When to Choose a Military Boarding School Instead of a Traditional Boarding School

Once you have decided that a boarding school environment would be the best educational option for your teen, you next need to decide on what type of boarding school to choose. Boarding schools typically offer an opportunity to develop resiliency, independence and a higher level of college preparation than the best local public or independent day school.

But if your teen needs better leadership abilities, organizational skills and character development, a college preparatory military boarding school could be your best option. Military boarding schools are specifically organized to emphasize these aspects of developing a well-rounded and successful young adult. Here are several circumstances when a military boarding school works best for middle school and high school teens.

1. When your teen needs more leadership abilities

 Many boarding schools and some independent day schools do offer some opportunities to develop leadership abilities, like student council and club leadership. Military boarding schools, by contrast, offer an expanded level of responsibility for campus governance, similar to higher education at the ROTC level and at the top service academies. Throughout the chain of command, there are chances to learn the principles of leadership and then put these principles into action through defined positions.  Attaining a position is prestigious and requires a careful vetting process, often involving exams, physical endurance, and interviews.

28173117421_87a5d2e4c9_o To enhance learning, top college preparatory military boarding schools require all students to participate in accredited leadership courses as part of each academic day. These leadership education training (LET) courses and the JROTC programs prepare students for leadership roles, giving them practical lessons that help them develop into active and engaged learners and leaders. The entire student body in a military boarding school is structured around a formal chain of command so Cadets hold positions of responsibility and gain actual career skills (e.g. management, team-building, and presentation skills). The programs promote academic achievement and leadership development, providing Cadets with skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.

2. When your teen needs better organizational skills

 Military boarding schools generally impose a highly structured and rigorous full daily schedule that requires a student to develop time management and organizational skills. Structure is one of the cornerstones of a military boarding school education, whereas traditional boarding schools may offer a less structured format. Each day at a military boarding school is highly structured, with all of the essential activities put into a schedule. There is a specific time for waking up, classes, homework, physical training, relaxation, inspections, formations, and even bedtime. Their personal grooming, rooms and uniforms must meet high standards and are checked on a daily basis. Living in this environment where the student needs to adhere to the structured schedule and complete required tasks in an orderly fashion improves their time management and organizational abilities.

3. When your teen needs focus on character developmentColor-Guard-Middle-School

Success at a military school is based on personal merit and accomplishments, developing the self-confidence that leads to character development and success in college and life. Discipline requirements and a value-based education system at military boarding school provide a consistent set of policies and procedures that are necessary for achieving goals. Discipline creates boundaries and over time builds character. The military school code of conduct clearly defines a standard of behaviors that all students operate within. Formal accountability to others, both in leadership and among peers, is a singular characteristic of military academies.

Overall, a college preparatory military boarding school delivers all the advantages of other types of boarding schools and is best choice when your teen needs an increased focus on time management, organization, motivation, independence, and responsibility.