Back to Education

As regular readers may recall, I found my eldest going off to uni coinciding with my youngest starting school a bit tricky, not only emotionally but it also left me feeling a little redundant! After a suitable period of mourning (for that read: overusing Netflix – I really recommend Jessica Jones for those who haven’t seen it yet!), I decided I needed to find something to fill my time productively.


Online learning image via Shutterstock

Online learning image via Shutterstock


I don’t want to return to work full-time for a couple of years yet, we feel that Syd (and Max too even though he is 12 now!) will really benefit from having me around after school and in the holidays, so for now we will manage with my other half’s wages and the small amount I manage to earn from home. Long term though I will need a plan, and I feel quite lucky that I have time to think and invest in myself a little while making a decision as to what might be next on my thus far haphazard career ladder.

I signed myself up for an OU course, to get my brain working and hopefully to give me some ideas for what direction I want to take – that starts next week. But, like buses, opportunities never come alone and a couple of weeks back I was contacted by NCC to see if I would be interested in reviewing one of their distance learning courses and I decided to say yes!

NCC Home Learning are a leading resource for online home learning and home study courses. They have loads of different options available, but I have chosen the Teaching Assistant Diploma. I last returned to study when I was in my late twenties, and at that point my plan was to do an access course, followed by teacher training. By the end of my access course I was 6 months pregnant with my second child and all degree plans went on the back burner. I am no longer 100% certain teaching is for me, mainly after hearing from others in the profession, who admit that though it sounds like an ideal job to fit around a family, actually the demands of it during term time make it very difficult indeed. But teaching assistant may well be a good half way house, as while you work hard during the day, the pressures on your time outside of the school day are considerably less.

Or maybe it will turn out that the school environment is not for me, but I feel this course, along with some volunteering at Syd’s school, will provide good insight to what the job involves and I am really looking forward to both re-visiting child psychology and picking up some useful information on how to support learning, which I can apply to my own kids even if I go no further with it!

The course consists of seven modules, 5 mandatory and 2 to be chosen from a choice of 4, which you have to complete in order to pass. I am only a week in and have just completed the first module, which was titled ‘Providing Support for Learning Activities’, and I found it very interesting.

If you have chosen to study online, the modules are accessed via the website and are presented in an interactive slide format, packed with information that has been broken down nicely for easy digestion. This week will see me tackle module two, which looks double the size, but it is my mission to get one a week under my belt (with half term off – thinking and a house full of kids is not a good combo!) and that way I should have completed the course by Easter – I will be back with another post of how I found the whole experience then.

Have you tackled a distance learning course or are you tempted to try it?

Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. January 25, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    I like the sound of being a Teaching Assistant too but I have no idea where to look for information. I’ve never heard of NCC so will have to take a look.
    Jenny recently posted…Monday Happy Things – Week 70My Profile

  2. January 25, 2016 / 2:03 pm

    How Exciting! I am currently doing my degree through OU it feels great to start doing something with my brain again :p I haven’t heard of NCC though sounds like a very similar layout 🙂 x
    Charlotte recently posted…Teach Yourself To Enjoy RunningMy Profile

  3. January 26, 2016 / 9:02 am

    This sounds really good! Teaching assistant does seem to be a very popular job with parents as it fits so well around having children in school. Even better if you can get a job at your own child’s school.
    Good luck with the course!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…The grammar school test and the mathsMy Profile

  4. February 7, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    As you know I’m also studying through OU and completed the same Access course last year, I’ve stared a degree in childhood and youth studies and I’m loving it. My first module is child psychology which is really interesting. I’m also hoping to volunteer in Cheeky Chap’s school but am waiting until I know more about whether I need further surgery.

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