Are you a stay at home mom that would like to learn something new? An online course can be the perfect thing for you. Many schools offer online classes in a variety of subjects, and taking the class online means that it can be done whenever works best for you, and you can still be at home to deal with little emergencies as they come up. But how will you find the time? Online classes require an average of 8 hours a week. If you don't see that much spare time in your schedule, here are a few tips to help you make that time.

  • Start early. At least a month before the class is going to start, let everyone you know know what you're doing and why. For your family especially, give them time to "practice" what life is going to be like while you take this class. Spend some "you time" every day so they can see what it will be like.
  • Talk to your kids. if your kids are old enough to understand, explain to them that you're going to be taking a college class, what you're taking, and why it interests you. Let them know what this means for them- you'll still be around, and you'll be available whenever they really need you, but you will also be busy sometimes, and will need for things to be quiet then. Discuss with them what constitutes an emergency (Something's on fire, somebody is hurt, someone I don't know is trying to get into our house, and so on) and what doesn't (He won't share with me, she's in my room, it's snowing, etc.). If they are old enough to understand, explain the qualities that set apart emergencies and non emergencies.
  • Talk to your husband. Explain that he is going to need to help out some in order for you to be able to do this. Sit down with him and discuss possibilities. Can he get the kids ready for school a few days a week? Can he take the kids out for an hour or two on the weekends so you can have the house to yourself? Can he and the kids pick up a few of the chores that you've been doing? make sure he realizes how important this is to you, and how much time you will need to devote to it each week.
  • Talk to your friends, family, and neighbors. You probably don't even realize how much they can do to help you. Maybe your mom can pick the kids up from school two days a week, or keep below school age ones at her house for a few hours every once in a while. Maybe your neighbor can take care of your garden while he's taking care of his own, so you don't have to worry about it, or take your daughter to ballet lessons while he's taking his son to karate. Maybe your friends can take turns making your family dinner once a week, so you don't have to, or join you for a cleaning party at the end of your semester, where you all get together and take care of all the things that didn't get done while you were busy learning.

Still not sure if it will all come together right? Give it a "test month"- find something free you can do on the internet for roughly 8 hours a week- like taking free online classes, or writing for InfoBarrel. If you run into any trouble, you can patch it up now, before you're paying for a class. If everything goes well, you are now ready to start your class! Good luck!