No matter where you are around the country or the world, you can take an active role in supporting your child’s education. With communication technology and strong interest, you can keep up with their grades and stay in touch with teachers. Children tend to perform better in school when their parents are involved in their education. Set the stage for success. Let your child know that school and education are important — whether you’re home or deployed.
Plan ahead to stay involved
Make a plan to stay active and involved in your child’s education at every stage.
- Take advantage of Plan My Deployment. Let the Plan My Deployment articles and resources, including the printable list of pre-deployment tasks and considerations, help you manage your numerous tasks, including setting the stage for your child’s education while you’re deployed.
- Meet with teachers prior to deployment. Set up a meeting before you prepare for deployment so you can work out your plan for staying connected.
- Talk about how to stay in touch. Ask your child’s teachers before you go about the best way to stay in touch. It might be through email, a school website or even texting.
- Discover technologies. Find out what communication technologies you can access once you deploy.
- Use the school’s online resources. Department of Defense schools use GradeSpeed to keep families up to date on grades and attendance. Civilian schools may offer similar services.
- Take advantage of the EFMP & Me services. EFMP & Me can help you effectively navigate through the Department of Defense’s network of services and support for families with special needs, especially during deployment.
- Share when you want to be informed. Tell teachers what specific issues you want to know about, such as a low grade or an unexcused absence. It’s a good idea to let your child know what you’ve asked their teachers to share, and it’s also helpful to ask your child to share his or her school issues and concerns throughout your deployment, too.
Keep in touch
There are lots of creative ways to stay in touch with your child and support his or her education. Try these ideas:
- Stay in regular contact with your child’s teachers. Check in as frequently as your mission allows via email or telephone.
- Send a class gift. Pick up something special from the area of the world where you’re deployed. You’ll be the students’ favorite parent. If it relates to what the class is studying, you’ll be the teacher’s favorite parent, too.
- Ask your partner or child’s guardian for assistance. Your partner can be your “boots on the ground” for all things educational. Reinforce your partner’s role to your children, and set your partner or guardian up for success. Your child’s designated guardian can oversee homework, talk with teachers and help your child get to school on time. Discuss successes and challenges with your care partner regularly. If your partner or child’s guardian has difficulty speaking English, ask the school to provide a translator.
Find time during your deployment to work on strengthening your connection with your child’s school. Your commitment to staying involved can set them up for success in the classroom and beyond.
Your local school liaison is your primary point of contact for all school-related matters, including helping with your child’s education questions and concerns while you’re deployed. You can also contact Military OneSource to speak with an education consultant. Call 800-342-9647. OCONUS/International? Click here for calling options.