View Full Version : Studying with the OU...

06-09-2011, 08:35 PM
Im thinking of studying for a degree with the Open university whilst childminding, as I'm aware if I don't start now the fee's will triple from next year.
For those of you that are currently doing this could you tell me how many hours of study would I be looking at commiting per week?
Is this possible alongside minding plus caring for your own two (young) children?? I do already have a nursery nurse qualification and 10 years experience in this field.
I don't want to pay for the first module and then find I'm out of my league!!

06-09-2011, 09:02 PM
i looked into it, and had everything ready to sign up a year ago, but DH got a new job and we mobed 6 mths later, and are in the middle of moving finally into our own house now! and i know i won't have the time or inclination for study till the new year!

i worked out i was going to need a couple of evenings a week to study at least, plus some weekends.

i was/am worried that i won't manage it either! i have NNEB and a couple more NVQ level 3s, and lots of experience, but i know i work best with a classroom setting/deadlines and REAL people! where i was living before i could have done the foundation degree with an afternoon/evening course a week and some weekends, but where i am now, i think its OU or nothing :(

however, don't let me put you off! i would have started it, had life not changed, and i'm sure it would have been fine! ( just having put it off, i've got to talk myself back into it !!! LOL !!) go for it and good luck

06-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Thanks for your response!!

There is the option of attending university near where I live... but it requires an afternoon's attendence. As my mindee's are full time - and I would more than likely lose them to this :(
I know I would be likely to fill these spaces with part timers, but I'm really happy my current situation, and don't want to suffer the stress of finding new mindee's when the OU is an option.
I like the fact that I can pick this up, when I have the time, but I do agree a classroom setting is a more ideal learning environment.

On the edge of phoning tomorrow to confirm.... as I have just over a week before applications close... I just don't want to throw away £700 (for first module) on something I can't manage!!

06-09-2011, 09:20 PM
go for it!

a friend did it, where she needed to take an afternoon off each week, and amazingly her parents all rallied round and sorted alternative care so she could attend. do you have any childminding friends who could help by taking on the afternoon children?

good luck x

06-09-2011, 09:24 PM
Is it E100 that you are thinking of starting on?

I did this with two young children and whilst totally full to my numbers with 8+ children too. It is really interesting and makes you want to get on and read it. E100 is very read the books, apply the knowledge and use quotes from the books to back it up. E100 gives you a stand alone qualification at Level 4 Certificate in Early Years Practice. You can therefore complete that course and then not go any further if you feel you don't want to.

There was 6 cm in my tutor group and 3 of us continued but when I went onto E105 there was even more of us within the tutor group.

OU provide a tutorial approx once every 6 weeks and your tutor is at the end of the phone/email. OU provide a home page through which you can access whole course forums and tutor group forums to gain assistance, advice and support from other people on the course.

I am about to start year 3 (E210) next month and my final course (U212) in Jan - I will not lie - it is extremely hard work on top of balancing a full time job, two children and a home but it gives you an amazing confidence boost when you get back your assignments, tutorials give you time to be YOU, no one knows you as anything else when you are at tutorials and I love that - no ones wife, our lass, mum, cm etc etc. Just a small thing but made a difference to me- you may not be the same :)

The Juggler
06-09-2011, 09:26 PM
i did the FD route (which you do over 2 years for FD or 2 1/2 years for top up to BA Hons). I did about 10 hours a week plus contact hours.:) Well worth it hon. the learning is amazing :)

06-09-2011, 09:29 PM
hi Donna
I am about to start my second year. I had all the same reservations as you and sometimes doubt my abilities.
It is stressful trying to find time but you will manage to (you just do). I think timewise it will also depend on how much you want to put it to a certain extent and everyone studies at their own pace. If it states 16 hours per week, it's probably half that in reality. I scraped through last year and trust me I did not put in a full 16 hours a week. I did spend hours or days when it was time to write assignments but Then I do work better under pressure.
I would also prefer a Classroom setting but as a childminder with places filled I don't want to loose the business. I don't find that I actually like the OU way of studying but for those of us with work/family commitments I think it is the best option.
Also, ensure you have full support from you partner/family because you will need that when your locked away writing your assignments
Good Luck with your decision

06-09-2011, 09:35 PM
Awww thank you to every single one of you who have replied!!

It's nice to see people who are actually doing it / done it with a positive attitude!! Makes me feel that this may be possible??

Yes it's the E100 I would be starting on the 1st Oct.. (if i choose to do so) :S
University was always something I 'was going to do...' but I've just never gotten round to it, and for me, something I feel I have to at least attempt!!

Will make the call tomorrow I think!!! xx

06-09-2011, 10:10 PM
I am stating the E100 in Oct with the OU. I was am still am a little apprehensive about it but am looking forward to studying again as haven't done it for years:)

07-09-2011, 05:24 AM
I studied with the OU for my degree years ago before many universities offered any flexibility. When I started I had 3 lo's under 5 and worked on and off. My final year I took the equivalent of a full years study(120 points) at level 3 and I had a baby at that time(no work though beyond voluntary). It's do able but I used to find around assignment time it took over my life - nothing got done around the house for the week it took me to do an assignment. I used to study at night for about 3-4hours. My problem was I was always distracted by things peripheral to the course so probably read more widely than needed.


07-09-2011, 06:43 AM
Hi, I am doing a BA Hons in childhood and youth studies,through the open university. I am a full-time childminder, single mum with 2 children and I've managed-currently near completion of year 5! I do spend most of my weekends studying but it will be so worth it when I've finished.

Some advice, when I first began I started off with a course called writing essays. Because I'd not studied for a while I needed to get back into essay writing so was ideal. Depending on what your aim/goal is you can do a foundation degree to begin with and then 'top it up' if you decide you want to go further.

I also only chose to do one module per year and I really don't have the time to read for different courses at once!

Good luck and just post a question if you need to ask anything else x

07-09-2011, 01:22 PM
I have an OU degree and heartily recommend anyone and everyone to study with them.

The Course info page usually tells you roughly how many hours of study you need to do a week, but it's probably equivalent to 60 points, which is 16 hours of study a week for 9 months. It sounds a lot, but you can get a lot done in a few hours after the children have gone home or gone to bed, and at weekends. Some weeks you'll do a bit more, some weeks you'll do less.

I managed to move house, organise a wedding, hold down a full time job and have a baby during the five years of study that I did, so it's certainly possible to do it AND get on with your life. I miss it now that I don't have textbooks and deadlines everywhere!

07-09-2011, 01:33 PM
reading all this with interest - I would love to go further with studies - I have to BTEC National in Business in Finance (A level equiv) and would love to do more as circumstances at the time meant i had to turn down university :(
Have been flicking through OU website a few times but really do not know what I would like to do ??? - have you all went down the childcare route ?

07-09-2011, 01:55 PM
I am stating the E100 in Oct with the OU. I was am still am a little apprehensive about it but am looking forward to studying again as haven't done it for years:)

Solly, me too!! I am eager to get going now x

07-09-2011, 06:33 PM
thanks everyone!!

I made the call today and have managed to reserve a place for E100 starting 1st Oct... it's just a race against time now to get all the forms in, in time for closing! Fingers crossed, the gent I spoke to said it should be possible.


Wondering if I will still have this sort of optimism next year!

07-09-2011, 08:10 PM
I start my E100 on the 1st October too with OU! Feel apprehensive, mostly about finding the time, I've just completed my level 3 Diploma in CYPW in 6 months and worry I won't have the strength to keep going, but determined. I too have a little one of my own and work 40+ hours, I have a supportive family which is a big help.

Good luck with everybody's study, WE CAN DO IT!!! x