Home Learning – The Brilliant Study Solution For Young Mums
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Life is busy when you’re a young mum, so it’s easy to put your career aspirations on the back burner. But what if you could care for your kids and still gain the qualifications you need to apply for your dream job?
Read on as we explore the benefits of home learning.
What Does Home Learning Involve?
Traditional distance learning courses involve receiving course materials through the post and communicating with your tutor via post, phone or email. While some home learning courses still allow you to study in this way, most are now delivered via the internet.
Online courses use virtual learning environments to share recorded lectures, notes, videos and other resources. Students can access these at any time, work at their own pace and discuss their progress in online discussion forums. The OU has even created an app which enables students to access their course and chat while they’re on the move. Tutor support is generally available via email, live chat or video call.
of undergraduate students are taking degrees via distance learning
Growth in the e-Learning industry since 2000
postgraduates are studying online
How Flexible is Home Learning?
Home study is perfect if you’re a young mum, as you can study anywhere and at a time to suit you. Are you an early riser? Then why not fit in an hour’s study before the kids wake up. If you’re more of a night owl, you can work once they’ve gone to bed.
The flexibility of distance learning is particularly useful when children are ill or on holiday, as it’s fine to take a break during the day if you catch up on coursework later. However, while some home study courses can be completed at your own pace, others follow quite a tight schedule, so make sure you ask about this before you enrol.
For example, the University of Liverpool’s online degrees are structured around modules of 6-12 weeks, separated by breaks of just 1-2 weeks. An undergraduate degree with the Open University is less intensive, taking most students six years to complete.
What Qualifications Can I Study?
The recent explosion in online learning means that young mums now have access to a huge variety of qualifications and a large number of training providers, including universities and private colleges. Be aware however that some distance learning courses require practical assessments and work experience, which you may need to arrange yourself.
Below is a list of well-known distance learning providers:
Offers courses in business analysis and project management, as well as Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco certifications
Offers courses in IT security, networking, database administration, IT service management, plus Microsoft, Cisco and compTIA certifications
The International Career Institute
Offers courses in beauty, counselling, nursing, psychology and hospitality
Offers courses in engineering, healthcare and science
Offers CompTIA and Cisco certifications
It’s also worth checking out which universities offer the online qualification you’re aiming for, as more and more universities are offering a range of distance learning courses
What Does Home Learning Cost?
Distance learning courses often cost less than classroom based courses, with the exception of some university degrees. It costs around £8,000 to reach degree level with the Open College of the Arts, which is around a third of the cost of a conventional degree. You can also pay per module over a period of five to six years.
Got a place on an online undergraduate degree course? Then you’re also eligible to apply for a government backed tuition fee loan. If you have to fund your study privately, ask your provider about the payment plans on offer, as you can usually pay in instalments. You could also ask about scholarships or apply for a career development loan.
As well as reducing your tuition fees, studying from home saves on childcare costs, food costs and travel expenses.
Will My Qualification Be Recognised?
Whether you study it at your local college or with an online provider, a GCSE in English is a GCSE in English. However, if your provider isn’t a publicly funded college or a university, always check that your course is properly accredited and that you’ll end up with the level of qualification your career path requires.
It’s worth looking out for The Open and Distance Learning Quality Council logo on private providers’ websites, as this independent body inspects providers to check whether they meet quality standards.
Home learning as a young mum takes motivation, determination and discipline, but every hour that you spend studying is an investment in your family’s future.