If you are considering homeschooling your military child, you‚Äôre in good company. Today, there are approximately 1.5 million children in the United States who are taught by their parents and that number is steadily climbing. While families have many good reasons for opting out of conventional education, homeschooling is especially appealing for military families.
Pros to Homeschooling in a Military Family
- If your child is homeschooled, you can forget about switching schools after each and every PCS.¬†
- Freedom from discrepancies in education: Parents have a much better handle on the quality of their child‚Äôs education and what they are learning. The pressure of house-hunting is greatly alleviated when public schools are not the number one concern.
- Military Homeschooling Cooperatives: Cooperative education is nothing new for homeschooling families, but you‚Äôll find it rather easy to find like-minded families around each and every military installation.
- Religious Experiences can be a larger part of daily education without paying a high price for parochial schools.
- The ability to take time off when you need it is priceless. Service members schedules often keep them away from home for long periods of time, and the freedom to take a little time without worrying about school schedules is extremely valuable within the military lifestyle.
- The internet and availability of affordable quality online curriculum supplements and materials make home instruction much, much easier.
- The freedom to explore personal strengths and hobbies is another major plus. You can truly focus in on your child‚Äôs gifts and watch them flourish.
- The freedom to adapt to your child‚Äôs individual needs: If your child needs frequent breaks to walk around and clear their head to be an effective learner, you can provide this without interrupting an entire classroom.
- Children adopt their values from whoever they spend the majority of their time with.
¬†Cons to Homeschooling
- Pressure on the parent who stays at home can potentially increase, especially during times of deployment. Depending on how involved the parent is in the teaching process, and how old the children are, schooling can turn into a true burden. During times of deployment, homeschooling will join the already-lengthy list of chores that is left to the supporting spouse at home.
- Lack of expert Instruction: Are you a strong educational supporter? While some teaching can be complimented by cooperatives, tutors and your child‚Äôs own ability to teach themselves, a parent will still be the driving force behind the operation. It takes a high level of organization to make sure your child stays on track.
- Socialization is a hot-button topic for homeschooling families, as most will gladly provide examples of their child‚Äôs blossoming social life. However, this varies from family to family. Some children will undoubtedly socialize less with their peers and have less exposure to different types of people from different types of backgrounds, which can be a learning experience in and of itself.
- Some adults who were homeschooled as children claim they faced extreme social awkwardness and major hurdles when attempting to fit in and adjust to living at college or entering the workplace. Some children who spend a lot of time in the comfort of home will not face the need to adapt until much later in life.
- While the freedom from a great deal of testing may seem like a wonderful positive to homeschooling, it‚Äôs important to at least consider some kind of regular evaluation to monitor your child.
- Homeschooling and making the proper preparations for your children can be prohibitively expensive.
Only parents know what is truly best for their children, and only time will tell if homeschooling is a good fit for your family. Giving due time to deliberation, conversation, and research will benefit all in the long run.