Over 1.7 million children in the United States have at least one parent that serves our country in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps. Children of military men and women experience everyday challenges that children of civilians do not need to worry about. Online or virtual schools have become increasingly popular among military families because of the numerous benefits that they provide children.
Why Military Families Are Choosing Online Schools
Challenges of Educating Military Children
Military children must overcome a lot of challenges. For example, these children often face the deployment of family members. This typically leads to stress and worry as well as causes them to miss their family members, especially when they are gone for long periods.
Other challenges that military children experience includes constant relocating and inconsistencies when it comes to their education. Military families move three times as often as their civilian peers. The frequent relocation to new military bases means that children must transfer schools, many times in the middle of the semester.
Benefits of Online School for Military Children
Many military kids must transfer to a new school mid-semester, but online school allows them to attend classes wherever they are. The following are four benefits of online school for military children and their families.
Flexibility of Schedule
Military families are required to fit school into unpredictable schedules. They need the flexibility to relocate without compromising their child’s education. Because most online schools are student-paced, families have more flexibility around school schedules. Families often need to move at a moment’s notice, but students can attend online school as it fits in their schedule without taking significant time off or transferring schools.
In addition to flexibility around relocating, students can attend school at any time of the day. This is beneficial to spending time with family. For example, if a parent is deployed abroad, communicating with the time change can be difficult. However, families won’t need to worry about planning time around school schedules to spend time together, even if it is over video chat. The same goes for children who want to spend as much time as possible with their parents when they are on leave from deployment.
Furthermore, online school also offers flexibility around travel, family commitments, and other activities for both military and civilian families.
Continuity Despite Moving
Since military children move frequently, they are usually forced to pick up during the middle of the semester and transfer to new schools. Online schools would prevent these children from falling behind while moving stations. They can continue their schoolwork with little interruption.
For any child, moving cities can bring about a lot of uncertainty. They must start at a new school, make new friends, and get acclimated to their new home. Online school can provide more stability during a period of change.
Online school is portable, too, meaning students can attend class wherever they have Internet access. Therefore, if a student is traveling, visiting loved ones, or spending time with family on leave, they can take their school with them without missing a beat.
Consistency in Curriculum
Adjusting to a new school can take away from the child’s education. When a student is introduced to a classroom in the middle of the semester, it takes some time to catch up on the material and get acquainted with the new expectations for schoolwork. Military parents have switched to online school to let their students continue with the curriculum, course structure, and expectations that they are familiar with. Therefore, when they do move, they continue progressing through their coursework as normal.
Even when parents are deployed or busy on station, many still want to be involved in their students’ education. With online school, parents can be aware of their student’s education and progress by tracking everything virtually. Online portals allow parents to view lessons, assignments, coursework, and grades. They can also set goals and communicate with their students through many of the online programs available.
Military children sacrifice a lot when their parents serve the nation. Their education does not have to be one of these things with the help of online school.