Monday, September 4, 2017

Should You Send Your Child to Boarding School?

There are so many options for school these days. You can home school or choose a public, private or boarding school. How do you know which one is right for you?

Boarding school is a great option for families who tend to fall into one or all of these categories:

·         Can afford the tuition, with or without financial aid
·         Have limited local schooling options
·         Have a child who is very involved in extracurricular activities and plans to go to college

We’ll explore each of these below.

Boarding School Tuition and Financial Aid

Perhaps the most limiting factor when it comes to boarding school is the cost of tuition. You might be thinking, “I barely have a college fund started for my child. How can I afford boarding school?”
It’s true that some boarding schools can cost upwards of $40,000 per year, but there are plenty that are relatively more affordable or that offer financial aid. Fortunately, in most cases you get what you pay for: a solid academic foundation, a familial environment, plenty of activities to promote leadership and boost confidence, promotion of life skills and independence, and sports to keep up with physical health and to create teamwork.

Travel Considerations

Location is a huge consideration when it comes to boarding schools. As long as the boarding school is nearby, your child can still come home to spend time with the family on weekends. Some of the best boarding schools in California are located within cities around the state, creating a potential 4- or 5-hour drive for families who live in the rural regions.

In fact, it is rural families who often consider boarding school in the first place. When the nearest school is 10 miles away, shuttling your child back and forth for activities is difficult if not impossible to work into your own schedule. And the local school may not be known for its excellent academics. The best options may be too far away to travel to on a daily basis.

Full College Prep

Boarding schools certainly focus on rigorous academics in order to prepare students for college, but these schools take the “college prep” experience to the ultimate level. Boarding school students are immersed in on-campus life, learning how to get along with roommates, how to make new friends, and how to be independent.

Of course, since boarding schools are for children and teens, there is still an element of supervision and care provided by the staff. Your child will not be left to totally fend for himself or herself. Boarding schools tend to structure the entire day, for example, to help students balance course work and extracurricular activities. However, your child might be expected to do his or her own laundry, something that even college freshmen don’t always know how to do!

If your child has big dreams to go to a prestigious college, to enter a highly selective program or to go to graduate school, boarding school can help make the transition to college easier than ever thanks to its immersive nature. Likewise, if you worry your teen might struggle transitioning to college and would like to offer him or her the opportunity to start out in a similar but more supportive and structured environment, a year or two at boarding school is the perfect solution.

What Does Your Child Want?

The most important point to consider is whether your child is interested in the idea. Try to lay out all the benefits of boarding school and to visit a school or two before you accept his or her final decision. Boarding school can be a great experience, but your child won’t likely enjoy it if forced into it. 


1 comment

jjmon2012 said...

Reading this was a eye opener for me. I guess in my head I just thought rich people used boarding schools to get rid of their kids. But you have shown me a lot of reason why every day people would do it

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