Many of you already know that my military family is a homeschooling family, as is AFW's family. Homeschooling military families continue to grow in numbers.
Here are a few things related to military homeschoolers that were in my inbox this week.
The following are for information purposes only.
These days my routine, if I can even call it that, has drastically changed. In addition, to adjusting to my new baby (this is child No.6) I'm home-schooling the kids.
Did I just say that? I have to re-read the last sentence to make sure it's actually happening. Oh, but wait, as I look around and notice that my house is in a permanent state of disarray I know without the shadow of a doubt that, yes, I am indeed home-schooling my offspring.
If you asked me a year ago whether I would ever home-school, I would have said never. But military living has a way of testing our ideas because everything is so unpredictable and sometimes we just have to adjust. And so this year home-schooling was the best option for our family.
I grew up in Italy where home-schooling doesn't exist. So when I met families in the U.S. who home-schooled, I was interested and respectful but always thought, "Hey, it's definitely not for me." I couldn't be a parent and teacher 24/7. That line of thinking ended when we decided that I was going to give it a try because of frequent PCS-ing, deployments, illnesses, our new baby, and my 5-year-old daughter's 6:00 am gymnastics class.
Teaching my kids at home has been challenging and rewarding. Some days it's a joy as I watch them learn or discover something new, or get excited about a small science experiment. Other days it seems that I'm constantly on their case to do work, or even to just clean up.
I've had to learn what patience really is and watch what I say. I certainly can't blame poor language skills or bad manners on my kids' classmates. Whether I'll continue to home-school after this year is up in the air. I'm not opposed to public school, and sleep is a rare privilege these days when I write. But we all sacrifice something for our kids, and right now home-schooling was the right way to bring stability to my home.
Despite the fact that a part of me would really like to have more time for myself, I choose not to give up my time with my family. So, home-schooling and writing in my spare time are two things I have to balance. And, I hold my unfulfilled desires in me and embrace that I can't have it all.
Some items from "The Homeschooling Minute - Honoring Military Homeschool Families - via The Homeschool Magazine:
Honoring Military Homeschool Families
Isn't it neat that Veteran's Day falls so close to Thanksgiving? This week we're stopping to give thanks for military homeschool families!Living close to an Army base, I've grown to have a much deeper, up close and personal, respect and admiration for military families, their commitment to our nation, and the sacrifices they make every day. I've seen these strong soldiers, who boldly go wherever they're needed, praying through tears for their family as they head out on a deployment. I've seen mothers who have been stretched thin already, with their husband gone for a year at a time, drop everything to go help another military wife who has a sick child. And the very first homeschool "co-op" type thing I ever visited was on an army base. I was amazed as these dedicated families, who were in various stages of arriving and leaving, not only provided stability for their own families through homeschooling, but went even further and reached out to include other non-military homeschool families. We can all learn so much from military homeschool families. Their commitment to our nation, to their families, to each other, and to the communities around them is inspiring. Say thank you to the military families in your homeschool groups and communities this week. Enjoy every minute!THM Editor
Mercy Every MinuteDeborah Wuehler, TOS Senior EditorI believe that the best educational option for military families is homeschooling. My family was in the military for a good part of my childhood. I know what it's like to move from place to place while attending 13 schools in 12 years.I was a smart child. Everything was too easy and my teachers didn't know what to do with me. So, with every new school, the teachers had to come up with something for me to do. In first grade, I was sent to the second grade classroom. In third grade, I was placed as a tutor in the kindergarten classroom. In fourth grade, I was put in a boring gifted program. In fifth grade, I was put on the student board. In sixth grade, the teacher raged with red face and bulging veins, pointed me out daily to the rest of the class as the one they should be like (not very conducive to making friends at recess). I skipped 8th grade, and finally, in high school the work challenged me a bit, but unfortunately it was too late. I had gone from a student who loved learning to one who didn't care a whit. I saw school as pointless and I hated it. The pressure to be like everyone else was intense, the school work had no meaning, the homework was ridiculous and friends were either nonexistent or bad influences. I was squashed by all the rules of conformity.Military homeschoolers have an incredible advantage. Moving is hard enough, adding public schooling to it is infinitely more difficult. A child who is free to learn in his own environment, doing what he loves, excelling where he can and seeing the world is a blessed child indeed. Instead of feeling the insecurity of moving, they have that strong unmoving foundation of being home with those they love. They can thrive and be free to learn and achieve no matter where they are in the world.My hat is off to those military families who choose to give their children stability and freedom by giving them a home education. I wish I would have had the same.~DeborahThe FamilymanTodd Wilson, Familyman MinistriesAny homeschooling family has my respect, but a military homeschooling family gets a double portion. If you fit into that category, thank you for making the sacrifice so the rest of us homeschoolers can practice the freedom of homeschooling. I can only imagine the extreme stress of having a husband who is sometimes gone for long periods of time. So, thank you. Now, a note to all you non-military homeschooling families: make sure you don't forget those who make sacrifices for our country and for the freedoms we enjoy. Offer to watch their children, bring them a meal, or surprise them with random acts of kindness.Homeschool FreebiesJamin, Freebie FinderWe owe a debt of gratitude to those who serve in the military to keep our country free. Because of their efforts and sacrifices, we have been blessed with our freedom. I know that many military families are also homeschool families. I hope that the freebies below will bless some of those homeschool families.First, I am going to start out with something that is not free to my readers, but provides something free for the children of those serving in the military. My Little (Military) Mailbox is a free service to deployed service-member parents. It gives them the opportunity to send a small package of treats to their children while they are deployed. For only $6.00, your family can make this possible for a military family! What a great project this would be to do with your kids this Veterans Day or Thanksgiving. I love the idea of saying "thanks" to a military family!Next, I found a site that seems like a neat way for deployed military members to keep in contact with home for free! MyMilitaryYear.com is a free site that gives free membership to military personnel. With a free membership they can:
One last thing, Golden Corral Restaurants will be holding their 2008 Military Appreciation Dinner on Monday, November 17. This free "thank you" dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. You can learn all about it HERE.Happy Homeschooling,Jamin
- Keep in touch with friends and family through their own, private, secure page.
- Send and receive video, audio, and text messages at their convenience.
- Build a living diary of communications with family and friends throughout their years of service.
- Receive a DVD copy of video and audio messages to keep as a memento.
- Create a permanent record of experiences, allowing their children to understand the sacrifices our service men and women make for us every day.