Being a stay-at-home parent is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be isolating and difficult. If you’re considering going back to school before re-entering the workforce, there are some important steps you should take first. Below, Twisted Twinology shares some tips that can help make this transition a little smoother for everyone.

Choose a Field of Study

Deciding what field of study to pursue is the first step. It’s important to consider your interests and research programs that align with those interests. Speak with a career counselor or mentor for guidance. This can help you make an informed decision about which path to take to achieve your educational goals.

Consider an Online Degree

For those who find attending classes in person difficult due to busy schedules or other responsibilities, an online degree is a great choice. Universities now provide a range of online courses that give students the flexibility to complete assignments and study at their own pace from anywhere. This is an ideal option for stay-at-home parents who want to pursue higher education but lack the time and resources for regular schooling opportunities. Click here for more info.

Seek Out Scholarships

Look into scholarships to ease the cost of tuition when researching schools. There are many scholarships specifically for parents looking to go back to school, so take the time to explore these opportunities. Don’t let financial constraints stand in the way of your educational goals — there are plenty of awards available that can make going back to school a viable option.

Prepare for Entrepreneurship

If going back to school is the precursor to becoming an entrepreneur, it’s worth taking the time to do some research about what it takes to start and run a business. Consider topics like accounting, taxes, legal paperwork, and marketing. It is also important to understand the basics before jumping into classes or programs related to launching a business. Having this knowledge will give you the confidence you need to be successful in your venture.

Explain the Situation to Your Kids

Going back to school can be an exciting time, but it can also bring change to your family dynamic. Be sure to talk with your kids about this change and explain why it’s important for you to go back to school and how they will benefit from it as well. Having an open dialogue with them will make this transition easier for everyone involved.

Set Up Child Care

Having young children makes attending class or studying from home a unique challenge. Arranging for child care is a must, and family members, friends, and local daycare centers are all feasible options to explore. This way, you can focus on your education without having to worry about who will take care of your kids while you’re away or focused on your studies.

Have a Plan for Self-Care

Going back to school while being a stay-at-home parent will certainly be a challenge. Having a self-care plan in place is essential for success so you can maintain a balance between studies, parenting, and your personal needs. Take regular breaks throughout each day (even if it’s just 10 minutes) to keep your stress levels low and focus high.

Going back to school as a stay-at-home parent is no small feat, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be done successfully. Take some time now before making any big decisions about returning to academia by researching different fields of study, finding scholarship opportunities, and choosing an online degree program. This way, you set yourself up for success.