Returning to education as an adult learner can be daunting. Maybe it’s been a long time since you sat in a classroom or perhaps your previous experience of education was not a positive one. Plus, you probably have lots of other commitments – work, family, children – the list goes on! Here are a few tips that can help you settle into your new home study routine.
1 – Recognise that you can’t add more hours to your day. If you are taking on a new course that runs, for example, one full day per week and requires you to do 3 hours study per week – that’s time that you can no longer devote to the other commitments in your life. You will have to cut back on something else in order to fit your course comfortably into your daily routine and avoid getting stressed out.
2 – Look at what you do each day and see where you can adjust your timetable to make time for your course. Ask friends and family if they can help. Remember that your course will only run for a limited time and you will be able to get back to your normal routine when it’s finished.
3 – Get organised. Keep a box with everything you need to study in it – pens, paper, dictionary etc. Set a study schedule and try to stick to it, but don’t beat yourself up if you miss a study time. Instead, ex-examine the schedule and adjust it as necessary.
4 – Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. I know that easier to say than to do if you live in a busy house with children! Don’t forget that there are study facilities at CTEC (just check availability at reception) and check out your local library also.
5 – Some people work better in the early morning while others are night owls. Find out which time suits you best to get stuck into the books.
6 – It’s a good idea to build up your study time as it can be difficult to concentrate for long periods if you are not used to studying. Take short 5 minute breaks and fresh air and gradually build up until you can concentrate for 50 minutes to an hour at a time before you take your well-deserved break.
7 – Try to get the more difficult tasks out of the way first. You will feel more positive if you do and this will help you tackle the easier tasks also.
8 – They say two heads are better than one and sometimes a Study Buddy can make studying more interesting and can be really useful as you can quiz each other if you are revising for exams.
A final word….
The main thing to remember is not to let the situation get out of hand. If something comes up and you find yourself getting behind with your coursework talk to your tutor who will be more than happy to advise you on what to do. Perhaps you need to request an extension to the deadline for submitting your work or maybe you just need a little reassurance that your work is the right standard. Sharing a problem always makes it better and your tutor is here to help you with all aspects of your course and your assessment portfolio.