Online College With Kids: 3 Simple Parent Hacks to Get You to the Finish Line

February 13, 2020

Amy Vaughan-Roland, Ed.D.

Ed.D. in Leadership

Got kids? Me too! I recently shared on Instagram my favorite memory from my time at American College of Education:

This is the day I brought my daughter home from the hospital, which was the same day my ACE master’s degree arrived in the mail. Back then, I didn’t know this would be just the start of my journey in parenting while being a student.

I often hear from parents that being a parent is a big thing holding them back from pursuing higher education. As a mom to 4- and 6-year-old kids, I’d like to show you how you can make it happen with some tried-and-true parenting hacks:

1. Use the public library to work and entertain your kids.

Our local library has a children’s area. When I need to get caught up on discussion posts or school emails, we often head to the library where the kiddos play, explore and craft while I work to stay on deadline with my assignments. We each are engaged in our own learning, but the most important thing is that we are together.

2. Get a mobile hotspot for work on-the-go.

The beauty of an online college is not being tied to a desk. A mobile hotspot allows me to travel, explore and  go on adventures with my kids while still being engaged in coursework. Whether I am at their ball game, waiting at the bus stop or sitting at the dining room table, I can be in class. I snapped this picture during a camping trip with the kids, where I was reading a journal article on my tablet while they splashed in the lake. The world is my classroom and I can check in or check out wherever I am.

3. Use your kids as your ultimate motivation!

I can’t tell you the number of times my kids have proudly proclaimed, “We go to school just like you, momma!” Whether my ladies decide to embark on college or trade school, become artists, dental hygienists, farmers, professors or veterinarians is still far in the future. What I do know is that in our home we are creating a culture of lifelong learning.

In 2018, I returned to ACE to begin my doctoral degree and was met with tons of questions about how I would be able to “do” college with two small children. My favorite response has become, “Oh, it’s no big deal. The professors haven’t asked the kids to turn in any assignments yet.”

It’s not easy to be a parent, a student and an employee. There will be sacrifice, time spent away from some family obligations. But remember that this is something you are doing for your family. Like me, I know you’d do anything for your kids and I encourage you to look at your educational journey as just one more thing you are doing to positively influence your kids’ lives.

And let’s face it – it’s a lot more fun to promote lifelong learning than trying to persuade your children to eat those peas.

Embark further on your educational journey today by exploring American College of Education’s master’s degree programs and doctoral programs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Amy Vaughan-Roland, Ed.D.
Amy Vaughan-Roland, Ed.D., Ed.D. in Leadership

Amy has a strong passion for educating all learners and has over 12 years of experience in special education. She works on her family's dairy farm and is currently a doctoral candidate.

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