The kids have been packed off to school, and you can already feel the unmistakeable pang of sadness that comes with your little ‘uns fleeing the nest.
It didn’t seem long ago when you were changing their nappies, bathing them and burping them. Already, you can see them traipsing off to uni, leaving you bereft of the one thing you nurtured for so long.
But time spent while you wait to pick up the kids from school doesn’t have to be empty. While your nearest and dearest are cramming for their exams, why not study for a few of your own? It’s easier than you might think.
In the past decade, distance learning has been honed online to fit the lives of anyone who wants to study while maintaining a busy lifestyle. And they could help you land the job of your dreams by the time your kids are ready to flee the nest.
The old and the new
Back in the bad old days, when televisions were black and white and abacuses were bleeding edge technology, distance learning was in no great shape.
To learn, you’d have to scour libraries for core texts, watch educational programmes that only aired at 2am, and rely purely on your own wits to pass modules. Contacting your course advisor was a mountainous task, involving long waits for the postman and letter exchanges that could take months.
Now, however, the rise of the internet has changed the rules of the game. Chatting to your tutor is as simple as switching on Skype, and course texts are all available at the literal click of a button.
Moreover, the breadth of course on offer means you can study for exactly the position you want. Shoot for a leadership or business degree and you could find yourself at the top of the employment ladder when you head back to work.
The same for free?
Although less expensive than a degree from a brick-and-mortar university, distance learning degrees are still a pricey proposition for anyone on a lower income.
The alternative, then, is the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Having made ripples in the academic sector for years, MOOCs have cemented themselves as ideal free tasters for full courses.
All you have to do to study a MOOC is sign up, then you’ll be treated to a variety of resources and educational tools. But there is a downside – MOOCs come with no official qualification, so can’t further you in your career.
However, the MOOC system does give you the opportunity to try out new courses before you put your money where your mouth is.
In essence, there’s never been a better time for a housewife to earn a degree. So if you’re wondering how to be productive while the kids are at school, now you know exactly what to do.