Choosing the best military school for your child need not be as difficult as you might think. Today’s military schools boast curriculums and after-school-programs that rival, if not surpass those of many state and private schools. The rising popularity of military schools as an academic option has stoked the fires of competitiveness among them. Military academies can no longer depend on mere discipline and character building; parents expect a first-class education as well. Because there are so many it can be difficult to narrow down the few that would be suitable for your child. You can be on your way to making that decision in no time however, by reading these top 10 secrets to selecting the best military school for your child.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #1 – Know Your Child
One of the most important things to consider when enrolling your child in a military school is their personal needs. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Do they need to be disciplined? Are they artistic or creative? Once you analyze the needs of your child, you can then search for school with a program that addresses them.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #2 – Understand the School’s Program
Not all military schools cater to troubled teenagers, and some of the admissions processes are almost as strict as colleges or private schools. Many of the modern military academies actually want nothing to do with teens that have a juvenile or criminal record. On the other hand, if your child simply needs a bit of the motivation and structure that a military academy provides, you won’t want them attending a school full of troubled adolescents.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #3 – Consider the Curriculum
Most graduates of military school often go on to be a success in whichever field they decide to pursue. That is largely due to the structure and discipline these institutions provide, but also because of the tough college preparatory courses they offer as a part of their curriculum. History plays a major role in a military school, and the academic programs vary from school to school. If your child wants to major in the arts or music, or to be an engineer, there’s no use in sending them to a school that has no such program.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #4 – Check the Admission Requirements
Entrance requirements for some military academies are actually quite high. Many admissions procedures require personal interviews, good SAT scores, written exams, and even reference letters. There are others that have less stringent requirements however; as they realize that certain children may need additional help with the learning and life process. Lower requirements don’t necessarily mean a lesser school, and vice-versa. The key is finding the school that can best fulfill the needs of your child.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #5 – Check the School’s History
Some military schools have been around for well over a hundred years. Of course that doesn’t guarantee that such a school is a good match for your child, but it’s a good place to start. A school with a long history is obviously a successful one or they wouldn’t have been around for so long. Contrarily, just because a school is relatively new doesn’t mean that it hasn’t already built a good reputation and standing.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #6 – Check the Class Size
Does your child do well in large groups, or do they require more personal attention? This is an important question, as it can make all the difference to your child’s education. Some schools have an average class size of 8-10, some average up to 30. Selecting a school with the appropriate class size for your child is tantamount to their success.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #7 – Check the Teacher – Student Ration
The teacher to student ratio is as important as the class size. This number reflects the average amount of students that each teacher has to deal with. The average for military schools is approximately 1 – 7 (one teacher to every seven students). Some go up as high as 1 -12 or more. Of you want your child to get personal attention, choose a school with a low teacher to student ration.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #8 – Investigate the Size of the Campus
This is especially important, as your child will most likely be boarding at school, and this will be their home for quite some time. Many military schools have large campuses, hundreds of acres and more. Usually these institutions have lots of outdoor activities such as horse riding, kayaking, and rock climbing which help build confidence and moral.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #9 – Religious Denomination
If religion is important to you, you will want to pay attention to the religious denomination of any school you are considering. Some schools are strictly Baptist or Presbyterian, and those beliefs are assimilated into the school’s program. Many are non-denominational however, and offer no religious instruction or program whatsoever.
Selecting the Best Military School for your Child – Tip #10 – Visit the School in Person
Before committing your child to enrollment in any school, visit it in person first. This gives you the opportunity to meet with teachers and other staff, and to assess the facilities. There’s no knowledge like first-hand knowledge, and making this small investment in your child’s future will ensure that you both can relax knowing that they’ll be safe, comfortable, and well educated there.
As you can see there is a lot to consider when selecting the best military school for your child. It is well worth the effort however, as military schools have a wonderful track record and great reputation for both turning wayward children around, and for turning out top-notch students and productive members of society.