Elementary Military School

Do elementary military schools exist? Parents who value the discipline, leadership, teamwork, and other positive skills taught by a military school education may wonder about elementary military schools. Learn about elementary military school options here.

Military schools can teach many positive skills to boys who need more structure in their lives or who just want rigorous preparation for college or a military or civilian career. Though most military schools start at age 12, or grade 6, there are ways for parents of elementary school boys to teach them military school values to better prepare them for success in school and life. Most parents who send their boys to military school do so to help teach them positive skills like:

  • Discipline
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Respect for self and others
  • Self confidence
  • Hard work
  • Responsibility
  • Physical fitness

Elementary school boys can learn these values even before they are old enough for military school. There are a number of programs that can help elementary school boys develop these traits, whether they are struggling due to a lack of structure or simply need to be challenged more.

  • A private or charter elementary school, though not an elementary military school, can still teach boys positive traits and help them succeed if the school is well organized. Private or charter elementary schools may require uniforms and have more structure than regular public elementary schools, making them more similar to a elementary military school. Parents who are interested in a private or charter elementary school should do research and observe classes to see if it meets their needs and expectations. Private elementary schools often offer scholarships, and charter schools are free.
  • Sports are usually a major component of military school life. Elementary school boys can enjoy the benefits of sports, like teamwork, leadership, hard work, discipline, and physical fitness through school or community sports programs, especially if parents and adults in the program remember that having fun and good sportsmanship are more important than winning. Boys who are less interested in traditional team sports like baseball, football, or soccer may enjoy other sports like swimming, gymnastics, or horseback riding.
  • Martial arts are also common at military schools, and they can be a great way to teach respect, discipline, and self-control. A good martial arts program does not teach teens violence or aggression, but instead focuses on patience and hard work as boys strive to earn higher belts. Look for a studio that has classes for elementary school-aged students and, if applicable, success working with troubled boys.
  • Music is another common activity at military schools. Involvement in music, either through playing an instrument, singing, or dance, is another great way for elementary school boys to learn hard work, practice, and self discipline and to build confidence. Performing with others also encourages teamwork and fosters respect for others. Music lessons are widely available, sometimes through elementary schools, and many communities have low cost music or dance programs available. In a few areas there are marching bands for older elementary school students, which offer opportunities to participate in military school-like drills and parades.
  • Cub Scouts is the Boy Scouts program for elementary school boys. It strives to teach many of the same values as military school, like leadership, teamwork, self confidence, patriotism, and good character. Boys in the program have uniforms and earn merit badges by learning new skills or performing service for others. Many Boy Scouts go on to leadership careers like the military or the space program. If Boy Scouts is not an option for a boy, there are many similar programs.

Another important way to instill military school-type values in elementary school boys is to start at home. Like a military school, the home offers an intensive environment for teaching, and there are some simple things parents can do to help teach their boys positive values and skills without them attending an elementary military school:

  • Set a good example of whatever skills you want your children to learn. This doesn't mean you have to try to be perfect, but you can set an example of positive traits like showing respect for others, accepting responsibility for mistakes, and exercising self-control.
  • With your children, set family rules and decide on the consequences of breaking the rules, then enforce the rules consistently. This has been shown to help children develop more positive behaviors. Most experts recommend against physical punishments for breaking rules, and suggest instead that parents choose consequences that fit the rule, such as if children fight over a video game, then they may not play video games for the rest of the day.
  • Assign age-appropriate, unpaid chores to each member of the family. This can help build a sense of responsibility and hard work.
  • Spend time together as a family for meals and for fun activities like playing games or going for walks, which can create a sense of belonging and teamwork and improve health.
  • Show your children that you care about them and encourage their positive activities and traits to build their self confidence.

For parents who are interested in elementary military school because of behavior problems in their boys, in addition to the above suggestions it may be helpful to talk to a school counselor, doctor, or other health care professional to see if there are any medical reasons for the discipline problems, or if counseling or therapy may help to correct a behavior problem before it becomes more serious. A professional can also help parents of severely troubled boys decide if they need a residential treatment program or other intensive therapy.


University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, "Discipline: Teaching School Age Children Social Skills" [online]

Nemours, KidsHealth, "Sportsmanship" [online]

Kathleen Green, Dallas Morning News, "James Boecker shares his passion for martial arts" [online]

Stephen Beale, Goffstown News, "Elementary School Boasts Only Marching Recorder Band" [online]

San Francisco State University, School of Music and Dance, "The Village Dancers" [online]

Boy Scouts of America [online]

Related Article: Military School Life >>