Home School Heartbeat Radio Program

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Answers for Military Families
Volume 119, Program 6
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If you or a loved one is in a military family, do you have questions about how homeschooling works for you? HSLDA helps many families with these questions. Today on Home School Heartbeat, HSLDA President Mike Smith outlines some of the general issues that military families ask about.

Mike Smith:
Families in all kinds of circumstances have found homeschooling to be the best educational choice for their family. This week, we’re talking about some common questions and challenges of homeschooling families with a parent in the military face.

If you are currently stationed in one of the 50 states, you should follow that state’s education laws. Homeschooling laws are similar to traffic laws—your physical (not legal) residence determines which ones apply to you. Your physical state of residence sets the school policies, just as your town makes traffic laws.

If your state requires you to file notification paperwork, and you move during the school year, it’s wise to inform the district with which you filed that you’re leaving, to avoid being asked for unnecessary paperwork at the end of the year.

What if your family is stationed overseas? If you are in the military or employed by the Department of Defense, generally, you are not subject to a foreign government’s compulsory attendance laws. If the country has a treaty with the U.S., usually it allows for homeschooling. Parents are free to opt out of the Department of Defense schools and to educate their children on their own.

Homeschooling has an added benefit for families in the military because frequent moves can be hard on school-age children. As a homeschooling parent, you can provide the emotional and academic stability that your child needs. 

On our next program, we’ll talk to a military dad. And until then, I’m Mike Smith.

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