I watched the movie Act of Valor over the weekend. The movie was about a mission for Navy SEAL Team 7. I won’t spoil the movie for you but I highly recommend this for men of all ages. It depicts bravery, loyalty, toughness, duty, and valor in a way that most Americans will never understand. Women will love it too.
The movie reminded me of the nine years I spent in the United States Coast Guard. I loved every minute of it. My enlistment was a choice. I never planned to go in the service but I am proud that I did. But I never spent a day in military school or in the Junior ROTC in my high school.
So why might a parent choose a military school? The costs can be quite high, averaging more than $10,000 per year. Most of these schools also require on-campus living throughout the school year. Here are a few considerations for military school.
Structure is needed or desired. Some children just need good models for structure and discipline. Because the day is scheduled and structured for the students, this kind of environment can create good habits. Your kids might thrive in an organized, structured environment.
Military service runs strong in the family. Some children may want to continue this family tradition early in life. For the child who aspires to a military career, a military school can be the starting point.
Camaraderie, teamwork, and bonding. When you eat, sleep, and go to school with the same company of cadets you can’t help but build solid relationships. I remember my days in boot camp when we came together as a unit. It’s a feeling that few will experience. It’s also one that will have a lifelong impact on your child.
Excellent college preparation. Many of these schools have above-average entrance exam scores. Each year these military schools send graduates into the top colleges and universities across the nation. These kids have more interaction with their teachers and less interaction with television. On average, they also spend more time doing their homework. Military schools also promote extracurricular and service activities for their cadets.
Surprisingly, military schools are not appropriate for kids with discipline issues. A military school is not setup to provide the support and individualized treatment that these kids need. The in-your-face style of training and instruction doesn’t mix well with behavioral problems. Sending a child with discipline issues to military school will likely make the situation worse.
Parents should never use military school, or any other school, to avoid dealing with their child. Parenting is a difficult job. Life may get in the way sometimes. You cannot run from your parenting obligation or delegate it to someone else.
Military school doesn’t necessarily mean a military career. There is no service obligation for your child for these prep schools. And, some schools have scholarships and financial assistance programs to help with the cost. However, the characteristics and values taught at these schools apply to everyday life. If love of country, patriotism, and honor are high on you and your child’s list, you might consider a high-quality military school.
For more information, visit the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States.
Discussion Question – Did you attend military school? Have you seriously considered it for your child?
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