Our son chose FUMA after touring several local private schools. Making a change from public to private school was something that we knew our son wanted and needed but I truly did not fully understand how much he would thrive at Fork Union.
The daily “How was your day?” question became one of the highlights of my day. My son enjoyed school for the first time in a long time and was thriving academically, socially, spiritually and athletically. In the evenings, on the ride home from school, he would share story after story about his daily interactions with cadets, teachers, coaches, teammates and his TAC Officer.
I asked him, "Why do you like FUMA?" He said, “Because of the freedom we have.”
This was not exactly the answer I expected to hear from a kid at a military school. I asked him to explain.
He said: “Mom, we have expectations and a lot of rules we have to follow but we aren’t sitting in a boring classroom all day long. We have chances to go outside, move around, and focus on what we are interested in. We can eat whatever and however much we would like from the dining hall (General Tso’s Chicken, the panini sandwiches, and funnel cakes are his favorites) we have break time after lunch to play a pick up game of basketball in the Estes Center or hang out with our friends before class. We can get extra help after class if we need it or get a jump start on homework before sports practice.
One of my favorite stories that reflects the above described freedom, occurred right after a big snow storm. My son told me, “Today was the best day ever. After lunch, we had a huge snowball fight and went sledding down hills during our break—it was so much fun!” (With a huge grin on his face)
I believe his description of “freedom” translates to a gratefulness that he still gets to be a kid, a boy, a teenager—but one with rules, accountability and expectations. A freedom that is not found in many schools these days.
A personal favorite story of mine is probably not one of his favorites. After basketball practice, my son walked into the Commandant’s office to sign out. It took him about five minutes to return. When he returned, he was winded. I told him, he was either getting sick or out of shape, there was no reason for him to be winded and breathing heavy from walking up a slight incline to my car. He said “Mom, I forgot to tuck my shirt in my basketball shorts and I had to do 50 burpees! My shirt won’t be untucked again!”
My son currently has the best grades he’s ever had in school but more importantly, he understands the content because he can be more focused with the smaller class sizes.
We are incredibly happy and grateful for the education and life skills that our son is receiving at FUMA. Fork Union is a school that understands boys and what they need to thrive.