Continuing Education + Job Training // Publishing since 1999
Career Focus

Are You A Parent Thinking About Going Back To School? 5 Things To Consider

By ADMIN - September 8 2014

By Shawna Marlay

Making the decision to return to school isn’t an easy one, especially if you have children. Raising children requires a lot of time, patience, energy and money. Juggling parenting with school work is a big responsibility that requires detailed planning. There are five things that you should consider before deciding to go back to school, especially if you are a parent.

1). Paying for School 

First of all, you must establish how you are going to pay for school. Obtaining a post-secondary education can be quite costly. According to, a CBC News report released September 11, 2013, the average tuition fees in Canada in 2012-2013 totaled $6,348 and are expected to hit $7,437 in 2016-2017. These figures do not include the cost of books, course materials or living expenses, such as rent, food or transportation. If you do not have enough money to cover these costs there are options to help you pay for your education such as government student loans, grants, bursaries and scholarships. To find out what programs you qualify for visit www.fcac-acfc.gc.ca and click on “paying for post-secondary education”. This is an official Government of Canada site where you will find everything you need to know regarding how to budget and pay for your education.

2). Childcare issue

If you have a preschooler, childcare is of utmost importance. Taking on the role of a full-time student requires a lot of time and dedication. A reliable child care provider is important for your success. The last thing you want is someone unreliable causing you to miss classes and fall behind in your school work. Unfortunately, the cost of daycare can be a roadblock for some. There are licensed and unlicensed child care services available in Toronto with fees ranging anywhere from $800 to $2,000 per month per child. While licensed centres tend to be more costly than private unlicensed providers there are various factors to consider.

An unlicensed provider is not regulated by the City and therefore does not undergo regular inspections to ensure the safety and security of your child. It is therefore important to research and weigh your options. If money is an issue, help is available from the City. The City of Toronto offers subsidized child care for those who qualify. You must apply in order to be considered for this service and there is a wait list. The sooner you apply the better. Information about child care can be found at www.toronto.ca. Organizing child care before starting school will minimize stress and maximize your chances of academic success.

3). Budgeting Your Time

You will also want to consider how you will spend your time. For each course you take you should budget time for studying and completing assignments. The amount of time you set aside for each course will depend on the subject and your prior knowledge (if any). Opinions vary regarding how much time should be set aside for reviewing course material but a good place to start is an hour of review each week for every hour you spend in class. Classes are generally 3 hours long per week so you should budget at least 3 hours a week to review material plus time to work on assignments (i.e. essays).

You will want to have time with your family too, and if your child is involved in extracurricular activities, you need to fit that into your schedule as well. You should take into account not only the time spent taking your child to and from these activities but also the physical effects on your body. Make sure you have time in your schedule to rest and recuperate to avoid burn out.

4). Support

The fourth consideration is your support system. It is extremely helpful if you have the support and encouragement of your friends and family. Their decision to support your return to school can help you reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Getting into the habit of being a student requires a change in your lifestyle as well as your schedule. Therefore your decision does affect those around you. The person whose support you need the most is your spouse/partner. If this person is opposed to your decision to go back to school, you will have to contend with negative feelings that could lead to arguments, which will drain your energy and weaken your motivation. The support of your partner is not mandatory but it helps make your transition into student life a much smoother one.

5).What is Your Goal?

The fifth thing to consider is your goal. What do you hope to achieve by returning to school? Whether your goal is job security or a bigger paycheck, it is important to do your research. Unfortunately having a diploma or degree does not mean you are guaranteed a job in your field or a large paycheck. Therefore it is a good idea to research positions that are in high demand and growing. Ideally you want to pursue a career you’re passionate about and that is also financially rewarding. Your education is an investment in yourself and one that should be well-researched.

Attending school full-time can be exciting as it opens the door to new opportunities and experiences. Proper preparation and planning is the key to a successful scholastic journey. Knowing who you are, where you are now and where you want to be are the first steps of that journey.

We value your opinion. Please let us know what you think about this column. Send comments to learningcurves@hotmail.com.


Viewpoint
Learning Curves

Who would you like to refer to?

By OSMAN OZSOY -
June 24 2024

At the start of the academic year, Professor Osman Ozsoy emphasized the importance of reputation to his students, highlighting how easily a positive perception can be tarnished by repeated tardiness. In a candid classroom exchange, he illustrated that trust and punctuality are crucial for professional recommendations, teaching a vital lesson about maintaining one's reputation.

Read more...

Teacher’s Voice
Learning Curves

What Troy Van Learned from His Mother’s Legacy

By MINA WONG -
June 20 2024

Troy Van always had questions about his mother’s past, partly because of Delia’s reticence about it. When she passed away two years ago, new details about her emerged from different sources that totally surprised Troy. A history teacher, he’d built his success on honesty and credibility. In the end, if contradictions in Delia’s life taught Troy a lot about himself, he also learned to accept her choices for survival in a turbulent world.

Read more...

Narratives
Learning Curves

Life as we don’t know it

By SAMANVITHA ORUGANTI -
June 12 2024

In "Life as We Don't Know It," a renowned National Geographic photographer passes on her passion and legacy to her grandchild through the gift of a camera. This touching tale explores the transformative power of photography, offering a new perspective on the world and revealing the extraordinary within the ordinary. Join this heartfelt journey of discovery and creativity, where capturing moments becomes a magical superpower.

Read more...

Digital Citizen Corner
Learning Curves

Navigating the Digital Minefield: Protecting Your Privacy in a Connected World

By BRYAN SENFUMA -
June 4 2024

In our digitally driven world, technology is deeply intertwined with our daily lives, presenting constant threats to our privacy. From the devices we depend on to the public spaces we traverse, the digital landscape poses significant challenges to our personal information security. 

Read more...