Home schooling has become an increasingly attractive alternative for military families dealing with frequent moves and long deployments. Families like the Jobes, whose eldest son is 10 years old.
“In my mind I just couldn’t see putting him in a school and taking him right back out,” said Lindsay Jobe, who met her husband Clifford while they were both deployed in Iraq for the U.S. Army.
More than 6 percent of the 1.2 million children of active-duty military parents are home-schooled, according to estimates by the Military Child Education Coalition. Home schoolers are notoriously difficult to count due to the wide variations in how states track them, but anecdotally, the number of home schooled military children is growing.
Many parents and experts cite the same reasons for the potential rise: home schooling allows military parents to give their children educational stability through frequent relocations and flexibility when parents are home on leave.
“We decided home schooling was a good choice, for freedom—we can make our own schedule,” said Jobe, a mother of five who currently lives in Fort Hood, Texas. “We can get in the same amount of days as a public school would get, but we can do it when we want. When my husband comes home from deployment we can take off a really big break.”
The convenience of a flexible schedule aside, Jobe said she also simply loves teaching her children. Education Week followed Jobe and her family through a typical school day as part of our special video series, Home Schooling In America: Why Families Teach at Home.
- Home Schooling in America: Why Families Teach at Home
- More Military Families Embrace Home Schooling
- Home Schooling—Requirements, Research, and Who Does It
A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.