By Zoie H., Owner of Zoie Hoffman Tutoring
Military children will move an average of 6-9 times during their school years. Frequent moving can cause a wide range of problems for military kids from social to emotional, but among the most concerning difficulties are the gaps in education that moving can create — especially when moves land smack in the middle of the school year.
With 6-9 moves come 6-9 different schools. Each school teaches different curriculum at a different pace. The inconsistencies from school to school can result in major academic gaps for military kids. These gaps, over time, can cause big academic problems and can often demoralize military kids who are dealing with so much more than the average child.
If you are a parent of a military child, you need to know how to prevent academic gaps from happening during your moves. Luckily, it is easier than it sounds!
If you are moving during the school year, you will need to examine the curriculum at your child’s current school, as well as the curriculum at their new school, to locate any gaps that your child might acquire.
Locating the Curriculums
Many schools have a scope and sequence that teachers across the district use to pace their instruction. The scope and sequence will have days, weeks, or months listed with the corresponding material the teachers should be covering within that time.
You can search your child’s school website to see if there is any helpful information about the scope and sequence or curriculum. Some schools have the year’s plans right on the website. If your school’s site does not have the curriculum available, it would be best to contact your child’s teacher to inquire about the best way to find this information.
Reading the Curriculum
Once you have your hands on both the gaining and losing school’s curriculum, it is time to examine them for any gaps that your child may experience due to the school transition. If possible, you may want to place the curriculums side by side.
- Start looking at the beginning of the school year for your child’s gaining school up until your move date. Compare the concepts that your child’s new school taught at the beginning of the year to the concepts that are planned to be taught at your child’s current school after your move. If anything was already taught at the new school that hasn’t been taught at your child’s current school, this will create a gap.
- Look for anything that is on the new school’s curriculum that isn’t on your child’s current school curriculum. This might indicate a concept that your child hasn’t received instruction on that they might struggle with when arrive at their new school. Most schools teach the same general concepts, but there can be concepts that some schools emphasize more than others. This isn’t a guarantee of a gap, but is something to look out for.
Once you are aware of learning gaps that your child is likely to experience due to their move, you will be able to make sure they receive instruction to fill them. You may decide to enlist the help of teachers, tutors, or other mentors to help your child learn the missing concept. You may also decide to teach your child the concepts yourself using the endless resources the Internet offers. Whatever path you take to filling the gaps, you will rest easy knowing your child will not miss instruction on important content this school year.
Zoie Hoffman is an online tutor and passionate educator. She is certified to teach grades K-6 in the state of Texas, but findsherself all over the country as she follows her husband’s Air Force career. With her passion for education, Zoie founded Zoie Hoffman Tutoring in 2015 to give students the education experience that they deserve through personalized online tutoring services. Check out her blog for easy K-6 education tips for parents. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.