Supporting your child’s education is one of your most important responsibilities as a parent. By cultivating a love of learning and knowledge at a young age, you put your child on a path to success so they can open doors on endless future opportunities.

Military OneSource can help you build a strong foundation of learning for your child. This includes building a relationship with your child’s school and tapping into the support and resources of your military community — all to help you help your child succeed.

While traditional methods of education are returning to most schools and classrooms following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, students continue to utilize new and alternative methods of learning, and families have additional means to interact with their teachers and schools. Parents can tap into a number of education strategies and resources in order to support their child’s schooling, nurture learning at home, explore digital resources and assist with school transitions.

Received PCS orders? Before you go, contact your school liaison.

Find out how a school liaison can help you and your family navigate school selection and youth sponsorship at your new installation.

Support your child’s education with these five steps:

1. Start learning young.

Starting early means laying a foundation for lifelong learning and success in school. This can happen at home or in a child development center. The Defense Department developed the Early Learning Matters curriculum used at on-base child development centers to give military children a strong foundation by promoting skills linked to school readiness, well-being and life success. If you are stationed overseas, Sure Start — a Department of Defense Education Activity program — is open to command-sponsored military children who meet specific age requirements and other criteria.

You can also take advantage of Thrive, a free online parenting program, designed to help you raise healthy, resilient children from birth to 18. Thrive has four interactive modules organized by age group. Each module offers evidence-base tips and downloadable resources for your child’s developmental stage to help you build on parenting strengths you already have and develop new skills as your child grows and changes. The on-demand courses promote positive parenting, stress management and healthy lifestyle practices. Thrive continues to develop supplemental modules for parents on a number of important topics, including exceptional families, mental health in adolescents, and parenting through deployments and separations.

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2. Connect with your child’s school.

Your relationship with the school demonstrates to your child and the school’s staff the importance you attach to education. Even if you relocate often or are temporarily deployed, you can build a relationship with the school by meeting the teacher, volunteering, attending school events or joining a parent group.

Keep in mind that how you engage with your child’s school may require different strategies, including meeting with teachers and other parents online and attending meetings virtually, or practicing social distancing and following other safety protocols when attending events.

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3. Nurture learning at home.

Learning doesn’t stop when the school day ends. Children absorb as much or more at home and through their experiences as through a textbook. To encourage learning at home, establish a routine to keep children on schedule with their homework and provide plenty of praise for a job well done. Take advantage of available resources to support education and learning at home. You can also look for additional opportunities to foster learning during activities such as cooking, gardening and food shopping. They present opportunities to strengthen skills such as science, math and reading. Installation youth centers offer a safe environment for youth to explore interests, build skills and experience success. Most youth centers have informal and formal sports programs as well as instructional classes to compliment classroom learning and broaden extracurricular experiences.

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4. Use DOD MWR Libraries learning resources.

The DOD MWR Libraries is another resource to supplement classroom learning. Use its expansive, personalized and interactive resources to:

  • Gain access to tutors and connect your military child or teen with live online help in a variety of subjects.
  • Access video storybooks, audiobooks, eLearning tutorials and reading materials for virtually all areas of learning. You can also find practice exams and other information to help students prepare for college.

In addition, the DOD MWR Libraries Summer Reading Program is a great resource to help families bridge the summer learning gap.

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5. Reach out to experts when it’s time to move.

School liaisons can help smooth school transitions for your child and assist with all of your education needs pre-K through 12. The School Liaison Program, with its resources and partnerships, help military children thrive academically, socially and emotionally, regardless of duty station, deployments or transition status.

Local school liaisons help with transition support before and after a PCS and assist military-connected children with Interstate Compact compliance. School liaisons provide information on school districts and boundaries, assist with transfer of credits and class registration, help locate after-school and extracurricular programs, set up tutoring and youth sponsorship referrals, and help with college, career and military readiness. They can also connect you to the Exceptional Family Member Program and your school’s special education department, as well as help you navigate your new school district’s special education program. To learn more about the School Liaison Program, contact your installation school liaison office.

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Support your child’s education

Supporting your child’s education requires time, commitment and the right information. Education consultants can assist you with questions. These one-on-one sessions are free and confidential. The consultants can provide you with referrals to in-home tutors and tutoring centers in your area, as well as public and private school information. Contact Military OneSource any time to schedule an appointment. Call 800-342-9647, view international calling options or schedule a live chat.