1.7 million U.S. military kids and dependents face a unique set of struggles when it comes to education. They are trying to hit the same milestones as every other student while also coping with:
- Constant relocation
- Deployment of family members
- Inconsistent curriculum
- Widespread misunderstanding of military culture
Fortunately, there are still great educational options available for military families. Online schools can bring some stability and continuity to military kids’ lives while providing quality education.
The Challenges of Getting an Education as a Military Child
Military and civilian children have vastly different experiences in the educational system:
- Military kids will attend an average of 9 schools by high school graduation.
- On average, a military child will attend a single school for a maximum of three years.
- One-third of military parents decide to stay or leave the service based in part on a child’s negative school experience.
- Military families move three times as often as civilian families.
Despite these unique circumstances, military parents are often left in the dark about the best educational opportunities for their children. Online schools are a particularly unrecognized and underappreciated option that can help military children thrive.
Flexibility Backed by Structure
There are many reasons a military child might miss school:
- Spending time with a family member who is about to be deployed
- Moving because of a permanent change of station (PCS)
- Exploring another country while they live outside the U.S.
Traditional schools don’t always understand these absences. Plus, pulling your child out of school can have detrimental effects on their learning.
Online schooling solves both these issues. Students can learn at their own pace – whether that’s at 8 a.m. or 5 p.m. – and continue their education wherever they have an internet connection.
Homeschooling is another viable option that frees up your student’s schedule, but many parents find managing a curriculum daunting. Virtual schools offer the flexibility of homeschooling with the structure of curriculum and the expertise of licensed teachers to ensure your child gets the best education possible.
Consistency in Curriculum
Many military kids must spend time playing catch-up whenever they switch to a new curriculum. Oftentimes, they have missed fundamentals when transitioning from school to school.
Some online schools span multiple states or the entire country so students can continue their studies after relocating, eliminating the need to catch up.
High-Quality Instruction in Any Location
Choosing a safe neighborhood and a great school on Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) and a tight schedule can be tough. Military parents must scramble to gain some insight into local towns and school districts they’re unfamiliar with.
With online school, military children are never stuck in a subpar school system based on their location. Parents can easily research an online school’s curriculum and teachers and decide for themselves if that school is a good fit.
Family Bonding Time
When one parent is absent for weeks or months at a time, a military child may feel disconnected from them. At the same time, they may seek extra time with the parent who is home.
Virtual schools improve a military child’s ability to bond with both parents. Since the curriculum and assignments are available online, the military parent can track their child’s progress no matter where they are and remain involved in their life. The military spouse can also take an active approach in their child’s learning that can’t be replicated at a brick and mortar school.
Enroll Your Child in an Online School With iCademy Global
Michigan military bases do not have on-base housing, so it’s even more important that military families in this state have access to quality education. That’s where iCademy Global comes in. No matter what city you live in, your child can attend our public K-12 online school for free.
Every state-certified teacher at iCademy Global understands the need for flexibility in education. K-5th grade learning is more like a supported homeschool with activities and manipulatives for parents to use with their students along with online coursework. At the middle and high school level, structure is provided through assignment due dates and Live Lessons on Mondays and Wednesdays.
For an “in-person” experience, our K-5 students are invited to campus one day per week to socialize with their peers and work with their teachers and other students on multi-age projects and engaging lessons that support what they are learning at home. Our middle and high school students are welcome to get a change of scenery and socialize with their peers while working on their assignments each Tuesday and Thursday at our on-campus coffee shop, RE:FUEL.
If you’re interested in enrolling your child in iCademy Global, contact us today at 616-748-5637.