If back to school season crept up on you this year and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed and unprepared, take a moment to relax. With a little organizing and planning, you can quickly get back into a seamless back to school routine.
Whether you have kids whose schedules you’re constantly coordinating, you’re trying to head back to school yourself this year, or if you’re a super-parent finding a way to balance both, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to make things work for you and your family. To help get you thinking and planning your weekly routine, here are a few things you should begin to consider.
Make a Detailed Schedule
The first step to getting and staying organized is to do a full audit of all the activities and obligations you’ll need to attend to during the week and on your weekends. Do you have a fifth grader and a high school freshman who start school at different times this year? Does your daughter have soccer practice on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons? Maybe your son is auditioning for the school play and will need to stay late on Mondays for rehearsals. Whatever plans your family and children have this fall, get them all down on paper.
Consider buying a simple calendar and some multicolored pens. Then assign a different color to each member of your family. Fill in all your daughter’s plans in green, your son’s in red, then save a separate shade for your time.
When it comes to being a parent, it’s crucial to make time for yourself among everything you do for your children. If you’ve always dreamed of going back to school or studying a new subject yourself, but haven’t been sure how to balance class time with your hectic parenting schedule, it’s time you found a school willing to work on your terms. At NYIAD, all of our courses are entirely online and self-paced- meaning you don’t have to drive to a classroom on any given day or submit your homework by any assigned deadline. You can login when you have time and work on days when you are free. So if becoming an interior designer has always been a goal of yours, you don’t have to put off the first steps towards achieving it.
Circle back to that calendar and check out the days that look a little freer. On Wednesdays, is your son at SAT tutoring while your daughter is at soccer? That two hour block of alone time could be a great opportunity to read a few lessons in your course, or start sketching that floor plan assignment. Once you put everyone’s schedules down on paper, it will be easier for you to pinpoint those perfect pockets of you-time, then plan accordingly to dedicate them to your goals and your schoolwork.
Are you worried about how you can fit education into your budget this fall? Unlike art and design degree programs that often cost tens of thousands of dollars and require students to take out loans and go into debt, NYIAD offers courses that are meant to fit into your budget without drowning you in student loan payments.
If you’re interested in taking a course but aren’t quite ready to pay for the entire program in full, you can also opt for a monthly payment plan if that’s less of a strain on your family’s budget. Most courses average about $1200- this includes your entire course, all the supplies you will need, and your certificate upon completion. But if that sounds overwhelming for you, you can get started for as little as $39 then pay in small monthly installments as you work your way through the program.
Not only that, a number of NYIAD’s courses don’t just provide graduates with a certificate upon completion, they also align with national standards in preparing students for industry certifications. NYIAD has partnered with several of this certification providers to offer students discounts on certification exams that can otherwise be a significant added expense. For example, the RIDQC interior design certification typically costs designers $1895—but NYIAD students and graduates can take the same exam at a discounted cost of just $495. If budgeting is something you’re worried about, be sure to call 1-800-583-1742 and talk to one of our billing representatives to make sure you’re taking advantage of every great discount opportunity such as this one.
Your Down Time
Last but not least, it’s important for you to start thinking about when you’ll set aside time to do nothing. Being a parent is a full time job, and many people balance that job with a professional career as well. Fitting schoolwork into your week never has to be out of reach when you can find a school willing to be flexible with your schedule and capabilities time-wise, but it’s easy to fall into a bad habit of forgetting to take a break and practice self-care among your hectic, productive week.
When you’re checking out that calendar and penciling in soccer practice, theatre rehearsal and study time, don’t forget to plan a night or two per week for relaxation time. Maybe every Sunday afternoon, you and your family can take a couple of hours to go see a matinee. Or maybe every Monday after you drop your kids off at school, you’ll go to your favorite coffee shop to grab a latte and read your favorite book for an hour or two. By making time for relaxation, you’ll help yourself reset for the week - and you’ll wind up feeling more focused and productive as a result.
At NYIAD, we understand the importance of your schedule, not to mention your family’s. That’s why we don’t ask you to rework your prior commitments in order to fit us in. We believe it’s our job to work for you, on your terms. If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, our mentors, or how to get started, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-583-1742 for more information.