Parenting

Homeschooling and Military Life:

“Mom, can you please make her stop?”

My daughter, ignoring her brother’s plea, plunged into her fifth rendition of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” on the piano. Another brother lounged in the recliner nearby, oblivious to the commotion while engrossed in his latest Hank the Cowdog book. My oldest son peered into a microscope in the kitchen, attempting to sketch protozoa in his lab book while obviously annoyed by the incessant piano playing. My youngest perched happily on the couch, eating cookies and sounding out words from her phonics cards, while taking frequent breaks to pet the dog sprawled beside her, who hoped to catch an errant crumb or two.

Moms with children of differing ages can likely relate to the above busy family scenario, but the most unique part about it all is that it occurred mid-morning on a school day.

I never planned to be a homeschooler.

In fact, if you had told me before we started that I would not only homeschool our four children but keep at it for years and years, I would’ve probably fled in the other direction. The only homeschooling families I’d run across before that were a bit (ahem)…different. Yet here we are, two decades later, with three of our children graduated and the last one entering her junior year.

Why Homeschool?

The combination of our oldest child learning to read early, a desire for a faith-based education but lacking the finances for private school, and coming across several families who’d successfully homeschooled for years led us to consider this option when our oldest reached school age. We decided to try it for one year. Though it certainly wasn’t easy, we found that the flexibility of homeschooling fit into our busy military life seamlessly. As more children came along and the moves more frequent, we continued homeschooling. And one thing that remained stable was the continuity of our kids’ education. We also didn’t need to worry about school districts or locations when my husband was given a new military assignment.

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