Many parents are considering military schools as an option for their child’s education. Their academic curriculums are some of the best in the country; their physical education and extracurricular programs challenging and rewarding. Yet, it can be difficult deciding which one would be right for your child. There are many to choose from, many issues to consider. That decision will become easier however, if you consider the following secrets to selecting the best military schools.
Know and Understand the Needs of Your Child
Before even considering which school to send you child to, you should have a real understanding of their personality, needs, and aspirations. Consider their strengths and weaknesses, how they feel about and react to discipline, how they feel about being away from home for an extended period of time. They need not be interested in a military career; that is not requirement for attending military schools.
Consider the Military School’s Program
Military schools do not cater exclusively to troubled teen like they used to. Some still do however, so you’ll need to carefully review the program of any institution you are considering. Many modern military academies are not interested in students with behavioral problems. On the other hand, if your child simply needs a bit of motivation and discipline, and needs the stability of a structured environment, you won’t want them to be around a bunch of troubled adolescents.
Study the Curriculum
Many military schools have high admission requirements, and only seek students who are already focused and goal oriented. These schools are interested in refining the “crème de la crème” to help them reach their fullest potential. Almost all offer college preparatory classes taught by teachers of the highest quality. Many boast faculties of whom over 90% have an advanced degree.
The curriculums and programs among the various schools differ from institution to institution. Though all are competitive academically, some offer more extensive extra-curricular activities than others. Many have inter-scholastic sports teams and the traditional clubs such as drama and debate club. Others offer more of a community oriented program with clubs such as community service and volunteer corps.
The best thing to do is to sit down with your child and find out the curriculum and program that appeals most to them. This way they will feel that you’re not just “shipping them off to military school,” but that they have a say in things. You never know, they may find a school and program that peaks their interest and makes the decision for you.
Find Out the Admission Requirements
Many military schools require written exams, personal references, and above average SAT scores before considering a student for enrollment. Others are less stringent with their requirements, but generally they all expect a fairly high standard of academics and conduct. There are those that realize that some students may need extra help and guidance, but they usually cater to that with a lower student to teacher ration than by lowering their academic standards.
Investigate the School’s History
There are military schools that have been in operation since the nineteenth century. That doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they have a great program, but it does say something about them. Generally an institution whose doors have been opened for over a century is a successful one. Granted most of the older schools were opened specifically as institutions of military training, but most have altered their curriculums and programs to change with the times. On the other hand, just because a school has only recently opened doesn’t mean its program is sub-standard.
The above advice will hopefully help you with selecting the school that is best for your child. Military schools are a good option academically, and they have the added bonus of instilling a child with a sense of duty, community, and integrity. The structured environments both help to develop character and leadership skills, and enable students to focus on their studies.