April is known throughout the DoD as “Month of the Military Child”, a month to celebrate the sacrifices of military children that serve with their parents, at home and overseas.
This April “at home” takes a new meaning with schools around the world closed due to COVID-19.
Some families may find both parents are working from home, not only for their standard jobs, but now taking on extra responsibilities of helping their children with their schoolwork, full-time. Whatever the situation, the DoD recognizes for many, homeschooling is no easy feat and has a program to help.
The program, Tutor.com is a site dedicated for U.S. Military families, recently expanded for DoD-affiliated personnel and their families that provides on-demand, online tutoring and homework help at no cost.
One of those families that have benefited by using this free service is the Andrews family. Master Chief Damage Controlman (SW/AW/IW) Ben Andrews, who is assigned to Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic and discussed utilizing this service for his three children ranging from third grade to ninth grade.
“Luckily I have a spouse that works from home, and when I was on travel, she ensured the kids did their school work. If there were any questions, 90 percent of the time she figured it out,” said Andrews. “However, if she had an issue she has used the military Tutor website in the past, and recently with my older sons they have used this resource. This resource has helped them understand a problem in their homework, for example, so it’s been really helpful.”
Andrews’ spouse, a Navy veteran and retired Master Chief, said together they enforce their house rules that maintaining grades below a B are not authorized; and maintaining good grades allows participation in other activities, such as sports.
Other families may find themselves effected by the current travel restrictions, meaning their spouse is away while they have to homeschool their children.
For Andrews who has served in the U.S. Navy for nearly three decades said that he and his family are still figuring out the new normal of home schooling.
“I’m still trying to figure out this new added responsibility of being an elementary, middle, and high school teacher. I don’t think there’s a PQS for this, straight OJT, determination, and a ton of patience and research on all levels,” said Andrews. “But at the end of the day we are parents and that’s what we do; my wife and I just figure it out.”
According to Tutor.com, it has live, around-the-clock, expert tutors that can help with all skill levels and core subjects.
Parents and children are able to access this site free of charge and use it to supplement the school work provided.
The DoD is hoping that Tutor.com can help alleviate some of the stress on parents and on students who have had their daily routines disrupted by COVID-19.