The things you have suggested are right on for what we are trying to do. We are finding that having a high school sport is pretty important as well as physical fitness. Grades and awesome test scores are also important. And finally, leadership is utmost. There has to be proof of the student’s leadership, like team captain, community service, teaching others, etc. The umpiring that my boys did is really good.
Another thing we are finding is that with the economy as it is, the number of military ROTC and academy applicants is doubling and tripling…. very competitive. But as you said, it is great to be homeschooled as long as you have the above characteristics. AND get the paperwork in EARLY!!! Oh, and you were right on with your advice on Foreign Language. They want to see Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, or Persian. We went for Arabic.
~ Sally in Washington
We have just been working through this with ROTC which is similar to the academies. If your son is interested in anything in the military a Boy Scout Eagle Scout rank is very positive. Our oldest just completed a leadership training camp at Ft. Knox and was amazed at how much his Eagle helped him excel. In addition to scholastic information, the ROTC scholarship application specifically asked about scouting and if he had ever been a sr. patrol leader or venture president. All sports were documented by semester and year, whether they were jv or varsity, etc. Leadership and service positions were requested and the number of hours serving in each, so keep a running calendar of all events. Also, talk directly to the academy admissions people or the ROTC military science staff at your prospective university when preparing. Don't go through a recruiting office as they often are not informed about officer requirements. We found that out the hard way.
Thank you for posting this. Our son is interested in a military academy and is now going into the tenth grade so we are trying to plan this out the best way possible. Can anyone tell me if participating in a JROTC program in the local high school would be beneficial? He has not done Boy Scouts and the way the organization has gone we prefer not to be a part of it. He is currently doing involved in a swimming club and training for triathlons and 5k's.
Lee has written some blog posts about this:
Military Academy and ROTC Scholarship Success: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/military-academy-and-rotc-scholarship-success/
Air Force Academy: Hard Work and High Stats: http://www.thehomescholar.com/blog/?s=cassie
(And thank you Janet!)
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Jr. ROTC is beneficial, as are the Civil Air Patrol, Sea Cadets, and Coast Guard Auxiliary, if any of those are in your area. Sophomore year is a little late but can still be done. Rising to leadership in these organizations is even more beneficial than just participating. Summer camps and training are also great preparation. Think scholar-athlete-leader; that is the ideal to strive for.
Also, the Harvard University Extension School offers online courses, and summer programs for high schoolers. If a student takes college level courses part time through the extension school, he will have a transcript from Harvard University and challenging preparation for rigorous academics, as well as the college credits. Anyone can take online extension courses. If you live outside of New England you can have exams proctored in your local area.
I agree with J. Rivers, but I would be careful to check on any JROTC unit as to its quality. We were thinking of doing the same thing when he was going into 10th but were warned that it might have little impact on ROTC as that particular recruiter said that some of those kids are there "just to get out of regular class." I also noticed that another boy who went that route with officer plans ended up enlisting instead when he finished high school. If your son is still the right age to be a page for your state legislature that may be of help too. My son paged for a local rep. in 10th grade and had enough of a relationship established that we were able to meet with him to discuss the academy and ROTC. It was of much help, plus it set the stage for his recommendation to an academy later if needed.