What do you get by studying at home? This, and many other questions, started me on my home learning journey with Oxford Learning College just over 2 years ago now.
Firstly, a little background. In my late twenties, I decided to go ‘back to school’ and improve my education – but without actually physically going back to school, of course. Working full time, with kids, a mortgage to pay – actual school wasn’t an option, but I desperately wanted to take on a new challenge and adult learning / education seemed to be the obvious choice.
Firstly I looked at the adult courses at my local college, and found them generally uninspiring and also potentially restrictive. I’d have to go out to evening classes 2-3 times a week, depending on the number of courses I studied, and that’s just not practical for a parent long term: what if the one of the kids is sick, or your babysitter lets you down for example. Then there’s the added costs of babysitters etc – physically leaving the house was therefore ruled out.
So I began researching home learning options, and soon came across Oxford Learning College Online / Home learning courses.
Firstly, it was impressive to note the number of relevant and quality Oxford Learning College Reviews that I could find just by one or two simple Online searches. Secondly, there’s a brilliant choice of A Level courses – or Level 3 & 4 Diploma courses to choose from. Within a few minutes, my biggest problem was deciding what to choose and being sensible about the number of courses I signed up to!
I think it’s important to point out that studying at home, especially as an adult with a family, requires a certain amount of sensible planning and preparation.
In my case, this mean turning the old ‘junk table’ in the hallway into a neat desk space, complete with shelving, and setting up my laptop etc there ready for the off. I then had to get the kids and family on board. ‘Study time’ while they were around was scheduled and colour co-ordinated on our ‘family wall planner’ so that they could learn and get used to me being tucked away out of the way, and also get used to the fact that for a couple of hours at a time my attention wasn’t on them! (This took some practice by the way, I would suggest scheduling a couple of ‘study hours’ where you actually expect to get nothing done other than constantly reminding them of the new rules so that they can get used to the new regime and you don’t have to feel stressed about getting no studying done!).
Practical arrangements aside, there’s the obvious benefits of the home learning system – you can study at any time of the day or night. So in actual fact you can wait til the kids are in bed then make yourself a nice coffee and settle in for a few hours study – this, in actuality, became my weekday night-time routine. I traded off soaps and the latest TV drama for getting stuck into my coursework, and I honestly can’t say I regretted it even for a second.
The next most obvious advantage of studying at home is the flexibility – let’s say, as happens occasionally, either you or the kids are poorly. You just skip a few days and then get straight back into it when you’re better. Holiday times don’t matter, and if you want to cram the whole week’s work into one big Sunday afternoon, evening and all-night session then so be it – the choice is yours.
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