Here are helpful questions to ask your teacher…
  • Is my bus assignment changing?
  • Is homework help/tutoring available?
  • If I miss a day of school to say goodbye or see a parent home on leave, how will the school handle this absence?
  • Can missed class work be provided in advance?
  • Can missed work be made up?
Here are helpful questions to ask your family…
  • Are there any changes in transportation? (bus, car, etc…)
  • How will changes be communicated when I’m at school (ex: change in dismissal)
  • Can I miss a day of school to say goodbye or see a parent home on leave?
  • Are there any additional chores that I can help with?
  • How will we communicate with our deployed family member? How often?
Should you talk to your teachers and classmates about being a military family?
This is always a question for your family first…Families differ in how they choose to identify their military status. Some families encourage sharing these details with only teachers while others may recommend sharing it with everyone (or no one). Each school can be different. Ask your family what advice they have on how to handle talking about it at school. And, be sure they check out the families page on this website!

Student Online Resources

Talk, Listen, and Connect:  (for early elementary students)

This site offers videos featuring Muppet characters in support of children of military members.  It seeks to help these children cope with their feelings, challenges and concerns related to deployment.  

Deployment Kids:

This site offers games, puzzles and activities for military children.

Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS

Based at the University of California, Los Angeles, FOCUS is a resiliency-training program for military children and families.  There is a version of FOCUS for families with young children showing that even infants and toddlers can experience stress and depression.  The three main components of FOCUS for Early Childhood are psycho-education, creating a family narrative/timeline and skills training in areas of emotional regulation, communication, skills training and goal setting.

United Through Reading:


This service offers DVDs of deployed parents reading books aloud to their children.  There is also a book, You’re Never Far Away, that can be customized with the service member’s branch of the military and the child’s name.

Military Deployment and Families:

This audio is part of the Healthy children initiative of the Academy of Pediatrics

Military Kids Connect (for middle level and high school students)

STARs in Schools has been actively involved with customizing this website to include a special blog opportunity for Teens and Tweens to make connections and build community across the miles.

Recommended Reading

A Very Long Time

by Geri Timperley and Nikki Arro (for ages 4-8)
A book for young children in military families whose loved ones leave for “a very long time”. Written to “help children grasp the meaning of time and generate the tools they need to deal with the separation that might otherwise seem to never end”.

Daddy’s in Iraq, but I Want Him Back

by Carmen R. Hoyt
An hour is a long time to a small child. How do you describe the length of a military war deployment to a preschooler? When attempting to tell her son that his Daddy was not going to be gone for just a week or seven wake-ups, but for several months, Carmen Hoyt longed for a better way to lay it out for him. I wished there was a way to help him “get his little arms around” the situation.” Written after the author’s own husband returned safely from Iraq, this story is for pre-school children who have a hard time coping with a parent’s military deployment. “I felt a need for this story to be written when my three year old, Jack, became very insecure upon his father’s deployment to the War in Iraq.”

The Kissing Hand

by Audrey Penn (for ages 4-8)
Published by the Child Welfare League of America, this book is just the right book for any young child confronting a difficult situation or who is temporarily separated from home or loved ones.

Ned and the General: A Lesson in Deployment

by Ron Madison (for elementary aged children)
A book of stories written in rhyme and based on real children affected by deployment. A copy of the book, of Ned and the General, was sent to each school district, IU, elementary school and elementary level charter school in Pennsylvania. For quantity orders of paperback editions, call the author, Ron Madison, at 814-255-6646.

Night Catch

by Brenda Ehrmantraut (Author) and Vicki Wehrman (Illustrator)
When a soldier’s work takes him half-way around the world, he enlists the help of the North Star for a nightly game of catch with his son. Night Catch is a timeless story that connects families while they are apart and offers comforting hope for their reunion.

Soldier Mom

by Alice Mead (for ages 9-12)
A fictional story of a pre-teen girl who takes on additional responsibilities and experiences personal growth, during her mother’s seven-month deployment to Operation Desert Storm.

While You Are Away

by Eileen Spinelli (for pre-school to grade 2)
Three children’s stories of life while their parents are on active military duty abroad, each from a different branch of the armed forces. All three vignettes are upbeat and reassuring, and the book concludes with the safe return of all three loved ones.


Offers an array of publications for service members and their families on topic of deployment including:

  • Let’s Talk About Deployment
  • Information and activity book for children
  • Know What? My Parent is Being Deployed
  • Activity book for ages 6-8
  • Who Knew? The Deployment Issue
  • Activity book for ages 9-11
  • Write from the Heart
  • Stationery kit for military families