Don’t worry, I’m not planning to send Ryan, Nathan, or Kaitlyn to military school! When I was a kid, it was always kind of a joke, you know – ‘you’d better shape up or we’ll send you to military school’. The truth is, a military academy can give teens in troubled situations the support they need. This guest post from Alex outlines a typical day at a military academy.
Attending a military academy is designed to instill values in your teen that will last a lifetime. From the structured setting and daily routine of these institutions, rise tomorrow’s leaders with strong character and a firm foundation in leadership and values of responsibility, accountability, and motivation. While most believe that attending a military boarding school is meant for those with troubled pasts, it is actually designed for young men and women who wish to take complete control of their future through a disciplined education, character development, and leadership training.
For teens coming from homes with busy working parents, a deceased parent, or for any teenager needing structure, attending a military academy is a great way to get the support needed to become successful. In addition to cadets simply wishing to take control of their future, cadets choose to attend military academies to find support, direction, and preparation for college and beyond.
Many prospective cadets, as well as parents, have questions and concerns regarding the typical day in the life of a military cadet. The following is a general description of how an average military cadet can expect to spend his day in an academy:
For most military academies, students rise early, often around 6:00 a.m. in order to have their rooms and themselves cleaned and themselves fed before class begins promptly at 8 a.m.
Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. students can expect to be in class. Some schools have courses daily on a 45 or 55 minute basis, with or without block scheduling on selected days to offer extended class periods. Teachers are highly attentive throughout the day, and are more than willing to offer extra assistance to students during and after school should they need it. Also, some schools offer after-school tutorial programs to assist students with more complex questions, homework assignments or test preparation.
After class, all students participate in some form of athletics prior to dinner. Not all students need to be a part of an organized sport, but all are expected to perform some athletic activity for a couple of hours. Participation is highly encouraged at military academies.
Dinner and Free Time
After athletics, dinner is served in a Mess hall, after which cadets are given free time. Most students use this time to relax and prepare for the next day.
In conjunction with mandatory study time, cadets who fall behind on homework are also required to attend study hall to make sure that they are academically successful. Here they take the time to study and complete any homework or group projects. Most military academies use a system of merits and demerits and cadets quickly learn to stay on top of homework so they can study in their dorm room as opposed to going to the mandatory study hall.
After dinner and free time, most military academies then have an hour or so reserved for reflection time, room inspections, uniform inspections, grooming, and residential meetings where students can interact or question their residential staff. Taps is the traditional signal that it is time for lights out.
While this may seem like a more rigorous schedule to those who aren’t used to a well-structured routine, the everyday life of a military cadet offers several benefits that would not be available through a traditional school system. A few of these benefits include:
-One on One Support: Each cadet that enters a military academy is given much more personal support than they ever would in a traditional school setting. In addition to teachers willing to monitor academic success and offer after school tutorials to struggling students, much like a college professor with open office hours would, academic counselors are also assigned to each grade level to ensure a child’s academic, emotional, and social success. These individuals will become a daily part of their life.
Not only do cadets have adult mentors and counselors, but they also have peer counselors that can make being away from home much easier to cope with, as well as help them accelerate their academic and social growth. These peer counselors serve as mentors, and are often valuable resources for new cadets.
-Numerous Opportunities for Leadership Positions: The best military boarding schools, such as the Army Naval Navy Academy in California, strive to make strong leaders of all their cadets. They want their graduates to be self-motivated individuals who actively seek to solve problems greater than themselves and choose to lead companies and other institutions. To help cadets develop this foundation in leadership, military academies provide numerous opportunities for cadets to obtain leadership roles within the corps of cadets.
-Academic and College Counseling: At many public schools, students receive academic counseling only if they are failing and college counseling only when they are late in their junior or early in their senior year. This type of counseling is hardly enough, and barely keeps students accountable for their futures.
Military boarding school cadets, however, receive continuous academic and college counseling from the moment they enroll to make sure that they are on the path to success. Cadets learn accountability and how to manage their own future under the guidance of trusted professionals.
Choosing to send your son or daughter to a military academy is a big decision, and one you should make together, but it is ultimately a choice that could dramatically improve the quality of your child’s future. If you are interested, take a bit more time to review the academies located within your area to see if any seem fitting for your teen and his or her future goals.