For service members with children, home schooling can be a way to spend more time together as a family and can give parents more control over a child’s education.
Across the country, home schooling is a trend that continues to gain popularity.
In fact, according to the Department of Education Center for Education Statistics, the number of home schooled children in the United States increased 36 percent between 2003 and 2007.
As the practice of educating children in a home setting becomes more popular, so does the number of programs available to parents that provide assistance with extracurricular activities.
One such program exists right here at Luke Air Force Base.
The Luke AFB Home School Group allows anyone with base access to participate in the program and gives parents additional options, said Heidi Clemons, the Luke AFB Home School Group director.
“The program provides an extension to the curriculum the students are working on at home and allows them the opportunity to work together with others.”
It’s also a way for parents to learn from each other when it comes to different home schooling techniques.
“We have families who are officer, enlisted, active duty, retired, Guard, Reserve, Army and civilian,” Clemons said. “The families choose their own homeschooling options and all of our families are unique in their homeschooling approach. We also invite families with special needs children to join us.”
This can be especially beneficial as a military child, Clemons said, because of the unique experiences they share with each other.
“It is good for these particular children to meet other military kids and have a chance to connect with them” Clemons said. “They are able to share their experiences of moving around, dealing with deployment, living away from family and the life of a military child.”
The program allows parents with knowledge in particular areas to teach other children skills they may not learn otherwise. Among the activities offered are physical education, Spanish, parks days, field trips and a monthly book club provided by the Luke library.
Parents are encouraged to participate in the program by sharing ideas, teaching and planning different activities.
Home schooling can be a good option for some children, but parents should be informed regarding the state of Arizona requirements to educate a child at home.
Parents who are new to Luke or considering homeschooling their children can find more information regarding laws, regulations and requirements by going to www.azleg.gov and searching “ARS 15-802.”
For more information about Luke’s Homeschooling Group, call Clemons at (402) 650-8050 or by searching Facebook for “Luke AFB Homeschool Group.”