in some nursing programs, for example, you’re going toneed to attend labs and clinical practice sessions. However, hybridlearning options – a combination of both online and in-personinstruction – make it possible for those in practice-based degreeprograms to complete some of their theoretical courseworkonline.

Some professors teaching in-person courses may also provideadditional materials online, or require students to completeassessments or participate in online discussions. There’s evidencethat hybrid learning can lead to better performance than classroominstruction alone, so in addition to more time to spend with thefamily, you have the opportunity to gain better mastery of yourcourse materials.

What you teach your kids when you study

Finally, if you’re not sure whether you can juggle a job, afamily and a degree, think about this: When you go back to school,you’re gaining the opportunity to teach your kids some powerfullessons. Whether you want to sharpen your skills for your currentjob, retrain for new job opportunities or simply experience thepride of finishing a degree, when you apply yourself to your owneducation, your kids will see that you:

* Understand how to work hard

* Understand how to manage your time wisely

* Think about and plan for the future

* Value higher education at any age

* Value them, because you chose to take courses online

They may even find it easier to do their own homework whenyou’re sitting there doing yours. Just don’t fight over thecomputer.

Information in this article was provided by Colorado TechnicalUniversity. Contact CTU today if you’re interested in developingmarketable knowledge and career-relevant skills with anindustry-current degree program. (CTU does not guarantee employmentor salary.)

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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