A growing number of military families are electing to home school their children. They have joined the ranks of over two million children in the United States that are being taught at home. Although reasons for homeschooling vary, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that the most common reasons parents opt to teach their children at home include:
- Better academic test results
- Poor public school environment
- Improved character and moral development
- Objections to what is taught locally in public school
Homeschooling is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or temporarily living abroad. Parents of children with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or special needs may find homeschooling more compatible with their children's learning style. Some military families choose to homeschool because of the flexibility it offers, and the stability it provides to their children during repeated deployments and constant moves.
Though homeschooling offers military families flexibility, the degree depends on state laws where the family resides. Most states require specific testing and some sort of record keeping. For military families stationed overseas, state laws do not apply. However, the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) recommends informing base commanders of the intent to home school to verify whether certain local or host nation requirements apply. In most cases, families can home school without any restrictions and are provided with necessary support from local Department of Defense schools.
State-side military families should research the homeschooling requirements in their current state through their local school district.
To learn more about homeschooling overseas, visit the Department of Defense Education Activity for Europe and for the Pacific.
In addition, we suggest you check with your local faith-based organizations to learn what kinds of resources or support systems they offer homeschooling families.
Until military families are relieved of the weight of war, we hope you will continue to contribute to their wellbeing.
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