Five ways that the military can benefit your homeschool
When you’ve been a military family longer than you’ve been a homeschooling family (or close to it), you feel a certain amount of freedom to request for accommodations and assistance as your family’s lifestyle changes, and understandably so.
You can always benefit from great military-initiated and military-friendly programs like the Mommy and Me program organized by ACS. They also run programs like Baby Sign Language depending on the military installation.
The military offers assistance to military families as much as possible, including any accommodations that might arise as children grow older. Homeschooling should be no exception to the rule.
Homeschooling families have benefited greatly from the military’s help over the years with homeschooling accommodations and access to great activities. In this post, I will share with you five ways in which you can also benefit from the military helping you improve your homeschool.
- Talk to the MWR director (or equivalent programs in branches other than Army) and develop a relationship with him/her. MWR organizes the majority of events on post as well as run the CDC (Child Development Center) and Youth Services. Explain your homeschooling situation and let them know that you would like your family to be included in their events. They will be more than happy to keep you abreast of events that can benefit your homeschool, such as Back to School Backpack initiatives and school supplies drives, the private use of the Youth Services facilities for homeschoolers only, the organization of homeschool group events as well as join community events such as Harvest Festival, movies at the park, etc. Ask the MWR point of contact to add you to their email distribution list and obtain a copy of the MWR activities flyers each week or month.
- Visit your post/base library and develop a friendship with the librarians. Explain to them your homeschooling situation and they will go out of their way to help you out. They organize different events at the library and they will inform you of activities and get togethers if you express an interest in being kept in the loop. They will also let your children join their Summer Reading Program. Also go to your post/base Fitness Center and get to know the staff. Some do not allow children access (due to safety), but if you explain your homeschooling situation to the manager, they may possibly allot a waiver for your children to use their facility as a homeschooling fitness outlet during non peak hours.
- Go to your local post/base Chapel and get to know the staff there as well. Find out if they offer programs for children. Some Chapels don’t offer anything other than Sunday school for kids, but some Chapels offer weekly VBS-like Bible meetings for children. Ask about PWOC (Protestant Women Of the Chapel – One of my favorite programs of all time!). I was so incredibly blessed through my years with PWOC. This program is WONDERFUL for homeschool families! Every PWOC I attended, including South Korea, had classes for homeschool kids to attend while Mom attends Bible Study.
- Military personnel can be more than accommodating to homeschooling families. It’s just a matter of asking. Some military posts have public schools on the premises and homeschool children can usually attend any classes or clubs offered. Some have Math, Lego, STEM and Spelling Bee clubs, just to name a few. Homeschooled children can join any of them, including classes like Physical Education, Music and Art.
- Many posts now also offer Co-Ops and special events for Homeschoolers! Since homeschooling IS on the rise, they are trying their best to meet the needs of the Service Members and their families. Military One Source also has materials for homeschoolers.
All in all, I think that homeschool military families have more at their fingertips than they think they do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out programs. It is exciting, encouraging and reassuring that we don’t have to be isolated and miss out on things because we homeschool.