April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to recognize and support children of those serving in the United States military. Children from military families face unique challenges that can impact their educational and emotional wellbeing. That’s why it’s not only important to raise awareness about these issues, but also to find ways to address any issues to ensure military kids have the support they need.
Understanding the Challenges of Military Kids
Military children may be separated from a parent for a significant period of time due to that parent’s deployment. Depending on the type of deployment, children may feel concern and worry over their parents’ safety in addition to coping with their absence. Tragically, some children may even have to cope with learning that a parent or relative has been seriously injured while away.
Most military kids have to deal with the stress of leaving their home and starting somewhere new on a regular basis. Frequent moves can upset the continuity of school life and affect a child’s education.
New schools may present different curricula, different teaching styles, and sometimes even fellow students who give newcomers a hard time. Military children often must navigate new social hierarchies, adding a variety of stressors that may inhibit their ability to effectively learn new material.
Military children also may find that new teachers or classmates are unfamiliar with a military child’s unique situation, and the challenges of having to make new friends on a regular basis.
Although many military children thrive and sometimes even enjoy trying out a new school, it’s still clear that parents and school administrators need to take special care that a military child is properly integrated into a new educational environment. At the same time, military children need to be given the tools and extra support to make sure they thrive no matter where they’re learning.
The good news is that there are already a variety of solutions that can help military children on their educational journey, and here are some of the best of them:
- Counseling – It’s up to parents and educational staff to recognize when a child is struggling. Counseling can address behavioral and psychological issues that may otherwise lead to poor educational achievement. In fact, parents can search for different free services—like child development centers and youth programs—at specific installations they are deployed near.
- Tutoring – Tutoring can help nearly every child, but military kids can especially benefit, particularly when they first move to a new location. The Department of Defense (DoD) offers free online tutoring for all students through Tutor.com.
- Use Non-Profit Resources – The great news is there are many non-profits that can help children with transitions, educational achievement, and financial aid. The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) offers scholarships, educational camps, and even parent workshops designed to help advocate for military children. Other organizations, like Blue Star Farm, offer military kids art programs, online teaching guides, and summer reading campaigns, and even help kids deal with issues like bullying. Parents, and all those caring for military children, should ensure they’re taking advantage of all the programs available to them that may be effective for their kids.
- Online Education – Online learning is transforming for the better the way military children learn. Online learning offers a clear and consistent educational style that doesn’t depend on a teacher’s personality or personal preferences. Instead, the pace and teaching style are up to students and their parents, which allows students to explore subjects on their own terms. Online learning resources can also provide homeschooling parents with a quality educational supplement and help them deliver a well-rounded curriculum that touches on all necessary subjects. To learn about tuition-free online schools and military discounts on private school options, visit K12.com today and ask for your free information kit.