Parents seeking an alternate form of education may consider military-style schooling for their children under 12. These elementary and middle schools combine rigorous military training with traditional schoolwork to produce hardworking and motivated graduates. Such youth military programs are available in different forms across the nation.
The Massanutten Military Academy
The Massanutten Military Academy (MMA), located in Woodstock, Virginia, is designed to educate students in grades seven and eight. The student/teacher ratio of the academy is a low 10 to 1, allowing instructors to thoroughly impart the core values of this institution to its cadets. Besides offering the standard courses of math, reading, history and science, the MMA instills such values on its students as the importance of character, leadership, discipline and self-confidence. Cadets also spend a considerable amount of time studying health and its benefits. Both male and female cadets of this middle school are attached to Headquarters Company to receive additional guidance from peer role models, but are housed in completely separate dorm facilities.
The Howe School
The Howe School, located on a 100-acre campus in northeast Howe, Indiana, is a private, coeducational, college-preparatory boarding institution of learning for children in grades 5 through 12. Of the total number of cadets, only 12 percent are young women. The Howe School offers such courses as Christian ethics, honors English, post-calculus and natural science combined with the rigorous aspects of military training, such as leadership and discipline, to fulfill the necessary requirements for college. Because of this strict curriculum, 100 percent of the graduating class of 2010 was accepted to attend a college or university. A specifically female one-week training camp is offered for girls ages 9 to 15, held in rural Northern Indiana on Cedar Lake. Focus areas include leadership skills, goal setting, personal responsibility, teamwork and the importance of creating a cohesive unit, as well as body- and mind-building group exercises.
The Missouri Military Academy
The Missouri Military Academy is located in Mexico, Missouri, and offers a middle-school academic program to students in grades six through eight. The total number of students in any class at the academy is small, averaging only 10 cadets. Core courses at this facility include English, reading, social studies, math and science. English as a second language instruction is available to aid international students. Besides core classes, chosen electives such as art, drama, vocal music and instrumental music are also an important part of the academy's curriculum. Mandatory athletics programs during the entire school year are necessary to fulfill the physical-education requirement for seventh- and eighth-grade students. Sixth-graders have the option to take physical education as an elective class. The structured environment of the Missouri Military Academy is imposed to empower each cadet to succeed in all aspects of life.
The Lyman Ward Military Academy
The Lyman Ward Military Academy is located in Camp Hill, Alabama. Here, Junior School cadets, grades six through eight, attend seven 45-minute class periods on a daily basis throughout each semester. Each new student is required to participate in new cadet training. This training is implemented to quickly and efficiently acclimate newly enrolled cadets into the military lifestyle at the academy. During this time, cadets are focused on developing an inner sense of self-discipline to help them succeed in all areas of life. Sports such as football, basketball, soccer and baseball are offered to each of the students to help promote a healthy lifestyle. Cadets also practice drill and ceremonial procedures during mandated weekly junior ROTC sessions.