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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Students Parents (the essential guide) by Camilla Chafer

This guide provides practical and informative advice about the realities of being a student parent including the two most important considerations: finances and childcare. It dispels myths about typical students, assesses why parents make good students and looks at how teenage pregnancy does not preclude higher education. Advice for dealing with student life while managing parenting responsibilities is included, along with tips for academic success. Written by a former student parent, this book contains information on becoming pregnant while in education, funding and benefits available, childcare, student life, dealing with deadlines and exams and helping your children to understand your studies.

This is a great handbook for student parents of all ages. The book includes advice for parents aged 18 and under or university students, parents returning to education, long distance learners or university students. It includes hints for how teachers and education suppliers can support student parents. Most importantly, the book identifying that both the mother and father need and should be offered support.

There is a whole chapter on parents aged 18 and under and the options available to them and another on pregnancy and parenting at university. There is also a great chapter on money - the benefits and funding available to them while studying. Managing money and debts/overdraft are also covered. The different kinds of childcare, both informal and formal are discussed, with the pros and cons highlighted to allow full choice to be made.

The second half of the book covers other areas which need to be considered - student life , how to combine parenting with education, coping skills (including tackling study stress, staying healthy). All are areas which need to be considered and are covered in a sensitive but factual way.

It details the choices within education and also post graduate study and also gives tips for academic success.

The book finishes with a help list - this contains a huge list of websites and telephone numbers which may be helpful for parents as there are helplines for many situations.

Each chapter finishes with a concise summary and some chapters also includes case studies which both highlight important points made in the chapters.

The book covers issues which when someone is first considering education may not initially be thought of but are important. Continuing education as a parent is a big decision and one which needs to be planned and thought about - working through this handbook will cover most situations and enable an informed decision.

I recommend this book to parents or parents to be who are in or would like to be in education - either full or part time. I, myself, am an Open University Student and find it difficult juggling family life with my study and have picked up useful hints from this book and am sure others will find it just as useful.

Thank you to Michael from The School Run forum for sending me this book to review.

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