As September signifies the return to school for Canadian students, military parents that have opted to school their children at home have a unique network to support each other.
The Canadian Military Homeschooling Families Facebook group offers support for homeschooling military families.
Created almost two years ago, the group’s mandate is “for those families who get to experience the unique challenge of dealing with both the military life and the homeschooling life in Canada. Let’s help each other out.”
The group was started and is administered by Lisa Grant, a military brat herself and spouse to a Vehicle Tech who joined the ranks shortly before their wedding 15 years ago.
Grant’s boys are now 10 and 14, and she’s been homeschooling them from the start.
Back in her teen years, Grant completed a self-directed learning pilot project during high school. It was similar to homeschooling. However, it was administered by teachers rather than her parents.
At that time, Grant decided, “If I ever had children, I would homeschool them. “
She says, “I started the group about two years ago, mostly because there wasn’t one, and people kept asking, so there was obviously a need for it.”
Today the group has nearly 200 members.
Grant says, “the decision to home school or not does not have to be a one-time, lifetime decision. It can be something a family re-evaluates on a yearly basis.”
Grant notes military families may choose to homeschool because of the flexibility it provides, and the consistency that can be maintained from one location to another. Not to mention parents being disappointed in different schools’ curriculum that one can encounter moving around, or outside, the country.
Though homeschooling might seem like a better fit for military families when it comes to moving, with homeschooled students not needing to change schools, there are some disadvantages.
“The biggest challenge to military homeschooling is trying to navigate the different rules from one province to the next,” explains Grant. While homeschooling is legal in all provinces, each province handles it differently.”
“It can get complicated and confusing when things are always changing,” she added
The Facebook group offers information sharing and some humour to keep the spirits up.