Home education has been a popular choice among military families for years. The flexibility it provides has helped many military parents meet the needs of their family’s unique situation. It is important to plan ahead for deployments as rules and regulations vary by state or country. That said, planning ahead can be fun for you and your kids. You can begin researching parks, museums and any opportunity for a field trip as well as organize lessons that tie back to your field trips.
Read on to learn how this flexible and personalized education can benefit your family.
- Advantages to Homeschooling As a Military Family
- How to Start Homeschooling When You’re in the Military
- Military Homeschool Laws
- Financial Assistance for Military Homeschool Families
- International Homeschooling
- FAQs About Military Homeschooling
- Time4Learning Curriculum For Military Homeschoolers
- Homeschool Resources For Military Families
This information should by no means be interpreted as legal advice. It is your responsibility to interpret and understand the laws that you will be homeschooling under.
Advantages to Homeschooling as a Military Family
Although it’s not for everyone, homeschooling for military families can be advantageous in different situations. Military kids face unique challenges: moving frequently, the potential absence of one or both parents, and even dealing with stressed out parents who are trying to deal with the same issues. Add in the anxiety of dealing with new schools, and it can take a toll on your child’s education.
Homeschooling has some unique advantages for military families. Here are some of the key benefits it can potentially offer:
- Stability and continuity – There’s no period of adjustment for new schools, new curriculum or teachers. Your child will know what to expect, educationally, from one place to another.
- Mobile options – With homeschooling, keep in mind you are not limited to use traditional text/workbooks. Online homeschool curriculums offer you the flexibility to learn anywhere and everywhere–just pack your computer or tablet.
- Learning that is student-paced – If your child is struggling with math facts, homeschooling means you can stick with it, and even find creative ways–like math facts games–until your child has reached mastery. Conversely, if grammar rules are second nature to your child, homeschooling means you can move on and cover something more challenging.
- Flexibility – Military families often get all-too-little family time together. Homeschooling means that when mom or dad is on leave, your homeschool can be too. Your homeschool schedule is totally up to you.
- Opportunity to explore – Military homeschooling usually means living in multiple locales. By homeschooling, you are able to adapt lesson plans, plan field trips and truly become immersed in new cultures (and in some cases languages!)
How to Start Homeschooling When You’re in the Military
Whether you are an accidental homeschooler or have been considering it for a while, there are some steps that will help you get off to a successful homeschooling start:
- Research and follow the homeschool laws of the state or country where you are stationed (see below). (This includes notifying your base school of your child’s withdrawal, if they are currently enrolled.)
- If you have the opportunity, spend some time deschooling, while also making note of your child/teen’s preferred learning style.
- Create some overall homeschool goals, which will help you determine your unique home education style.
- Use all this information to help you choose the best homeschool curriculum (or mix of curricula) for your family’s specific needs and situation.
- Have fun learning together!
Military Homeschool Laws
Homeschooling is legal in all U.S. states and state provinces. Additionally, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) homeschool guidance has been to apply this same right to all OCONUS bases. BUT – laws may vary widely in ‘homeschool‐friendliness’ from country to country. So, here are some things you need to know about following homeschool requirements as a military family.
- For those located within the contiguous United States, you must comply with the homeschooling laws of the state your family currently resides in.
- If your spouse is deployed, away at training or even in situations where they have moved on to another station – the same rule applies. You’ll still follow the laws of the state where you’re living.
- For families homeschooling in other countries, it is important to research the individual homeschool laws of those nations. A host nation, state, commonwealth, territory, or possession where a DoD sponsor is stationed can impose legal requirements on home-schooling practices.
- Homeschool students are also eligible to receive specific auxiliary education services (such as special education) from the DoDEA school in which they are eligible to enroll.
Financial Assistance for Military Homeschool Families
Budgeting as a military family is always a challenge, so how do you keep homeschooling from becoming an additional strain on your finances? Discover the assistance, grants, scholarships, and discounts available to you on our Financial Assistance for Military Homeschool Families page.
If you’re an active duty family stationed overseas, you have a completely different set of considerations to take into account as you begin homeschooling. Find out how to get started, what regulations apply to you, and what resources to turn to for help on our International Homeschooling page.
FAQs About Military Homeschooling
As you consider taking on responsibility for your child’s education, you likely have plenty of questions. On our Military Homeschool FAQ page, we address the top queries families have about everything from how to manage homeschool during a deployment to what educational services are available to military families.
Time4Learning Curriculum For Military Homeschoolers
By default, military children and teens are drafted into a lifestyle that often includes frequent moves, tight quarters, and one or more parents with unpredictable work schedules. When looking for a homeschool curriculum that fits with these circumstances, the key word will be “FLEXIBLE.” While much of military life is centered on rigid guidelines, you need an educational tool that is adaptable to your unique situation and needs.
Time4Learning has become an increasingly popular choice for military families because of its ease of use and ability to be completely customized to each family’s goals, needs, and preferences. Here are just some of the reasons why this online homeschool curriculum is such a fixture in military homeschools around the world:
- Time4Learning is a technology-based, award-winning, online curriculum that combines multimedia lessons, instructional videos, quizzes, tests and both online and offline projects to teach standards-based language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science, as well as many electives.
- You don’t have to worry about purchasing, shipping, or transporting materials overseas. Time4Learning is presented entirely online, which means that the only supplies you’ll need are your computer and the internet.
- Our learning system makes homeschooling “doable.” While parent involvement is necessary to homeschool properly, our automated learning system has already taken care of the hardest part– lesson planning. Students simply log in, choose a subject, and the program teaches the lessons, provides plenty of practice, and keeps printable reports that parents can run at any time.
- We can help you get started homeschooling your family no matter where you are! In addition to our program, Time4Learning offers an entire support system that’s available by phone or email.
- It keeps your family’s education consistent and uninterrupted, giving your kids academic continuity during repeated relocations.
- You will have 24/7 access to an entire year’s worth of materials for each student, so you can start and stop at any point in the year and use the program however you see fit.
- The curriculum correlates to all state standards and closely follows what kids are learning in public schools. That means you can worry less about state education requirements and standardized testing when you move over state lines or across borders.
- Time4Learning makes learning fun! The animated characters, interesting content, and playful, game-show like format heightens interest and concentration for children in preschool through high school.
Homeschool Resources For Military Families
As you navigate this path of military homeschooling, it is important to remember that all around the world there are families experiencing similar highs and lows, successes and frustrations. Along the way, they have also tried to share their experiences and advice, and by accessing some of that, you will have a better roadmap for your own journey. Here are some helpful resources for your military homeschool experience.
- Facebook Page – Homeschoolers in the Military
- Blog for Homeschool Families in the Military
- A2Z Homeschooling’s Military Homeschoolers Support List
- The School Liaison Program (SLP)
- Morale, Welfare and Recreation Digital Library
- Home School Assistance Program (Army)
- DODEA Info for Homeschool Students