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Everything I’m doing currently that is helping me study.

Meet my sweet kids, Grace, Emmett, and Clair.

I had many things running through my head Monday. Normally I would write it all down in my planner, or set my plans accordingly to that specific day. But I didn’t do either or, and guess what happens when I don’t? Yes, you guessed it, I stressed myself out. I wondered how was I going to get everything done and was there enough time to do it all? It is crucial that I make sure I do this, because I split my older two children with my ex- husband, and every other week i’ll get help from my aunt to watch my baby. Or my boyfriend will have his four day’s off to be home with us, which is great.

Last semester, I knew I had to get it all figured out and have it organized. With school assignments for four classes, doctors appointments, days when I knew the kids were going to be off from school for holidays and when they had after school extracurricular activities. This semester, Grace started coach pitch and Emmett got to start T-ball. Yes, we added more the plate; I quickly need to find a way to help me get through it all, and so far I found out what works for me. Are you ready? Get a pen and paper, you’ll want to write this down.

First thing I do, is check the kids school calendar for the week. I write down what day’s they have a holiday or early release. Then I write down what activities they have after school that week as well. I really does help trust me. It lets me know what I’ll be making for dinner or if we need to order take out. I also get a visual of where I can get studying blocks in between it all; or if I have to get assignments done earlier than originally planned.

Next I look at each syllabus from my classes, to see what all I have coming up for that week. By now I know when my professors will have that weeks’ modules up so it makes it easier for me to get one of my classes done and out of the way on Saturdays’. I write on a Post- It for each individual class. The top part of the Post- It: I write the class and the due date. Then under that I write the assignments or quizzes and I draw a “check box” next to it, and check it when the task is done. By doing this I can see what all I have left to do for a class or what classes I need to focus on in general.

I then look to see what papers need to be printed out to work on for that weeks assignments, and lecture notes. Normally lecture notes will come in a PowerPoint format provided by my professors, I then click on “print” and then click on “print outline,” that way it’s just the word’s I print out, not the entire background of the slides. It helps when taking notes for the online video lectures my professors require us to listen to.

Going back to the Post-It notes, I have a note book for every two classes. I place my Post- It note on the cover of the notebook that corresponds to the class. Again this makes it a lot more simple to know where my notes are for that specific class. I didn’t think it would help me, but it did. I could look at the cover of my note books and see what I needed to do for each class and what was again already checked off.

So when I don’t have my kids, it is obviously easier to get school work done in a timely manner. I can stay up as late as I want or knock it all out as soon as class is over. I understand not everyone is in my shoes where they share their kids 50/50 with their ex spouse or they don’t get the luxury of having an amazing “Mimi” to take care of the baby. But this is what works for me with or without my kids. When I do have all of them or just Clair (baby) I’m a lot harder on myself to get my work done so I don’t loose the precious time of being in the present with them, or loose hours of sleep. At the end of the day it’s time management that will be your best studying tool to get your work done, attend to your family, focus on your normal day to day house chores. When you have the free time even if it’s twenty minutes to work out one single problem, that is okay. You are doing the best that you can for yourself and the future for your family.

” Good decisions come from experience.” – Mark Twain

As the spring semester comes to an end, I’ve learned a lot more about social media. Through writing this blog alone, I have come across unique facts about myself. One is that I had fun learning how to code. Seriously, the more you know! Secondly, there are a million things you can write about on a blog. I learned that if you can jot down about ten possible posts for the overall site, that will help start the blog off strong. Lastly, writing a blog has pushed me to become better aware of my grammar, using punctuation the correct way. Being aware of my grammar will help me write essays suited at the college level. 

Room for Improvements

When I started to write for my blog, I felt the excitement. It was something new for me, and as I had mentioned before, I had thoughts of creating one before the spring semester. I am willingly open for improvements in posting, creating new pages, and advancing my coding skills to add more to my site. I’m planning on adding a page to my blog that will include summer activities, crafts that are easy for the kids, and posting about it weekly.

Best Experience Thus Far

My best experience throughout the whole semester was getting to do this project. I forced myself to learn how to write for media and open up. I feel I have introvert tendencies, so what better way to let that go was to put myself on the web. It allowed me to share insight on what it is like being a mother to young children while going through school. By doing so, it has helped out other mothers. This experience will help me become more efficient in my future career when it comes to writing. I could potentially help individuals create their blog sites or manage what kind of content will get traffic to a page. Having this knowledge is essential in my career path. 

Data Analysis

I got to look back on the stats, I noticed the week of February 24, through March 1 was the most popular. While I did get views on my other post, my “Welcome to my Blog,” was the most popular. There was a total of 107 observations. I believe this was the most popular because I had promoted it on my personal FaceBook long with Twitter. I wasn’t shocked that my stats were low during the semester; I was lacking in promoting my blog. The data was an eye-opener for me on what I know I want from my blog from here on out.

Co- Parenting with kids during quarantine, with school work!

Hear me out; co-parenting is excellent, at least for us. Yes, there are weeks where we forget to pack things that the kids may need, or one of them forgot the toy of the week at one of the houses. Still, once hell hit us all, their dad and I tackled quarantine with being 100% on top of their school work, whether he did homework with them when he didn’t have to work or if they were with me while I had assignments due as well.

During all the chaos, make sure communication is a priority.

The last two months were no doubt hectic, transitions of all kinds were upon us all. What helped us was that my ex-husband and I were extra open about communication on what our end goal was for the week. We do a great job already on communicating, but because of what was going on around us, we buckled down. We first learned that his career was “essential,” meaning he had to work during the quarantine. What this meant for us was that our regular schedule of getting the kids every other week, changed to now they would be home with me every week unless he was off or when he didn’t have to rest for work. Because our routine changed, this now leads us to the next topic, how I got my assignments done. 

Due dates and distractions!

I realize how fortunate I am to have children and also being able to go to college myself, but I hadn’t snapped into the reality of how difficult it was going to be. Juggling the daily house duties, the kids’ homework, my homework, a teething baby, all without the help I had come dependent on during the typical semester. 

So, I decided to start a new routine for the kids and myself. We wake up and get dressed for the day, make breakfast, and then clean up after ourselves. Clair would be ready for her mid-morning nap around 10:30 a.m.; as I rocked her to sleep, I would reflect on what assignments each of us had. Grace usually had three to four tasks during the week, which were due on Fridays. I, on the other hand, had two weeks’ worth of homework due between Friday and Saturday. 

I would assist Grace with her studies while Clair was napping, it was quick as long as she wasn’t trying to play with her toys or if Emmett wasn’t asking for a million things at once. If Clair were still in a deep sleep, I would knock out the most straightforward assignment(s), allowing me to check it off my “to-do list.” 

We are setting up time just for fun!

I knew the kids were getting bored being inside all day, every day. I made sure I took time away from studying to play with them or read to them. Pinterest is my go-to when it comes to looking up kid-friendly activities. One day I had found “animal exercises” for us to do since they are both out of school; neither one would be getting their P.E. time.

I also let their inner artist come out on the patio with chalk. The ideas that come to life once they put it down on the concrete is impressive to me. They both love it when I read to them, but mostly for bedtime. Author Dan Gutman has a series of books called ” My Weirdest School.” The reading levels are between first and second-grade. Grace is on her way to second grade; the majority of the vocabulary in the books are recognizable or should be for any child at that level. I bought the first book in the series to make sure we would like them, turns out we all loved it!

When I need serious focus time I,

Once I notice I’m getting behind on my studies, I make sure the children are put to bed earlier; that way, I have quiet time to myself. I step into a strict student mode. I have my laptop open, my notebook, and pen ready for notes on what I have to write about for through discussions; that way, my topic is persuasive and has substantial evidence. I find this is helpful for me when it comes to learned material verses, just remembering it for the test.

Spring break 2020, EXTENDED!

Yes, you read this right. Spring break has been extended to an extra week. Most of the college students I’m sure are ecstatic by this news. As for me I am not, why, because I have children to keep healthy, but I also wanted them to be able to play at the park; I wanted them to enjoy their time off from school too. So, what or who do we have to thank for this?The Coronavirus disease or (COVID-19), this virus spread rapidly as many may know. It caused panic bulk purchasing of toilet paper? I’m confused by this as well, but along with that, there was bulk purchasing of food, water, cleaning supplies and anything else you can think of. At first people were joking about this virus, but then when they got scared it was time to stock up.

Just One Weekend Outing

Grace and Emmett got to spend their first week of spring break only getting to play softball and baseball last weekend, and Grace had another game Wednesday evening. What great fun for a six year old and her four year old brother. I want to take them out of the house and go play at the park, but then my mommy instincts kick in, hard, and tell me not to even risk it. I had to go over to our local grocery store to get some items, that alone was eating me up. Grace and Clair smelled like hand sanitizer before we walked out the store.

Schools are closed till further notice

Emmett was excited to tell me about his new toy.

Since the kid’s are now home from school from all of the madness, they have been watching movies, I also rediscovered ABC Mouse. It was a great way to keep the kids busy while still learning. Emmett loves to play games, but the games he now plays are teaching him as well. And Grace enjoys all of the different actives she gets to do.

Grace promises she will be going to Aggie land. She want’s to be a vet.

Organize your note books.

Since we are on this extra long break, I figured it was a good idea to re-organize my notes for one particular class in general. Everyone struggles with that one class, you know we call it a “hard” class. I decided it was a good idea to take the free time I had to go through my notes, clean out what I knew I no longer needed and kept what was important. I didn’t get the grade I wanted on my last test. I also did not read the assigned chapters. Normally I like reading the text, but the last two weeks were a little, blah! So I wanted to give you some help on keeping you motivated, and how to study for the class you don’t really like.

From going to tutorials to get extra help from my class, they also give you handouts of the most important points in the chapter. I have those along with my own notes I take while reading. My professor also sends an assignment we have to print out and work on. All of these notes I keep in one divider section. I have my binder set up for material that will only be on the test. For example chapter’s one and two are for test one, chapter’s three and four are for test two and so on. My dividers have pockets for all of the handouts/print outs.

Read. The. Chapters!

Okay, who really wants to read? Especially on material you don’t find interesting or is hard to comprehend. Fortunately I like this class, but it deals with statistics, and it’s online. Like I had mentioned before, I did not read my last two chapters, just skimmed through the pages, my exam reflected that. If you find it hard to understand, there is always this thing called e-mail. Get in contact with your professor ask questions, trust me they love knowing you are trying, and they love the fact that you actually reached out to them.

When did the ADHD start, or was it always there?

Growing up, I can remember the only year in school I had received all A’s on my report cards were in first grade. I also remember starting off in one class, with my teacher Mrs. Bernal, and then later in the year the school made another class brought in a new teacher and for the life of me I cannot remember her name. I wasn’t to sure why they made another class or why I was added to it. Question’s I should ask my mom… hmm? My parents decided it was best to change schools in the district before second grade had started. My PawPaw (grandpa) and I drove over to the school to meet my second grade teacher; Mrs. Nancy Hunter. She introduced me to my favorite chapter book “A dog called Kitty.” This lady was just the sweetest, most caring, and highly respected. School began, I was making new friends it wasn’t hard to do that. As the year went on, I was failing most of my spelling test, reading wasn’t always easy, I can’t remember how I was in math then. I do know that my teacher was worried about me. I got to move on to third grade, again another great teacher, I was doing better than the year before, but I would still need a little more help, my parents would stay on me to. Fourth grade came, that was a hard year in general. Let me say this real quick, from second through fourth grade I was blessed to have amazing teachers who cared about every student. Back to why fourth grade was a difficult year, we had lost my PawPaw; I personally was developing fast if you get what I’m saying. His loss was hard on everyone in my family, but at the age of 10, how can you fully grasp the understanding of losing someone that you were so close too? That year again if I remember correctly, I was struggling again with grades. My teacher was worried about me, but also knew what I was going through. Was something really wrong with me and learning, was it life events, or did I just not care?

Middle school through High school.

Middle school was fun, I was a fifth grader and we got to “switch” classes? How cool was that? I was lucky to have my mothers friend as my homeroom teacher, who also taught me math. One teacher for English, another for science, and one for reading. My grades were okay in some subjects but I was failing that year and I needed summer school. My poor mom, she killed me having to go to summer school. I love you, if you are reading this. From there on out, I never had to go to summer school again, but the grades wouldn’t change from some b’s to the rest being c’s. School was hard for me, I would only get by barely just to play in the school sports, remember “no pass, no play?” I didn’t want my friends to know I wasn’t “smart,” not that they would have befriended me, I just didn’t want to be embarrassed. My teachers would e-mail my mom if I was starting to slip and that was embarrassing enough. All through the years at least once my mom would ask me “do you really think something is wrong and you need to be tested or do you just not try?” Truth is, when I would try to study and I was determined to, I would fail a quiz or not do as great as I thought I was on a test: other times I just gave up because what was the point in trying if I was going to fail? Junior or senior year, I failed a class and didn’t get to perform at the pep-rally. I was so ashamed of myself, I let the squad down, I let my teacher down, I had let my parent’s down.

College

I failed miserably

I would pass a little, fail a lot. I just didn’t care, I was reckless.

Fast forward to the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013. I grew up, got married and pregnant with Grace. I knew I wanted an education, I knew I didn’t want to let her down. I didn’t want to let myself down again. I pushed myself to take two classes at a time in 2012, I did good. I made two b’s that semester and had the pushed myself hard to get those two grades. Spring of 2013 I was set to graduate once my three classes were done. Again knowing I had to push myself even harder, I did okay and got to graduate.

Two thousand and sixteen, I was getting ready to start classes again to bring up my GPA since I had failed classes a few years before. I was a mother of two by then, my ex- mother in law had just retired from teaching the summer before. She would watch me study, or try to study when she was around the house. She asked me if I had always struggled with school, I told her I did, that some times I would really try while other times I didn’t care to, and teachers would ask or tell my parents throughout the years to maybe get me checked. But we never did, and that’s okay. My mom and dad are tough love parents, they pushed me all the time to study and study hard, or be grounded until progress reports (which was all the time). My ex- mother in law told me with deep concern, to go talk to my family doctor about my lack of ability to fully comprehend the material and lack of focusing. I can tell you that when I would read something I would not have a clue what I was reading. It was better if I read aloud to myself. Or I would re-read over and over again. My mind would always wonder off to la la land. I then made an appointment, a couple of days later I was talking to my doctor who she; her self has ADHD, along with her mom, and her two kids. She was blunt about not wanting to start me off on medication, without trying for about a month some methods she recommended. I was willing to give it another shot with her tips. Because whatever I was doing, I was getting somewhere, but not where I wanted to be.

These tips are what were recommended to do before officially being diagnosed with ADHD

Let me say this first, everyone has their own way of retaining material. This is what worked for my doctor, and some of it still works for me. Try to notice what distracts you when you get ready to study and remove the problem right then and there. Unless the distraction is your child.

  • Use just black or blue ink, or pencil. If you have a specific color note book for your class use the same color high lighter to mark the important information. To much color will distract your eyes from focusing on one thing at a time.
  • Use flash cards- for anyone who has to have color. Get the colored index cards and write in blue or black ink while underlining the important key words or possible test questions. Flash cards normally come in bright neon or pastel colors.
  • Put your phone on silent, or check it every 30 minutes during a small break.
  • Do everything you need to do for one class at a time. It can be extremely distracting seeing everything you still need to do. Jumping around will only stress you out.
See what I mean? Stressed out… not always cute.
  • Use your down time wisely, set it to when there are less distractions. When kids are at school, during a lunch break, or when they go to bed for the night, go have time to yourself. Or if you have another adult in the house ask them to watch the kids while you shut yourself in a room for a couple of hours to focus on your work.
Distraction #1
Distraction #2

I tried for the month, and I promise you I tired. My ex- mother in law always on top of me, helping me by watching the kids, in or out of the house. She would test me little bit when she could. She was like my mom, checking my grades after assignments were turned in.She saw the stress I was under to really get better grades while raising two little children. After a while, she advised me to go back to the doctor and show her my grades after the tips I was given to do. October of 2016 my doctor wrote my prescription. Since starting the medication, and using tips 1,4 and 5 my grades have been a solid high B or low A.

If you think you might have some of the same problems address them, talk to your family doctor. I found myself being calmer, learning and retaining any information when studying. I know when to take my medication and when not to. I still do not rainbow high light my notes like I did once before. Although it is very pretty. In my previous post, I mentioned how I write out all of my assignments and task that were needed for the class. I put my focus on one class at a time. Lastly, being a mom to younger kids is a task on it’s own; they will always have my attention first. My education is highly important to them and myself. Every now and then Emmett will say “mama, go do your homework okay? So the teacher WILL not get mad because that’s bad.” Weekends are now for t-ball and coach pitch, school work will have to wait until Sunday evenings now unless there are assignments due.

Emmett’s first t-ball game
Grace’s first coach pitch game
Baby sister along for the ride. She was over it after a while.

Welcome to my Blog

I get asked a lot, “how do you manage school full time and take care of your kids?” I tell them “it isn’t as hard as it looks, my kids are my drive I have to do it.

I started college in fall of 19′ at Texas State University. This school was the only one I have ever truly had my heart set on since graduating from high school back in 2010′. I felt very determined on wanting to get my education there.

Hi everyone, my name is Amanda if you don’t know me and welcome to this chapter of my twenty-eight year old life. This is my journey of going to school to pursue my bachelors degree in Advertising & Mass Communication with a concentration in Digital media , all while being a mom to three amazing kids and managing home life. Please don’t think I have it all together because I don’t, not by a long shot. I do seek help from my family, and those closest to us. I also try different way’s to study to make sure I know the material. I want to give a little back story on myself, and my family, because this is their journey to while we go through with what works and doesn’t.

I know I am not the only mom who is attending school nor will I be the last. I thought sharing what the reality is like, how I am able to make time for almost everything, find new ways to study and help with tips on studying. What better way to bring you into my life, experience this with my family and I together.

This will be for anyone who enjoys reading and just seeing it from a different point of view. Most importantly, for the mom’s who have been where I am now, the mom’s who are currently in school, and the mom’s who want to pursue their education.

Thank you for helping me, thank you for believing in me, thank you for pushing me, and thank you for being here with me. I hope you all enjoy, now let’s go get this degree!