As school years come to an end, warm weather sets in for many Military families that often means PCS season has begun.
Some families may have received orders prior to their kids school ending allowing for goodbye celebrations with their classmates. While others may not receive them until after school is out, making it a little more challenging to give kids the proper closure for the school environment they may never return to.
My Experience with Summer PCS
However for my family, in my husband’s almost 30 year career we have actually only PCS’d over the summer once.
That’s right just one time!
All of our PCS’s have always been over Thanksgiving or Christmas breaks. Yup that’s right! While dealing with festive holiday activities, our family has always had to add PCSing to that long list of fall and winter chaos.
During the end of summer (early fall) is when my husband would normally get his orders for his new assignment. Some years we have a couple of months to get ready. But there have been other years where we only had weeks to find housing, research schools, schedule movers. There are many questions about doing a DITY move and how to plan our holidays in the mix.
Late Year PCS moves have their challenges as well.
Late year PCS moves only become more difficult when you take into consideration our son with Autism can’t just go to any general education school.
For our other kids it’s important that they are continuing with the same (or as close to the same) curriculum as their previous school. This means being zoned in a better school district than what is normally closest to the base.
We are often challenged with my husband having about a 30 minute commute each way to ensure our kids attend the best schools. Housing has probably been more challenging with our last minute PCS’s as not all bases have housing available.
We have been extremely fortunate that everything has always fallen into place, and by the skin of our teeth have been able to PCS during a time of year that is uncommon for many Military families to PCS.
An amazing benefit to not PCSing over the summer months means plenty of time to make travel plans.
Summer vacations are a must and a non-negotiable in our family.
We take one family trip, one couple trip and many weekend and weekday quick trips in between.
Our PCS schedule has allowed us to head to the beaches & themeparks of Florida or horseback ride and fish in the Shenandoah Valley. We have popped in for a quick trip to our nation’s Capital while hitting up (and taking full advantage of) the Blue Star Families Museum program.
Our summers are filled with family barbecues, grandparents visiting and endless pool days.
Our unconventional time of the year for PCSing makes our family able to take full advantage of all the summer activities many military families have to attempt to try and squeeze in during a summer PCS.
Even with the ability to have a traditional summer, that doesn’t mean our end of the year PCS is any less stressful or less challenging. We (like every military family) have learned from trial and error how to make the most of our PCS season.
It is important to minimize the stress and maximize our non PCS season.
* For Resources about Off Season PCS, click HERE
*Check out more posts from Tina Mccrae