Should I Stay or Should I Go?
You may make the decision for the military parent to “geobach,” i.e., move on to the new assignment while the rest of the family stays put so children can finish the school year. The proposed Military Family Stability Act could make this much easier, by providing compensation and other help for the family to relocate after the military member.
Some families decide that their graduating senior will finish out the school year living with friends or relatives, while others, like us, have had enough of forced separations and choose to move together. For the above scenario, my husband had been deployed two out of the previous four years and choosing to voluntarily separate was not on the table for any of us.
You may not be headed to a location with an ideal schooling situation, or it may seem ridiculous to transfer schools with only months remaining in the school year. After graduating our four children, I’ve often said that military life is anything but typical, so why should our educational choices be different? (You know, the whole you have to laugh or you’ll cry mindset…) Here are some options:
- Transfer to the new school (more info on this below): this may be the best choice for kids needing to complete credits or who desire to be involved in sports or other activities.
- Set up a plan with your local school to finish the school year long distance and send the child back to ‘walk’ with his or her graduating class: if you have a good relationship with your local school, this can be a viable option.
- Homeschool or do a hybrid of traditional classes or charter school along with distance learning/homeschool: this is what we did, which provided the maximum amount of flexibility for our situation.
- Plan for early graduation: for families with enough notice and seniors with enough credits, this is a good alternative for teens who simply don’t want to change schools again.
Know Your Child’s Rights