This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: Homeschooling Tips for Military Families, Interview Nathan and Anita from Homeschool Project Podcast. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
We’re so excited to be joined again with our friends, Nathan and Anita from the Homeschool Project Podcast! They are a military family, as are many of our homeschool friends, so join us today for some encouragement from a military homeschool family to other military homeschool families OR to homeschool families who want to understand their military homeschool-friends!
Nathan and Anita are currently stationed in Ohio. They have been serving for twelve years. (Let me clarify. Nathan is a military recruiter- the guest on an Homeschool Highschool Podcast episode about what military recruiters like to see in homeschoolers. However, when one member of the family is serving in the military, the entire family serves because they must be adaptable to all the lifestyle needs of military service members.)
Nathan and Anita homeschool their three kids, ages four through twelve. They started their podcast last year to talk about their homeschool adventures.
They started thinking about homeschooling several years ago, when their daughter was finishing pre-k.
At that time, Nathan got to thinking about homeschooling. Anita was busy in her career as a nurse and loving it. However, she respected his opinion so kept thinking about it.
One thing that triggered their thinking about homeschooling was a meeting with their pre-k’s principal who told them they should hold their daughter back a year. They went forward with their traditional school plans for the time. But then, one night while bathing her young son she realized she was truly seeing her child for the first time that day. She decided she wanted a lifestyle that was not so harried, but rather, had time for noticing.
Another incident that moved them closer to homeschooling was a night when they were helping their daughter with her homework. She was seven years old and so tired after a school day. Watching her, they decided they wanted something better for their daughter. After that, Anita spent the rest of the researching how to homeschool. Then they were ready for Anita to retire and to launch their homeschool.
As Nathan says, he has never been the type to believe life has to be what everyone tells you it has to be: Mom and Dad both work, come home after a long day to feed the kids and put them to bed, then do it over again the next day. The only family time really is Saturdays. That’s not the life he wanted for his family.
They decided that life could be centered around a healthy kind of education situation for their kids…and that was homeschooling!
Life does not need to be centered around school all day and homework all evening. There is more to life than schoolwork. Homeschooling allows their family to have a marvelous education AND time for fun, exploration, play and simple family time.
Nathan and Anita started their podcast because Nathan loves podcasts! Also, they wanted to be able to pull together all the information they were learning about homeschooling and a homeschool lifestyle into one place in order to help other homeschoolers. They figured that they can bring folks along as they learn…and to learn from others as they interview them.
The podcast also gives them a special kind of community that goes with them, even if they must relocate due to military orders. (They have found there are many, many homeschooling military families.)
What’s it like being a military homeschooling family?
Anita shares that homeschooling allows some stability when Nathan’s military schedule changes a lot. Military lifestyle means lots of changes and moves, but homeschooling stays as a constant.
Homeschooling also helps them feel close. This is important for military families because there are difficulties involved in being a service family. That close knit support system is a true help.
Anita has also found that homeschooling allows some creative flexibility that helps military families. For instance, when a dad is deployed, families can work ahead in schoolwork, so that when he is home they can set aside school and enjoy family time. Or if dad has a rotating day-to-day schedule, families can work their lessons so that his days off match theirs.
Here are some tips from Nathan and Anita to help military families who are starting to homeschool:
- Always check state requirements with each move
- In the military, you can choose a state of residency that will stay with you throughout your career. However, you will need follow the homeschool rules of the state you are currently living in. A good site for this is HSLDA.org.
- Find a local co-op for in-person support
- This can be military homeschool co-op families or other local groups. This really helps when your spouse is deployed.
- Online supports help
- Stay organized
- With constant moves, do your best to keep records in consistent findable places (medical, homeschool, etc).
- Join Military Families Facebook Groups
- For some advice for mom of homeschoolers headed for the military, check out this post from our Cousin Ticia Messing.
Vicki loves the resources and hopefulness that Nathan and Anita bring to homeschooling families, especially military homeschool families. Please check out their podcast and pray for all our military families. Join us for encouragement for military homeschooling families- and folks who care about them.
Natalie Mack shares some great tips with Through Multiple Deployments Homeschooling Keeps Military Kids Anchored.
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