Convince Your Family of the Benefits of Online Learning

The benefits of online learning are many. The number one reason in the long list of benefits of online learning is that online learning is convenient – and this is particularly important to nontraditional students, particularly those working adults who have partners, full time jobs and children.

With online learning you can get a quality education, but you can do so from the comfort of your own home, at whatever time is most convenient for you. However, the fact that online learning brings such convenience with it means that most of the people who are online students are very busy; finding time for school work can be a challenge when one needs to balance work, time with one’s partner, activities with children and some personal time. Despite the benefits of online learning, if you are one of these busy adults trying to have it all – family, job and education – then it is imperative that you talk to your family before you embark on your education and get their full support in your endeavor.

You Are Not in this Alone

Getting a degree really is, in many ways, a family affair. Most likely you want to earn this degree in order to better yourself and become more employable, which will benefit everyone in your family financially when you land a better job. Furthermore, the time it takes to get that education will impact the family in that it is time that will be taken away from them. No matter how much you read that online learning is amazing and convenient – and it is – the fact is that it does take a significant investment of time and energy.

Let’s Talk about Time

Let’s take a minute to talk about this “time” that I keep mentioning, so we can see why it is such an impact on the family. We will begin with traditional education. Say you decided to take two courses at a physical campus. You might spend the following time: 2 days driving to class where you spend 1 hour round trip on the road, 30 minutes per day parking and walking to class, 3.5 hours per day sitting in class, then 10-20 hours per week doing homework. That is a total of 20-30 hours per week on class. Now, if you took those same two courses online you would spend 15-25 hours per week on homework. That’s it. No driving to class. No parking. No sitting there. You save at least 5-15 hours per week over a traditional course. That’s great!

But, now look at it from the other angle. Taking two online courses versus taking no course at all results in you taking 15-25 hours out of your week – time that you would have spent with family, friends or in your own personal pursuits is now spent on homework. Is it worth it? Yes. But the fact is that it is time taken away.

Moving Forward with Your Education

To move forward with your education you need the support of your family. Begin by talking to your partner and ensuring that they understand why you want to go back to school. Discuss your goals, explain the value of an online degree, describe the many courses you will take, how long you will spend each week, and how it will impact your presence at home and your performance of household duties. Then, talk to your kids and explain to them that this is important to you personally and to the long term financial life of the family. Try to involve them; see if you and the kids can make homework dates. Work with your partner to see when the most convenient times are for you to do your course work. If you have your family support from the start, you will be better prepared to realize the benefits of online learning.

What is your experience with family supporting your education? Do they support you or not? Do you have any tips for others?

Share your experience in our online forum.