Military life from the perspective of family members


Military life has more rules to it than does civilian life.  The two modes of living have many parallels such as ID cards and driver’s licenses for identification, housing officials and code enforcement officers for minding your Ps and Qs in residential neighborhoods, and city police and military police for general law enforcement.  The difference is that life close to the military is more tightly controlled.  Installations closely document the registry of large personal belongings such as cars or motorcycles, restricted areas take up more space, and ‘gate-keepers’ check more often to make sure you are ‘authorized.’  It seems as if ‘the military’ controls your life, and, for active-duty, Reserve or National Guard members, ‘the military’ does control their lives.  But is this true for family members?

This part, of the chapters on the military-specific life of homeschooling parents, lays the groundwork for the chapter on military authority over the families of servicemembers.  I want to draw a rough picture of what it means to live alongside a servicemember so that I can more easily explain my view of who is in charge of whom, and why, and lay out the relationship between civilian family members and military authorities.  Some readers here will be new to military life and may have an idea that, because they are married to a servicemember, their husband’s chain of command has legal authority over the family.

To read the full article, with links, please click here.

Copyright 2010, Valerie Bonham Moon


Beyond homeschooling: joining the military

This article tells about some differences between the two largest career paths in the military services, becoming an officer or enlisting.  It also looks at how home education affects those choices.  From the view of the military services, homeschooling has an effect on enlistment more than it does on the commissioning of an officer.

This article includes a look at what it means to be an officer or an enlisted person.  Included are the ways a college student can become an officer, and how a homeschooled graduate can enlist.  Statistics are included from a Navy study that is important to homeschooled graduates who want to enlist, and a complaint, and an answer to the complaint, about the study.

In this article, I propose that the best way to prepare to enlist is to earn a regular high school diploma, but the ‘best’ way does not rule out other ways.  This article is not a step-by-step guide telling homeschooled grads how to join the military, but it does have advice on good ways to prepare to join.

  • To read the full article, please click here.
  • A quick overview of the ways for homeschooled grads to join the military is here
  • A compilation of sections of military recruiting regulations for homeschooled grads is here.

Beyond homeschooling: what to do after graduation

When you think seriously about what your child will do ‘after homeschooling,’ you’re either at the beginning of your child’s ‘high school’ years (the ages from about 14 and up), or are actually contemplating ‘graduating’ near the end-of-homeschooling.  You may wonder what comes next?  How do people who were homeschooled fit themselves into everyday adult life?  The answer, of course, is “just like everyone else.”

Before your child makes the change from at-home dependent to competent-adult, it is usually best to prepare for it, and not just expect the teen to step out onto adulthood’s doorstep looking for the taxi to Grownup Land.  This is only common sense.  The trouble with preparation is, that to make specific plans, the teen must have a goal in mind, sometimes as early as fourteen.  The ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ question must leave the realm of the wishful thinking of six-year-olds, although fire fighters, dinosaur hunters, and astronauts have to come from somewhere.  Making plans early is useful so that when ‘graduation’ arrives, both you and your teen are as ready as you can be for that next step.

The usual possibilities (or a mix of possibilities) beyond and after homeschooling are:

  • continuing to live as a family
  • a job
  • attending college or specialized schooling
  • joining the military

Since a ‘gap year’ (or more) may not require as much groundwork for entry as the other choices, I won’t discuss it.  And since marriage is such a personal choice, I’ll leave that discussion to the families.

To read the full article, please click here