When you are deployed, you may have to come up with some creative solutions to stay connected with your child about his or her schoolwork. The following tips may help:
- Ask your child about school. It may seem obvious, but many children will not volunteer information about school to you. They may not want to concern you with their problems when you are deployed, or they may feel you will not be able to help them from so far away. Make sure the questions are specific, like: "What did you learn in math this week?" or "How much time have you set aside to write your research paper?"
- Set a specific time aside each week to work with your child. If your situation allows for it, decide to "meet" on a regular basis to help your child with schoolwork. Whether you use email, video-teleconferencing, voice chats or texting, you can help your child with specific assignments. For example, your child can send you an email with his or her math problems, and you can work on them together in a voice chat. You will want to communicate with your spouse or your child's guardian to pick out a day and time that is convenient for everyone.
- Understand that this may be a difficult time for your child. Many children suffer academically when a parent deploys. Work with your child's teacher to help your child work out his or her problems. If they seem too big to handle, it may be time to seek counseling. You, your spouse or your child's guardian can contact your installation's family center or Military OneSource. Counseling services are available at no cost to help military family members deal with deployment.