Study regiment with a family

BoneSpurBoneSpur Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
I need ideas and suggestions please. I lost my job and I am unemployed, keeping my two year old daughter during the day. She is a handful and mentally taxing. I try to study before she wakes up and when she takes a nap, but I'm not being disciplined enough to study like I should. Have any of you been in this situation? How did you study? My wife gets home at 5:30 each day. I'm really struggling trying to find a balance. I'm studying for the A+ now and will go on from there.

thanks in advance.
All the effort in the world won't matter if you're not inspired. - Chuck Palahniuk

Comments

  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Greetings fellow South Carolinian! I just completed a CCNA while dealing with a 2 year old and a 10 month old. The thing to remember is that it's not about how fast you complete the race, but being sure you simply complete it. I try to get at least an hour in each day of study.

    Also, have you started looking for a Help Desk job? They don't pay much but at least you can get a foot hold into the IT world. I'm assuming this is a career change? I'm sorry to hear you lost your job.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    Veritas is spot on...this is not a race!

    Set goals and make progress. While having a 2 year old is challenging, it is up to you to not let the situation run you into the ground. It may be easier said then done, but I am speaking from experience.

    Couple ideas:

    1 - Set some "you" time. Pick one hour or maybe two 30 minute times when you and your books/lab/etc.. are undisturbed. Either before the household gets going, or after dinner time when the child is in bed...and with a 2 year old, we had a six or six-thirty bedtime...the adults need a break ;). Just do not make the time immediately upon your spouse walking in the door.

    2. Read to your child. You may be surprised at their interest. Make sure your voice is soft and soothing. With this method you are killing two birds with one stone (parent child time plus study). This may not work each day, but if you incorporate this step, you will at the minimum have gained some review.

    3. Set goals and post them on the fridge or a board. Teach your child that you are actively working toward something and explain all the hard work that goes into achieving a goal. This will teach your child a TON and keep you accountable in the process...remember you are the child's "superman".

    4. Share your goals with an outsider who will also keep you accountable. Someone who can hurt your feelings and you do not want to let down (in addition to your spouse).

    You can do this!
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • BoneSpurBoneSpur Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Veritas, I have been in the IT realm for 10 yrs. I have a BS in MIS. I worked at a help desk for 9 years, first 3 yrs. was a customer support help desk and then I became the trainer and then the team lead over training for 8 different desks. The problem is I don't have the technical experience I need to get a job.
    I live 45 min from Greenville and can give you a list of places I've applied.
    Networking is what really interests me along with training.

    I need a job desperately and time is not something I have to waste...
    All the effort in the world won't matter if you're not inspired. - Chuck Palahniuk
  • dbrinkdbrink Posts: 180Member
    I usually get my good studying done at night after the wife and 3 kids are in bed. They are usually out by 9pm so that gives me a good 2 hours to study.
    Currently Reading: Learn Python The Hard Way
    http://defendyoursystems.blogspot.com/
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    BoneSpur wrote: »
    Veritas, I have been in the IT realm for 10 yrs. I have a BS in MIS. I worked at a help desk for 9 years, first 3 yrs. was a customer support help desk and then I became the trainer and then the team lead over training for 8 different desks. The problem is I don't have the technical experience I need to get a job.
    I live 45 min from Greenville and can give you a list of places I've applied.
    Networking is what really interests me along with training.

    I need a job desperately and time is not something I have to waste...

    I would start on the CCNA and skip the A+ than. The A+ will not help you get into networking. If you had the CCNA I could point you in some directions, but you are probably going to run into the same problem I'm currently having. They are all NOC like and want you to work at night. That simply doesn't work for me at this point in my life. Two year old children simply don't know how to be quiet during the day :)
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • spicy ahispicy ahi Posts: 413Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    Veritas is spot on...this is not a race!
    2. Read to your child. You may be surprised at their interest. Make sure your voice is soft and soothing. With this method you are killing two birds with one stone (parent child time plus study). This may not work each day, but if you incorporate this step, you will at the minimum have gained some review.

    +1 to this. I was a shift worker when my older kids were toddlers so had to take care of them during the day on occasion. I would read my ccna stuff to them in the same type of storytelling voice that I'd read their regular books. Like plantwiz said, it doesn't work everyday, but it worked more often than not. And strangely enough, reading it in that voice (or maybe it was because I was reading it put loud) helped me to remember the material better. Also, if you can afford it, maybe find a temporary sitter to watch your child once or twice a week for four hours so you can get in some good studying in. One of my former coworkers found another person going to college and they tried to work out their college schedules so that they could watch each others kids while the other was in class. Maybe you could find someone going to school at your local cc or university who'd be willing to do the same?
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    BoneSpur wrote: »
    I need ideas and suggestions please. I lost my job and I am unemployed, keeping my two year old daughter during the day. She is a handful and mentally taxing.
    Look at this as an opportunity to spend extra time bonding with your daughter. Don't try to multi-task during Daddy-Daughter time. Focus on fun play which could include walks/jogs/exercise, helping her learn new things, and spending some time relaxing together with a book, TV show, or movie. Have dinner ready or almost ready when your wife gets home.

    When your wife gets home (5:30), spend time with her, too! :)

    Do also relax in the evening. Child care at this point should be a 50/50 task and not all you or her!

    So, your available time includes--

    Early morning. This is my favorite. 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time.

    Naps. Another 1-2 hours.

    3hrs/day of study on weekdays plus 6hrs on Saturday (leave one day for R&R) should be plenty to make good progress without burning yourself out. If you need faster progress, you probably need a sitter/nanny.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Posts: 2,338Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'm studying for the A+ now and will go on from there.

    I would agree with veritas that the CCNA is a far better choice if you want to get into networking. You might even find success applying for jobs as soon as you earned your CCENT, given your experience.

    At the suggest pace, CCENT in 30 days or CCNA in 60 days is feasible.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Posts: 1,637Member
    It really comes down to time management. You need to carve out an hour or two to focus, whether that is in the morning before everyone is awake, at night after everyone goes to bed, or during afternoon nap.

    My evening is booked from the minute I walk in the door until about 11:30 at night. That gives me maybe 1.5 hours to do with as I please Monday - Thursday. We have been trying to have family movie night on Friday which winds up being a late night for my son. The largest chunk of quiet time is nap time on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. If I really need some quiet time I can sit out on the porch on Saturday night with a few beers and a nice cigar. Cigars give my wife a migraine so I can guarantee that there will be no interruptions. If all you have is a couple of hours a day, you have to focus and make the most of that time.

    As a consultant I do not have time to study at work. Nobody wants to pay my rates to have me sit there and read a book. We are expected to focus on training and certification during our bench time between projects. Billing always takes priority, so just when I think it's safe to study and take an exam, I find myself hopping on a plane and paying a $35 reschedule fee to Prometric.
  • JustFredJustFred Posts: 678Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    3hrs/day of study on weekdays plus 6hrs on Saturday (leave one day for R&R) should be plenty to make good progress without burning yourself out. If you need faster progress, you probably need a sitter/nanny.

    I have actually adopted this approach and it works really well, my day off is on Saturdays where i get to just relax and spend time with loved ones.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Plantwiz wrote: »
    2. Read to your child. You may be surprised at their interest. Make sure your voice is soft and soothing. With this method you are killing two birds with one stone (parent child time plus study). This may not work each day, but if you incorporate this step, you will at the minimum have gained some review.
    As strange as this may sound, I can vouch for this concept.

    A few years ago, I used to read aloud some of my material to my daughter. While the material was of no interest to her, it was time together. As she got older, she would do other things as I read (drawing or playing with animals) - what is funny is that she will sometimes interject and ask me to clarify some terminology and it was a good way for me to think through in my mind so I could explain it to an seven year old.

    Now that she is older, a few months ago, I bought a loveseat recliner and we both spent an hour a few times a week sitting together while we both read our respective interest.

    What started as a way to get a little extra study time has turned into a regular way for us to spend time together.

    Best of luck in your studies.
  • kiki162kiki162 Posts: 635Member
    Bone - Speaking from experience...yes it's hard.

    If it's possible for your wife to take a day off or another family member to take your little one for the day, I would try and use that. Plus there's always daycare if you can afford that. Getting some sort of caffeine always helps too.

    I would make it a point and try to get up early, get into a routine like study while she naps, and have your wife watch her after dinner while you study. On weekends, that should be your main study time. Whatever book/study material, go through it and look at getting a schedule together. Section off an area that you need to get done each day, and once you get closer to towards taking the exam, go ahead and schedule it a few weeks out.

    Like everyone else, I would recommend going for the CCNA...as it will help you out with your job search. It's all about finding the balance. Good Luck!
  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I can speak from experience because I was home with a two year old because I lost my job and was out of work for six months. Financially we were well off due to savings accounts for emergencies but I was the primary money maker but my wife has the excellent benefits.

    Looking back the only thing I can recommend that I wish I did differently is time management. Take this time to spend time with your two year old, I took him to the park every other day, out for walks everyday and looking back I would kill to have that luxury again now that he is older and I am working. We do it now but back then I had a lot of time to spend with him.

    My problem was I thought I could study at night but I was exhausted by the time my wife got home and I wanted to spend time with her and studying at night was disorganized because I was trying to accomplish too much and had no focus.

    The first thing I would do is make a checklist for your studies and write out a realistic goal. Use the evening just to do flashcards or something light like reading no sense keeping yourself up at night worrying if you got enough studying done and be a zombie the next day.

    Use nap time for flashcards and light study also just a little. Don't stress yourself out too much but use that checklist to make sure you are on the realistic timeline you set for yourself.

    Use the weekends to ask your wife to watch your kid for a few hours and go to the library to get some serious studying done. Don't stay home get out. Don't spend all weekend there, just a few hours.

    Also I can't stress this enough but "get plenty of exercise". Unemployed = Stress = Depression. I wish I used my time off to lose 20 lbs which I hate to admit it but being in shape will only help you get a job not just for appearance but also self confidence. Be the buff IT guy not the out of shape one when you go to an interview. Exercise first thing in the morning so you have that endorphin rush and can make this time with your child a happy and productive time spent together not one where you are miserable around your kid.

    I made this insane list that I only partially accomplished when I was out of work because I was freaking out about the laundry list job descriptions, ended up not mattering one bit but I got lucky.
  • tbgree00tbgree00 Posts: 553Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    The most important thing is to make and keep a routine. Having a kid to keep sorta forces this issue but treat that job as "going to work".

    When I was laid off I made sure to get an hour a day in the gym. If I didn't I would be a lump and not apply for anything or even look. If I worked out I was all commando about housework and finding jobs. Also I've lost 50lbs and it has made the social part of work so much better. Clients don't have the "it figures" look on their face and people generally treat you better. Right or wrong people will remember you and treat you better if you look good.

    I may open a can of worms but please consider shaving your beard if you have one. If you insist on keeping some sort of beard make sure you keep your neck clean and keep it trimmed to look professional. Almost everyone I ever knew who lost their job grows a "lazy slob" beard and if they already had one they let it get to a dwarven axefighter level of unkempt. From personal experience I've never felt good with that sort of mess going on.
    I finally started that blog - www.thomgreene.com
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,803Mod Mod
    I have a 2 year old and 9 month old and right now I am studying for my CISSP. My wife is a stay at home mom and student. I also work from home. Unfortunately our house is small and I don't have a quiet place to study so I have to wake up at 5:30 to 6 am and get in study time before I work at 7am. Then when the kids are napping I take lunch break and study. I don't study at night very often as I'm too tired and it's hard to concentrate on CISSP stuff. If it was technical stuff I probably could better, especially doing labs. I think the best thing will be to wake up at 5 and study. Depending on when your kid wakes up that will give you 2 to 3 hours. Just down a 5 hour energy or lo carb Monster and go!
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, CEHv8, CHFIv8, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • BoneSpurBoneSpur Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks to everyone for their advice. My wife and I do have some money saved, but not a ton. So, I have to be diligent about studying and looking for a job. I really do enjoy my time with my little girl but it is also very frustrating and tiresome. I am going to try and get up early in the mornings and create a set routine. I have a gym membership that I could use as well to relieve some stress. Nothing comes easy and I know this, but being mentally worn out and tired is tough.
    All the effort in the world won't matter if you're not inspired. - Chuck Palahniuk
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