Skip to main content

By: Jason Jowers, M.S. MFT

Military parents getting ready to read to their children

US Air Force [Reading Room creates bedtime stories for children back home by Capt. Phillip Cortez, July 18, 2016, CC0]

One of the most challenging parts of school for many kids is learning how to read. And with the school year getting back into full swing, many children are facing these educational challenges for the first time.

For military families, it can be even more of an obstacle. Military families that are operating with one parent, or for other family members filling in for a deployed parent, this process can be more challenging. Deployment brings about more long term separations for military parents and their children. So what are some ways that parents away on military deployment can spend quality time with their kids that also bolster their education?

One such resource is called the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Digital Library featured in this article from Military One Source. This library provides eBooks and audio books on various topics and includes online resources for kids, teens, and adults. This online library is a great resource and a one stop shop for military service members and their families. It is also 100% free for military families.

Another great resource to promote family quality time and education is United Through Reading. With United Through Reading, military families can still read together even when they are apart. This is great for kids learning to read, struggling with reading, or really just like to read. Parents can record themselves reading a book, then send the recording home. At home, the children can play the video and the non-deployed parent records the child’s reaction. For older kids and teens, they can make their own read-aloud video to send back to a deployed Mom or Dad.

United Through Reading has nearly 200 recording stations around the world that deployed military service members can utilize and send videos to their loved ones at home. A great How-To for getting started with United Through Reading is in this article from There is also a video included to learn more.

No matter the obstacle or distance, great organizations and resources like these are doing great things for military families and ways to help keep them connected.

References (2019). 5 Steps to Get United Through Reading. Retrieved from:

Military One Source. (2019). Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Digital Library. Retrieved from:

United Through Reading. (2019). Together, We Unite Military Families Facing Physical Separation by Facilitating the Bonding Experience of Reading Aloud. Retrieved from:

This post was written by members of the OneOp Family Development Team. The Family Development team aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Learn more about us at, and connect with us on Facebook, and on Twitter.  Subscribe to our Anchored. podcast series on iTunes and via our podcast page.