Survival Guide for Homeschooling through Deployment
The orders arrive and the countdown is on. Once deployment is mentioned we all become much more protective of this all too precious (and limited) family time. The flexibility of homeschooling allows us more of this togetherness.
Whether your separation is temporary or longer term, homeschooling on your own can be a challenge. We’re here to support! We polled several military homeschooling families for their advice.
First week: Transition
Every family is different on how they prefer to handle homeschooling through deployment. Some may push heavy on academics while their deployed parent is away. Others may find it necessary to ease into a routine slowly. There is no right or wrong answer. Choose what you feel is best for your family!
“Those first days after he left were hard. We appreciated taking the first week to get our bearings without dad. They were hurting. I was hurting. We spent time snuggling, reading stories, watching educational videos, etc. By scheduling this time for healing, we weren’t behind and all of us felt strengthened to move forward.” ~Kase L.
“Dh (sic. Dear husband) and I felt it was important to the kids not to disrupt their routines. While we did take off for the ceremonies, we hopped back in the next day. For our kids, maintaining our schedule helped me avoid new battles.” ~Sarah B.
Easing into ‘single’ parenting, (even temporarily), may require some tweaking of your homeschool schedule:
“Biggest challenge doesn’t have to do with the schooling portion, rather it is keeping up with all the household chores and things that come up (car engine light, etc) while still providing an education for my children.” ~Ellen P.
“I had to pick up a part time job two days a week. We were able to alter our days off in order to stay on track.” Karen D.
“With dad on the other side of the ‘universe’ (per our 8 yr. old.), it was really vital we catch opportunities to chat via Skype, phone, email whenever we could. We found by starting our homeschooling time later we could fit in ‘daddy’ time first! It was a great start to our day! Yes, we went later in the afternoon and a few times even in the evening but it was well worth it!” Rebecca S.
It may also require changes of curriculum or delivery options:
“My spouse is the math whiz. I didn’t feel up to the challenge of trying to tackle pre-algebra much less next year’s high school level. With others in the same boat, we decided to form a co-op. MAJOR stress reliever!” ~Nell A.
“With all the extra responsibilities I found I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed by lesson planning, teaching and grading at three different levels. I signed up for an online curriculum originally as a supplement but found the kids loved it and it took a ton of pressure off.” ~Laura S.
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help! This advice was repeated over and over again from ‘been there, done that’ military homeschoolers.
“Parenting 24/7 without support can become draining fast! Asking for help does NOT make your weak!” ~Mary B.
“When things felt overwhelming, I found we needed a break to regroup. We took a couple of weeks and visited our family back home. Grandparents were more than willing to take the kids for educational adventures and allow me a chance to reenergize.” ~Patti R.
“A couple of other moms and I trade off babysitting services to allow the others to run errands or just have some much needed ‘me’ time. I also have used it to give my kids 1:1 time while other siblings stayed behind.” ~Deb P.
Time for R & R
When your partner does have R & R, you won’t want to waste a minute!
“By homeschooling we didn’t have to worry about making the choice to see dad or fall behind in our studies. We just took vacation time and made it up later!” Chris J.
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