Students have more options than ever for finding a school that fits their needs. Public schools, private schools and boarding schools all have different strengths and weaknesses. Some students even choose to forego a physical school all together in favor of online learning. One options that is often overlooked is military schools. Military boarding schools offer students the chance to learn in a structured environment that emphasizes military values like respect, self-determination and discipline. At the same time, students learn math, English and other typical school subjects.
History of Military Schools
The first military school in the United States is still the most well-known: West Point (formally known as The United States Military Academy at West Point). Founded in 1802, the school aimed to provide top-notch education and military training to future officers. After West Point, various other military colleges opened, and eventually military high schools and even secondary schools opened. Today, there are military schools for a variety of ages.
Why Chose Military Schools?
Military schools offer students traditional learning in an environment steeped in military tradition. For example, students are often expected to rise early to exercise before classes begin for the day, and military schools usually have a strict code of conduct (including uniforms). Military schools encourage students to become confident, respectful and disciplined members of society.
Although the schools have a tough reputation, some students voluntarily choose military schools. Students might like to attend military schools if they have an interest in joining the military in the future or if they are from a military family. Because military schools also have a heavy focus on discipline and routine, some parents choose this option for students who have been getting into trouble in less structured school environments.
Sometimes, this begins at a young age. Many military elementary schools begin taking children as young as seven years old. From that age through college and beyond, there are military schooling options.
Military Summer Schools
One way to decide whether military school will be a good fit is to attend a military summer school. This will give students a shorter glimpse into life at military school, usually for just five weeks at a time. The age requirements for military summer schools vary, but these programs are usually open to students ages seven and up. Military summer schools are usually focused less on academics but emphasize essential life skills like time management, independent thinking and the development of self-discipline.
Kelly Burch is a freelance journalist living in New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Parents magazine and more.