With the new school year around the corner and we military spouses in the throes of relocating season (FUN…sigh), I wanted to share with you an alternative option that you might consider when it comes to educational options for your child at your new duty station.
Now, all families might not be in the position to homeschool and that is OK, too. However, homeschooling is a great alternative learning method that is creeping up in popularity and success. Homeschooling is something my husband and I first explored with our oldest child. Homeschooling families have varying reasons why each family unit might choose homeschooling as a learning platform.
Here are 4 reasons why homeschooling ROCKS as a military family!
1. Flexibility is a HUGE perk when you homeschool.
Each state and homeschooling program has different perimeters to qualify for a full school day. Most states require four hours of engaged learning a day. With this sort of flexibility, you can really customize your day. Grocery store outings become a chance for primary grade learners to count change and handle money while completing the grocery payment transaction.
Or to be able to schedule doctors’ appointments around school lessons and to practice multiplication flashcards while in the waiting room for an appointment for another sick sibling. Homeschooling allows you to choose when you begin the school year, take breaks, observe holidays, start your school days and what to wear!
I love the last part because let’s be honest…homeschooling has its perks to wear yoga pants and pajamas whenever you want.
2. Family. This one is probably the most important one for me.
It’s no secret that we milspouses live a crazy nomadic gypsy life. With constant moving, TDY trips and deployments, family time can be hit or miss. With homeschooling, you have the flexibility (see what I did there!) to spend time with family.
Before my husband’s last deployment, he had two weeks of time off to spend with us. In a traditional school setting, it would be unprecedented for a child to miss two weeks of school to spend time with dad.
However, with homeschooling, we were able to bring school with us. This way we were able to go on a camping trip to the top of some of Southern California’s most amazing mountain peaks. The kids would take breaks and do workbooks and reading in the tests. As a family we would go on nature scavenger hunts or explore the National Parks museums as a family. This was a perfect way to blend real life learning with precious time with dad before his long absence.
3. Every child is different … and that is OK!
Homeschooling has been able to show me how we can tweak and customize the way we teach our kids by the learning styles that best suit them. Let’s face it, we know our children better than anyone. My oldest is a visual learner so we do a lot of hands on teaching to help her understand new concepts.
Not only do I know how she learns, but if she needs more time on a new concept we can take a little longer exploring it. This tailored learning approach helps establish a learning plan that best suits your child.
4. Lastly is control.
As new learning methods come and go, we as a homeschooling family control how we teach our children. As a family unit, we decide if we will use a secular or religious curriculum. In addition, we can choose whether newer learning methods such as Common Core or a more traditional approach will be best. This helps maximize the values and morals we believe in.
Overall, homeschooling might be the answer you were looking for. If you are interested in homeschooling, you can start by contacting your base’s school liaison or reach out to a local homeschool cooperation. There are many resources, charter schools, independent programs and guidance to help you through this new journey.Subscribe to Military Spouse's Weekly Newsletter