- What Is a Military School?
- History of Military Schools
- Daily Life at Military School
- Military School Discipline
- Why Military Schools?
- Who Are They For?
- Who Are They Not For?
- Alternatives to Military Schools
- Is Your Teen in Trouble?
- Military School Lingo
- Military Prep Schools
- Helpful Resources
- Articles on Teen Issues
Daily Life in Military Schools
College-preparatory military schools usually follow daily schedules with set times for meals, classes, study halls, physical activities and sleep. The academic load may be so rigorous that there is little time to do anything else. At some schools, students are in class or attend tutoring sessions between 7:30 AM until 4:30 PM.
Although students at these college-prep military academies often have very little free time during the week, their weekends may be less structured. Students can sleep in on Saturdays, if they want. Cadets are free to go into town and attend movies, visit museums, attend religious services, enjoy hiking, canoeing, skiing and other outdoor activities, pursue hobbies like photography and music, enjoy dates and school-sponsored dances, and other typical high school pursuits. These institutions do not admit troubled teenagers and offer no therapeutic interventions.
Military schools designed for troubled teenagers are usually extremely structured and rule-oriented, even on weekends. Besides set times for classes and meals, students may have to line up in formation several times a day and pass inspections.
These schools have many rules common to most high schools, such as bans against drug use or fighting. However, they often have lesser rules, such as restrictions against cell phones and video games. Girls may not wear nail polish or make-up, and they must wear their hair in buns or cut above their collars. If a student breaks a rule or receives a bad grade, he or she may be subject to punishments in the form of detention, physical workouts like doing push-ups or marching, or manual labor. For example, at one military boarding school, cutting class, listening to a Walkman or littering results in four hours of manual labor. A third infraction of a rule means 12 hours of manual labor.
Students may have to earn even small privileges through academic achievement and good behavior such as watching a movie, going into town or going home on a weekend. The focus in these schools is on outer discipline and structure, and they do not offer counseling or medical interventions to help troubled students.
Troubled teens at therapeutic boarding schools usually follow daily structures too, except they may have regular hours each day for group and individual counseling. They may enjoy classes in art, drama, and music or animal husbandry as part of their therapy. They may work on issues such as anger management or family conflicts. Teens who need drug or alcohol treatment may take classes in techniques for dealing with relapses, triggers, and other dangers to their recovery. Military schools do not offer such therapeutic interventions.
A daily schedule at military school may look something like this:
|6:00 am||Reveille, wake up call|
|6:00 - 7:00 am||Clean barracks, personal hygiene|
|7:00 - 7:30 am||Breakfast|
|7:30 - 8:30 am||Leadership training or drills|
|8:30 am - 12:00 pm||Classes|
|12:00 - 2:30 pm||Lunch|
|12:30 - 3:30pm||Classes|
|3:30 - 5:00 pm||Physical activities or sports|
|5:30 - 6:00 pm||Personal hygiene|
|6:00 - 6:30 pm||Marching period, salute to the flag|
|6:30 - 7:00 pm||Dinner|
|7:00 - 9:30 pm||Study time|
|9:30 - 10:00 pm||Lights out|
College-preparatory military academies have weekday schedules something like this:
|6:00 am||Reveille and wake-up call|
|6:30 - 7:45 am||Breakfast|
|7:45 - 8:00 am||Homeroom|
|8:00 am - 12:00 pm||Classes|
|12:00 - 1:30 pm||Lunch|
|1:30 - 4:30 pm||Classes|
|4:30 - 5:30 pm||Tutoring sessions|
|5:30 - 7:30 pm||Physical activities and sports|
|7:30 - 8:00 pm||Evening formation|
|8:00 - 9:00 pm||Dinner|
|9:00 - 10:00 pm||Free time|
|10:00 - 11:30 pm||Study and quiet hour|
|11:30 pm||Taps and lights out|
Fast Facts About Adolescents
At any given time, up to 15 percent of children and adolescents have some symptoms of depression. The incidence of depressive disorders markedly increases after puberty. By 14 years of age, depressive disorders are more than twice as common in girls as in boys.