Four Thrifty Tips for Managing Your Family Budget as a Postsecondary Student Parent

By J. Sparks – Redefining Traditional Project Team Member

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As the start of another academic year approaches, tuition, books and material fees begin to mount and money management becomes top of mind for many postsecondary students, especially for those with family responsibilities.  When I enrolled in graduate school as parent, not only did becoming a student effect our household schedule and routines, it also impacted our family budget.  If you are presently facing the task of doing it all and paying for it all too, below are a few financial tricks and tips that I have found helpful during my postsecondary journey with kids.   

When Downtime Disappears, Forest Bathing Can Help Student Parents Destress

By J. Sparks, Redefining Traditional Project Member

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When I was a single, childless, undergraduate student, breaks from class and the time in between classes was when I explored the campus, had a mid-day power a nap in the library or checked-in with my friends over a coffee (or a beer).  After becoming a parent, my on-campus breaks from class, didn’t really feel like breaks at all.  Breaks became precious windows of time that I had to maximize.  Windows of ‘child free’ time in which I needed to prepare for the family responsibilities I would resume promptly after returning home from school.  Brief opportunities to check-in with the babysitter, prepare bottles, grab a few family essentials and/or groceries for the family meal I knew I would have to quickly assemble post-class. 

Reflecting on National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

 Written by Kaitlyn Corlett  

This National Indigenous Peoples Day and throughout National Indigenous History Month, I’ve been thinking a lot about what this means to me. While days of recognition are significant and obviously important, as an ally to communities, I often ask myself ‘What next?’. Not for the communities themselves, but rather for myself. What’s next for me in active allyship – and what can I do in my life, circle of influence or with folx I engage with?  

Reviewing Your Families’ Academic Year: Will it be back to virtual school for yourself and your kids?

By J. Sparks – Redefining Traditional Project Team Member

As both a graduate student and a parent of school aged children, the beginning of summer marks the end of the school year for my whole family.  It’s a time when we all assess the academic year completed and make plans for the school year to come.  

A tablet with teaching materials on the screen, with tools like a note pad, coffee, pencils and more.

This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, my university shifted all of it’s classes online.  My children also became engaged in online public schooling.  After a year like no other, assessing what we have done and where we will go academically – as a family – has been a challenge. Out of necessity, we have all adapted to online learning and established new ways of connecting with our schools, communities, extended family and friends.   

For over a year now, my family has lived, worked and learned all together from home.  We have made virtual learning work for ourselves and for our children.  

It has been an adjustment.  It has not been easy.  We have survived.  We have succeeded. 

What this Summer Will Look Like at Redefining Traditional!

By J. Sparks – Redefining Traditional Project Team Member Welcome (and welcome back) to Redefining Traditional – a community and information hub for post-secondary students who are also parents, and to those who are supporters of student parent communities. My name is J.  I am a university student and a…

Community Post: Some Med Students are Parents, but Where Are the Data?

This post is a community re-post from the Futurity Blog, with thanks from the Family Care Office from the University of Toronto. Originally posted on March 8th, 2021 by Corrie Pikul-Brown There are no national studies on medical students who…

The Importance of Meaningful Land Acknowledgments (Part Three)

Our land acknowledgements series highlights important stories and teachings from each of the Redefining Traditional team members – Heather, Shamim and Kaitlyn. Through these posts, we aim for our community to think about how land acknowledgments are immensely important, and to ensure we engage in teachings about specific cultures beyond a day or month of recognition. We also highlight important questions to support our community so that an acknowledgement moves beyond a ‘script’ and towards an ongoing conversation.

Our final post in this series is by Shamim Ahmed! Our previous two posts are from:

Virtual Learning, Virtual Working, Virtually Unavailable

By Heather Watts

Heather standing in front of a colourful background wearing a teal long sleeve shirt, smiling to the camera.

At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, I made the decision to send my son to school in-person. I can remember some of my parent friends asking, “Aren’t you worried about his health?”. Of course. I am also trusting in the processes set forward by his small, community school to keep everyone safe; a process informed by local physicians and scientists.