The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 26, 2013

Military bases open their doors to home-schoolers

(Continued)

Some military families also cite the same reasons for choosing home schooling as those in the civilian population: a desire to educate their kids in a religious environment, concern about the school environment, or to provide for a child with special needs.

Two 16-year-olds, Andrew Roberts and Christina Cagle, interviewed at the Andrews co-op say they are happy their parents made the decision to home-school them. Roberts said he thinks he gets a lot more done in a school day than peers in a traditional school, and he sees his friends plenty at Bible study groups and during other social events with other teenagers on base.

"There's not like a lot of peer pressure considering you're mostly with your siblings and it's kind of a relaxed environment," Cagle said.

Participating military families say there's an added bonus to home schooling. It allows them to schedule school time around the rigorous deployment, training and school schedules of the military member.

"We can take time off when dad is home and work harder when he is gone so we have that flexibility," McGhee said.

Sharon Moore, the education liaison at Andrews who helps parents with school-related matters, said at the height of the summer military moving season, she typically gets about 20 calls from families moving to the base with home schooling questions. She links them with families from the co-op and includes the home-schooled children during back-to-school events and other functions such as a trip to a planetarium.

"It comes down to they are military children and we love our military children," said Moore, a former schoolteacher. "We recognize that they have unique needs that sometimes other children don't have, and we want to make sure that we do our best to serve them and meet those needs because they have given so much to this country."

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