Crystal Niehoff | Episode 030

A Military Homeschool Journey

episode description

Homeschooling among military families is on the rise due to the many advantages and amazing learning opportunities. In this inspiring conversation, Zan and her guest, Crystal Niehoff, discuss the flexibility, consistency, and bonding military homeschool families enjoy in spite of the frequent moves that are part of a military family’s life. Crystal, host of the Military Homeschool Podcast, loves to encourage parents. Zan and Crystal also discuss the invaluable benefits of volunteering, working on our marriages, and supporting one another.

About the guest

Crystal Niehoff is an active-duty Army chaplain’s wife, mom of five, and grandma to six. She began homeschooling over 22 years ago out of frustration with the public school system. She now credits homeschooling with giving her kids the stability they need to thrive in an ever-changing military life. Previously a child welfare worker with degrees in child development and business administration and certifications as a birth and bereavement doula, Crystal also served as the owner and CEO of Army Wife Network and host of Army Wife Talk Radio (AWTR) until the end of 2019. During her time as AWTR host, Crystal conducted many high-profile interviews, most notably with Mrs. Karen Pence, then Second Lady of the United States. A prolific writer, Crystal is a contributing author of From Reveille to Retreat: The Journey of a Lifetime, published in 2015 by the United States Army, and has written for various organizations through which she shares her experience with faith, homeschooling, military life, and adoption. Nowadays, Crystal hosts the weekly podcast specifically for homeschooling military families, the Military Homeschool Podcast, and pens a monthly homeschool blog over at Army Wife Network.



Things you'll learn from this episode

  • The Blue Star Families’ Military Lifestyle Survey shows that 13% of active duty military families choose to homeschool, which is two to four times the percent of homeschool families in the general population. 
  • For two years, Crystal Niehoff was able to support her daughter’s family by homeschooling her granddaughter long-distance via the internet and phone. Technology allowed her to give her granddaughter a quality education while pouring into her life in a unique and meaningful way. 
  • Military families find homeschooling appealing because of the flexibility and the consistency. Many military families move frequently, which can make it difficult for children to adjust to a new school, new teachers, new curriculum, and new standards every couple of years. 
  • Volunteering is a great way to get connected in your community, to build friendships, and find a way to give back. Start with your local homeschool support group or your statewide homeschool organization to see what opportunities they have for you to lend a hand.

Mentioned in this episode


At BJU Press Homeschool, we’re committed to providing children an education from a biblical worldview that is academically sound and challenges them to advance, think critically, and live like Christ. This type of education is not often possible in public schools because of the number of children taught in a classroom, a difference in worldview, and peer and societal pressure to conform. Homeschooling allows parents to instruct and disciple their children without daily fighting messages from an opposing worldview taught in the classroom. And with tuition costs and fees for private schooling or tutoring, homeschooling may be the only option for parents who are concerned for their children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

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