By Guest Contributor Mary Ann Eckberg at MilitaryByOwner.com
While waiting in line at the commissary on base, I couldn’t help but overhear the enthusiastic commentary of the little girl in front of me. Quizzing her patient mother, she asked, “Can we have a backyard big enough for a trampoline?” and “Will we be close enough to see Gram and Pop?”
Her honest inquiries were a joyful addition to her twirling dance routine around their brimming shopping cart. Clearly, this military family was anticipating a PCS in the near future. To her credit, the mother kept each response to the little girl precise and upbeat.
This snapshot of everyday life got me thinking about how a military family can keep a positive perspective when orders for an off-season move come along. Here are a few of my own ideas to help ease an upcoming transition!
Get the Scoop from the School
While preparing for a PCS, it’s a good idea to gather the academic records from your child’s school. Tucking their class transcript into a binder where you can compile important information and paperwork, such as medical records and your proof of residency, will help keep you organized throughout the hectic pace of your move.
Talk to the Teacher
In an effort to better understand what your child is learning, take the time to go through recent assignments with their teacher. Spending time in review with your child’s educator can give you a frame of reference for their starting point at the next school they attend.
Documenting what your child is currently learning can help clarify your expectations at their next school. For instance, if they are currently taking Algebra 1 and Geometry, the goal is to move forward to Algebra 2 and Trigonometry at the new locale. Of course, this progression can depend on a child’s academic status. Nonetheless, it is good to know what credits your child is earning before venturing on.
Find New Things to See and Do
Honestly, it might be difficult for you to stir excitement with your military family about a pending military move. However, rather than dwelling on the changes ahead, try to focus on what your tribe will have the chance to experience. Maybe this is the year your family will try skiing? Or surfing? Or Taekwondo? Depending on what amenities are available at the new assignment, the upcoming move can be a chance to explore new interests.
Arriving at the start of the new calendar year can be a good thing when looking for spring and summer entertainment. Trying out for a team or registering for an activity often occurs early in the year. Since you’ll be ahead of the influx of military folks arriving in the summertime, you’ll have the advantage to apply early.
Additionally, in the months of June through August, the kids in the neighborhood could be away at camp or visiting relatives. Arriving in a new community at the mid-year point, your child has the opportunity to meet others in the neighborhood before summer plans come calling.
Your Ideal Home
Another suggestion for making the most of an off-season PCS could be choosing to live somewhere unique. Perhaps lounging at a waterfront address with a seaside chalet, setting up camp in a woodsy mountain manor, or relaxing at a rural ranch retreat. Browsing the extensive listings on real estate sites such as MilitaryByOwner, it is easy to see there are a wide variety of properties available for sale or for rent.
No matter where you choose to live at your next assignment, it’s a good idea to simply keep a positive outlook. With your dear ones in mind, your upbeat attitude may be the sunshine that chases away any gray clouds! Best of luck on your next PCS.