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Homeschooling a Boon to Army Brats


One of the biggest challenges military families face is ensuring the children get a solid education despite frequent moves, which require them to shift between schools that may have very different curricula and educational styles.

Unsurprisingly, then, some families prefer the relative stability afforded by homeschooling. As its popularity has grown, the military has become more supportive, in some cases providing course materials and workspaces for homeschooled students. The New York Times reports:

At Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, the library has special presentations for home-schoolers on Benjamin Franklin and static electricity. Fort Bragg offers daytime taekwondo classes. At Fort Belvoir, Va., there are athletic events and a parent-led chemistry lab.

At Andrews Air Force Base about 15 miles outside Washington, more than 40 families participate on Wednesdays in a home schooling cooperative at the base’s youth center. This month, teenagers in one room warmed up for a mock audition, while younger children downstairs learned to sign words like “play” and searched for “Special Agent Stan” during a math game. Military mothers taught each class.

This is a smart approach. In our view, no single form of schooling is best for all students. Policy should be geared toward the creation of an ecosystem of options so that parents can choose one tailored to their children’s needs. Homeschooling should definitely be part of that mix, and military children are particularly good candidates for this approach.

[Homeschooling photo courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Corlyss

    Uh oh. You know what this means, right?
    Since the military is wholly under Dear Leader’s control, he will put a stop to this immediately for bases in CONUS. Elites, which Dear Leader and NYT are among, unreservedly despise home schooling. The Germans even make it illegal as you have reported here before. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Brusselssprouts have a kill order out on the practice.

    • bask_score

      This is a great option if moving within CONUS, but abroad, most large bases are served by the DoD school system, which is excellent. (Or was, in the seventies and eighties.)

      The system was orchestrated so a fifth grader whose Dad was being reassigned from a base in Japan in the first quarter of the second semester could jump right in the Seoul DoD fifth grade (Or Germany, or the Philippines) without missing a beat.

      • Corlyss

        That’s why I specified CONUS. I am a product of the DoDS system. In my day it was the equivalent of a private school education. Starting in second grade, we got Italian lessons (we were stationed in Levorno). When we returned stateside, I entered the 4th grade in a substandard Southern public school at the height of segregation.

  • LTCDuBois

    At Pearl Harbor, there is a youth sailing program!

  • Rex

    MIC3 was implemented precisely to overcome the problems with military dependents transferring from one state to another, but the receiving states don’t always follow the law. I know of someone who transferred from Virginia to California whose son was denied the advanced placement he had in Virginia. The California school district has a strict policy of not advancing gifted students in any subject area (“if we did it for one child we’d have to do it for all children”) and is resisting as much as possible.

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