What Does Homeschooling in the Military Look Like?
In a recent post on the Department of Education blog, the staff interviewed a military homeschool family. The writers introduce the interview by noting:
When asked to share their thoughts on the benefits of school choice and their homeschool experience, this military family did what they do every day: they turned the occasion into a learning opportunity. Dan, his wife Jenna, and their six kids gathered at the dinner table to shape a response – as individual, independent thinkers and as a family.
The family shared that what led them to homeschool was a mix of several factors:
• Their oldest child has Cystic Fibrosis and is especially susceptible to sickness in the classroom.
• Dan’s career as a Naval officer means the family moves a lot and homeschooling helps make the transitions easier.
• The customizability of homeschooling helps the children overcome learning challenges.
• The ability to choose curriculum allows the family to teach in keeping with their values.
When asked about what their homeschooling looks like in practice, the family responded:
We would describe our homeschool as academically rigorous, but eclectic and fun. We spend time researching and selecting curricula that best fit our family and our days together. Reading, writing, arithmetic, speaking, history, science, foreign language are all very important to us. Our ultimate goals, though, are that our kids would love (and know how) to learn, love to read, and love to see the beauty of the great things in life – God, nature, literature, art, music, recreation, travel, people, relationships.
Our kids are heavily involved in music and they enjoy athletic activities. We travel in the areas we are stationed, as well as when the Navy moves us to our next destination. We’ve had wonderful learning experiences in national parks and historical landmarks, as well as museums and nature.
Family read-aloud books are integral to our teaching and learning, even though our kids range in age from two to fourteen years. In fact, on Fridays, we parents read through Shakespeare with our three oldest kids. For us, the greatest part of exercising this school choice of homeschooling is getting to spend ample time as a family.
At the end of the interview, the family was asked about what school choice means to them. They responded: “School choice allows us the freedom to engage in the aforementioned activities and educational methods amidst health concerns, military moves, learning and behavioral challenges, and curriculum choices based on our worldview.”
At Demme Learning, we feel honored that quite a few service members use our Math-U-See and Spelling-You-See curricula. We are so thankful for their service, and offer them a 10% discount on all their orders. Contact us for more details.
Nathalie is mother to two intelligent, capable girls and doting wife to a handsome naval aviator. As with the family featured on the Ed.Gov blog, Nathalie and her family have found homeschooling to be a great fit. She wrote this in a recent blog post:
One might think it ambitious to consider homeschooling in an environment riddled with uncertainty and constant change. However, home education has proven to be a steady anchor for our family. (Forgive the pun. I couldn’t resist. Go Navy!) It is one element of our lives that we can truly say is consistent, no matter our destination. Even still, providing a stable home education for our children while navigating the tumultuous seas of military life requires a boatload of flexibility, creativity, and courage.
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