Back to school is an exciting time, especially if you’re the one that’s going!

Whether you’ve decided to carve out some time to pursue a career in a field that you’re interested in, or are planning to finish up your master’s degree, the decision to go back to school is always the result of careful thought and much deliberation. And if you have young children at home, it involves even more planning and consideration. On one hand, you know that finishing your degree is something that will benefit you as well as your family, but there’s still a small part of you that may be feeling a bit concerned as well; and wondering how everything’s going to work!

If you’re feeling nervous about the upcoming school year and wondering how you’re going to balance studying and classes with your family, the good news is that it certainly is possible! While things may seem a bit topsy-turvy at first, once you’ve established a routine, it will be much easier. Plus the benefits of returning to school are many; particularly in terms of the example that it sets, and the positive message that it sends to your kids!

With September on the way, let’s take a look at some things you can do to help ensure that you’ll have a successful year—both in terms of your grades and your family.

Seek Help

First things first—it’s difficult, if not impossible to go back to school without some level of support! Before you start, it’s important to be honest with yourself about the number of hours that you’ll need to spend studying. Next, make sure you have a good plan for childcare and someone to cover for you while you’re attending lectures. Finally, consider outsourcing things like housework, meal prep, and laundry. Think of it this way: the more tasks you’re able to streamline or outsource, the more free time you’ll have to spend with your family.

Involve the Family

Not ready to hire a cleaner? No worries! You could get the whole family involved with the chores! While this may not be everyone’s favorite activity, doing chores together can be a good way to spend time together. Kids especially enjoy helping when it comes to bigger projects, like washing the car or mowing the lawn, so don’t forget to enlist them when you’re in need of help.

Have Dinner Together

Perhaps the easiest way to squeeze in some ‘extra’ family time is by having meals together. Getting everyone together in one spot throughout the day can be a challenge, especially with so many different schedules and activities to juggle, but making family dinners a priority can help you get some quality family time in.

Find Joint Hobbies

Just because life is busier doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of fun altogether. By looking for hobbies that both you and your kids can enjoy, you’ll be able to spend time with your family while at the same time participating in some things that you love as well. Whether it’s hiking, kayaking, camping, exploring museums, taking day trips, or playing tennis—what matters most is that you’re enjoying yourselves and having fun together. Family time isn’t limited to time spent in your house; so take your adventures outside and get involved together.

Schedule in Family Night

If family time every week is a bit difficult—and let’s face it, sometimes it can be—then consider setting aside one night a month as family night. Choose a night where there are no extra activities on; and set aside everything to have a fun night in. This could mean watching a movie with popcorn or playing some board games. Mix it up and have fun!

Limit Screen Time

We spend a lot of time in front of our screens. And as parents, we’re just as bad about spending time looking at our phones, computers, and TVs as the kids. According to one survey, parents spend three hours more per day online than tweens, and as much time as teens. That’s saying something! When you’re studying, you’ll want to ensure that you’re as focused as you can be at the task at hand. This means taking steps to limit distractions and putting your phone on silent while you hit the books.

Plan Ahead

Finally, when life is busy, a little extra planning can go a long way. If you’re going back to school, then you’ll want to get a planner, and start using it. Jot down your lectures, your study schedule, and deadlines; and pencil in time with your family as well. Life will be complicated at first as you adjust to a new schedule and a different routine, but with a bit of planning, and lots of hard work, you’ll soon you’ll be able to get into the swing of things, and on your way to achieving your goal!

Are you going back to school? Congratulations! Create the ultimate planning system with Day Designer’s collection of monthly, weekly, and daily calendars, planners and agendas. Create a system that works for you and stay organized and on-task this academic year—while ensuring that you make time for your family as well.

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