What can you do to help military families?
Part of the great triumph of home schooling in recent years can be attributed to the willingness of home schooling families to band together. It is this spirit of helping one another that makes home education work where it would not otherwise succeed. With military home schooling families, this is especially true. The families we interviewed described with appreciation the practical assistance they have received in the course of their many relocations. We have summarized their suggestions below.
Share your resources. It is often difficult for military families to obtain home schooling supplies, especially when they are transferred overseas. If you have old school books you are not using, give or lend them to a military family.
Share information. When any family moves, it is often a blind relocation to a new area. Moving as often as some military families do, it becomes a seemingly endless process of finding resources in their new communities to meet their growing needs. The "locals" know who the good doctors are, who is giving piano lessons, and the good sites for field trips. You know about the churches you and your friends attend. You also probably know your state home school law and how friendly the local school officials are toward home education. When local families share these inside tips with new military families, it helps them settle into their new homes much quicker.
Let them know you're there. If you live in a community near a military installation, your home school group can become an important resource for military home schooling families. But do they know you exist? Try to make your group as visible as you can. Keep current information filed with local libraries and the chamber of commerce. If you have a local newspaper (especially if the military base has one), consider running periodic ads inviting military home schoolers to your group events.
Invest time. Military families sometimes find that local home schoolers may be hesitant to build friendships with them because the locals know the military families will not be living there very long. If military families come through your community, make an effort to get to know them. Your friendship will be greatly appreciated!
Pray for themand let them know you are praying. Military life adds a lot of extra stress on marriage and family. The fact that you are praying for a family makes a difference, especially when a loved one is sent into harm's way. They are comforted to know that you are there to support them in any way possible. Let them know you appreciate the sacrifices they make.