Tips for studying while caring for children

It can be a struggle to raise a family and study at the same time but as long as you plan ahead and call on support when you need it, it is achievable.

For further information or assistance, please contact the Student Liaison Officer (Equity) on equity.officer@csu.edu.au.

Support tips

  • Set yourself some specific time to study

    Depending on your study load you will need to plan dedicated times for study every week. There will be times when assignments are due when you will have to put in more time.

    Make sure you communicate your schedule to the family so they know you are not to be disturbed.

  • Have confidence

    Even if it's been a while since you've picked up the books, you might just have the edge, because you:

    • really want to be here
    • have made sacrifices to be here
    • have the maturity and experience to really make the most of your precious time.
  • Remember the end goal

    If you feel yourself slipping, keep your goals in mind and remember why you're studying. It might be to gain more qualifications, seek a higher paying or more satisfying job, or to provide yourself with better job prospects.

    You will become an inspiration to your kids as well and they too may aspire to go to Uni one day.

  • Have a place to study

    If at all possible create a space in the home that is your study space. This needs to be strictly off limits to the kids, so that you can leave essays half written, or textbooks open at the last place you were up to without worrying it will be disturbed by the little people.

    If you don't have a place like this, at least have a box where you can put all your things at the end of your study period, and get out the next time you go to study so your work is always safe.

  • Study when you can

    Even 30 minutes of reading is better than doing nothing at all.  If you do not have the luxury of large chunks of time get used to being ready to reach for the books whenever you might have a spare chunk of time in between family activities. Use times like athletics carnivals and swimming lessons to multitask.

  • Take some me time

    Remember that no matter how enjoyable study is still work and you need to set aside some time to relax and enjoy your family in order to get the balance right. For more hints on study/life balance, you can use our counselling service.

  • Ask for help when you need it

    Whether it be:

    • for babysitting when you need to complete an assignment
    • for assistance from the Uni when you need financial assistance
    • to know if you are on the right track with your assignment.
  • Have a backup plan for care when you need it

    Keep a list of friends and family who would be happy to help in an emergency and call on them. Kids sleepovers at friends' houses may assist those nights when you may have to pull an all-nighter.

  • Get to know your entitlements

    Look into child care rebates, study assistance, scholarships, student discounts and anything that will make your life a little easier.

  • Hook up with a study buddy

    Whether it's an online forum or a study group, get involved with those in the same boat as you for moral and academic support.

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