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Homeschooling and the Military: A Match Made in Heaven

If you ask me, homeschooling and the military go hand in hand. Or dare I say they are a match made in heaven? I am not just saying this because we are a military homeschooling family {wink, wink}.

No, really, I’m not.

As most of you know, military families are known for moving more often than the average family. In addition, military families are often separated for training and deployments. While frequent moves and separation can cause a lot of stress on the family unit, it can also offer opportunities for learning and ministry that far outweigh the cons of a move or deployment.

Here are some of the reasons that homeschooling and the military lifestyle go well together:

  • With every change of duty station comes a period of uncertainty for our children. Homeschooling causes a constant in their lives that takes out the vulnerability of always being the “new kid” therefore eliminating the need to “fit in” with their peers.

 

  • In addition to moving, most military families have been experiencing continuous multiple deployments since 2003. We are currently experiencing our 5th year long deployment and homeschooling provides a very important stability in the children’s lives. Even though the deployed parent is not home, everything else stays the same. This has helped my children cope well during many long separations from their father.   

 

  • Another wonderful thing is the fact that we are able to take field trips all over the world – and we decide when and where. For instance, we currently live in Germany and have been able to take field trips to multiple concentration camps, historic churches, many different castles and castle ruins, the Bavarian Alps, museums, and the list goes on and on. I know that this is something that we would not have the opportunity to do as often and in so many places outside of the military. 

 

  • As with all homeschooling families, the flexibility of taking time off really benefits the military family. For example, we took two weeks off during my husbands R&R last month that would have caused a problem had my children been in school. We never have to worry about school schedules interfering and not being able to go on vacation when the U.S. Army designates my husband’s leave dates or tells us it’s time to move {again}. 

 

  • It is no secret that when moving from school district to school district there are major discrepancies in the education provided. Again, the continuity of homeschooling provides our children with no stress as we can take school wherever we go. My children have done school work on planes, buses, trains, and lots of military hotels while in transition from one place to another. And the good news is, their education does not suffer nor change regardless of where we live. 

Because of the unique challenges military families face, family unity is of the utmost importance. Homeschooling provides another way, in addition to the foundation of our faith, to build a strong family bond. Homeschooling gives us a healthy connection as a family that we could not achieve if our children were at school all day. And it is for these reasons, I believe that homeschooling and the military lifestyle are a match made in heaven.

 

Carlie K

Carlie K

Carlie Kercheval is a happily married stay-at-home homeschoolin' momma. She and her college sweetheart have been blessed with 3 precious children to raise while traveling the world as a military family. Carlie is the founder of So You Call Yourself a Homeschooler?, Fulfilling Your Vows, and Managing Your Blessings. When she is not busy enjoying her family and the great outdoors, you can typically find her cozied up somewhere with a good book.
Carlie K

Comments

  1. I love this article. I too am a homeschool mom and now see how it’s a perfect match for military families. I especially like the field trips around the world.

  2. From one Army wife to another, I just wanted to let you know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this deployment. May God watch over your husband and bring him safely back to you! Your field trips around Germany sound wonderful! You are making precious memories with your children that they will never forget! My husband was stationed in Mannheim back in 1984-1989. We weren’t married then, so, unfortunately, I didn’t get to see it. Deployments are no fun, that’s for sure, especially the one where I gave birth to our daughter with my husband in Tikrit (at least he got to be on the phone during the delivery!), but you are so right. Stability and routine are key for the kids. (and us!) Hang in there! :-) Many blessings, Lisa

  3. Savannah@HammockTracks.com says:

    After having known you for about a year and watching you and your family adjust to your husband’s deployment, I am convinced that home schooling is a wonderful asset to a military family.

  4. This is beautiful and true. Thanks so much for your husband and YOUR service to our country. God Bles you guys.

  5. Amen and amen! Carlie, as a military wife, you know I whole-heartedly agree with everything you said.

  6. From another military homeschooling family – very good article! We have a million reasons why and all those you listed above are part of those reasons.

  7. As another homeschooling mom that is also a military wife, this list is also many of the same reasons we homeschool our children as well. Well said, thank you!

  8. Angelle says:

    Very well said! We too were able to take-off the two weeks R & R the Air Force gave my husband during his deployment last year. Thanks!

  9. We just retired last Spring. Homeschooling was certainly the way to go for us. We moved 9 times, had 3 deployments, and some medical issues with a couple of the children. All five of our kids have thrived in the homeschool setting. It took an incredible leap of faith to decided to keep them all home. Best decision ever! :)

  10. Thanks for sharing. My husband is in his 10th year of active duty service, and we have homeschooled our two children from the start. My husband’s career field is heavily deployed, and he will be leaving soon for a 12 month unaccompanied remote assignment. Upon his return, we will be PCSing to our new duty station in Germany. I love how homeschooling gives our family more moments together because each second we get to spend with each other is so precious. I love that they will get to spend every minute of every day with him when he is on leave. I love how we can take vacations whenever we want. Educating our children at home has been such a blessing to us, and I’m glad to see more military families are starting to see the blessing in home education. Thanks for sharing:-)

    • Jess,
      Yes, so blessed to be able to homeschool, even while living in Germany! We, too, have always home educated and are so thankful that God has called us to this amazing journey as a family. Bless you and your family as you adjust to the upcoming separation and international move. We love it here in Germany, it is amazing!

  11. Love this! We are a ministry family and have moved 11 out of the last 22 years. Homeschooling is awesome. I have a question though about living in other coutries. Does the Un child act affect military families at all? Do you have to keep homeschooling secret or does being an American citizen make in null and void for you?

    • Terisa,
      So glad you enjoyed the article. Wow, that is a lot of moves! So glad that homeschooling is blessing your family :) For us, because we are on military orders to Germany, we have protection under the SOFA. As you may know, homeschooling in Germany is illegal to German citizens, but they do not bother the American’s with the military. However, if you are an ex-pat living here (or non-military), you will be pursued by the German government. Thanks for the question :)

  12. Jennifer says:

    We, too, are a military homeschool family. My husband is currently deployed as well. I wholeheartedly agree with what you wrote! Thank you! (We’ll be moving to Germany this summer.)

  13. Rob Gennrich says:

    One Veteran family for another. THANK YOU for your sacrifice and we will keep all of you in our homeschooling prayers.

  14. Michelle says:

    Homeschooling is awesome–especially in Germany. We are currently living in Germany and love being able to really make history come alive! Last summer we studied WWI, this summer our unit study will focus on Middle Ages (goal of visiting a new castle each week!) and the summer after we will have a unit study on WWII with a trip to Normandy beach!! (We do unit studies in the summer when my step-daughter is with us) While there is a 7 year difference between my step-daughter and my oldest daughter–we have already seen amazing differences between home education and public school education! So blessed for this opportunity!

    • Michelle,
      I totally know what you mean. Living history has been at it’s finest for us while being stationed in Germany. We have such an abundance of rich cultures and countries to draw from and we are right in the middle of it :) So happy you are enjoying Germany as much as we are! Bless you!

  15. Samantha says:

    Well put! We are also a homeschooling military family. There are so many reasons why we do what we do. These are just some of them. We love the same ability to work around daddy’s schedule, because we know that schedule does not work around us! It is such a blessing.

  16. This is great and so well said. I’ve had many of the same thoughts myself. We just moved to Germany 6 months ago, and began preschool at the beginning of the year (I love the part about field trips because we just went to the nearby aquarium for “F” week ;-)). My son will start K homeschooling in the fall, and all the reasons you said were some of the biggest reasons we chose to homeschool, knowing it’d be easier. Also that we could PCS during the school year without causing problems or making them be the “new kid” in the middle of the year. There ARE so many great reasons for homeschooling and military. Thanks for sharing this and for the sacrifices you and your family are making.

  17. Great article and so true….We are also a homeschooling US Army family and wouldn’t have it any other way=) Enjoy your time in Germany=)

  18. Natasha Evans says:

    Hello, we are currently stationed here in Germany and I was wondering what curriculum you use to homeschool? Did you have to go through DODEA for approval to homeschool? I currently have a son in kindergarten and he is struggling. He’s far behind the other students and recently the teacher stopped the aide from providing him with one on one instruction. I have a son that is ADHD and I believe that my 5 year old is possible ADD, he not hyper at all but he does have difficulty with retention. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  19. Hi, I am the mother of a kindergartener attending a DOD school here in Korea, but we anticipate moving to a failing school district in Oklahoma next year and I do not plan to enroll my child there as we will only be there for part of 1st grade (a school for my husband is there), then we will be moving on to our next duty station. Have you encountered any families who have successfully home schooled their child for just a semester and then successfully re-enrolled them at their follow-on assignment? I don’t know where we will be going next, but I can’t imagine their school system could be as bad as the one in Oklahoma! Also, do you have any advice regarding choosing a curriculum for a half-year’s worth of work and making sure the child keeps up with general standards for their grade despite the fact that you don’t know what state your child will be attending the next grade in? (Possibly overseas again?) We are just trying to explore our options before we PCS. Can you recommend any sites that provide information that might be helpful specifically for the military homeschooling milieu?

  20. Donna Zubek says:

    Hi, I’m am new to homeschooling and have an 12, 11(girls), 8 and 6 (boys)year old. We are moving to Frankfurt, Germany in June and was wondering what to expect and how can we incorporate a German history curriculum into our time spent there. I know just the many places we can visit will be huge just by itself. If anyone has any suggestions on ideas it would greatly be appreciated.
    Thanks

  21. We are PCSing to Vilseck in February and I have home schooled my daughter since Kindergarten she is going into the 4th grade I am kind of afraid that she will not adjust well to going to a regular school. So my question is, is there any free homeschooling programs I can go through when we get to Germany or will she have to go to a regular school I just want to know so I can prepare her.

    • It is illegal for Germans to homeschool, so you wont find anything from the German economy, but there are tons of online programs/curriculums you can still use while here. One great thing about being military and homeschooling over here is there is no reporting. So just start doing some research now, find a curriculum you like, and bring it with you would be my tip :)

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