Choosing to send your child to boarding school is a big decision, and a huge step for both you and your child. Boarding school won’t suit every child, but for many children, it can offer a real boost to their personal and academic development.
There’s a lot to consider, but there also many benefits to boarding school that your child could really benefit from. Here are the main ones that you should consider.
In most cases, children will be assigned to much smaller classes in boarding school than they would be in state schools. In many cases, smaller classes are associated with higher levels of engagement from both the teachers and the students.
For a child, this can help them to get more guidance and support, which can benefit a child who has struggled academically or behaviorally. It also means the teacher has more opportunity to tailor their teaching approach to each child’s specific needs and strengths.
One of the best-known benefits of boarding school for boys and girls is the offer of a wider range of extracurricular activities.
This offer can range from less conventional sports that other schools can’t offer, to more specialized performing arts programs. Having these opportunities is integral to the personal development of your child, and can also help them to build a more rounded application for college and future job applications.
Many boarding schools have state of the art facilities.
If your child is interested in joining the military, then a school aimed at preparing them will offer activities to build the skills, fitness, and discipline that they will need.
Boarding schools tend to attract a very dedicated teaching staff. This is because many of them will live on campus, making school a way of life.
The passion for and immersion in the life of the school will help to inspire the children that they teach, and encourage them to drive more to achieve more academic success.
For many children, they don’t have much experience of a true sense of independence until the time comes for them to move out of the home.
By sending them to boarding school, your child will have a taste of independence a lot earlier in life and will have the chance to learn to live in a community away from the family unit.
This independence will make them much more prepared for life after full-time education. It will allow them to become more mature and develop their independence before they have to enter the adult world.
It is important to remember that some parents find that a same-sex boarding school can stunt the maturation process and can create difficulties in forming relationships in their early adult life.
At home, it is very easy for a child to be distracted by television, social media, and games that are in close proximity. Even if your child is working hard to focus only on their schoolwork, the temptation of being distracted is everywhere and hard to resist.
In contrast to this, boarding school can offer an environment that is purposefully set up to be conducive to learning, and often have a ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos. Your child can benefit from scheduled prep time for homework and lots of after-school clubs to blow off steam.
Having a housemaster or housemistress present all the time also helps to limit any outside distractions and disturbances, and will encourage your child to focus on their studies.
Stronger Alumni Networks
The boarding school experience often goes hand-in-hand with a stronger alumni network after your child has finished school.
The environment of boarding school is intensive, and each school will foster its own unique identity that helps to deepen the friendships between students. It also helps to give your child a boosted sense of self-confidence and a sense of identity.
After school, these alumni networks carry on into the world of work, which can open new avenues and offer more opportunities for your child as they grow up.
International students can really benefit from attending a boarding school. Boarding school offers international students the chance to immerse themselves in another culture, helping them to learn the language fluently, and gain an understanding of the country’s education system and culture.
They will also get a ready-made social network and the alumni group to help them progress after school. Boarding school offers a safe entry point into a new culture, with excellent pastoral care on offer to help those struggling with homesickness and culture shock.
If you are considering sending your child to boarding school, remember that there is no one ‘right’ school for all children, only the ‘right’ school for your child.
Make sure you do thorough research into different schools before making a decision. Just because their friend, cousin, or neighbor flourished at a particular school doesn’t always mean that your child will flourish too.
Boarding school often has a reputation as being for troubled children, but this is not the case. There are many schools that specialize in troubled children, but this is just one segment of the world of boarding schools.
There are schools for all kinds of children, including schools that specialize in performing arts, or prepare children for the military, or just for academic development.
Many parents worry that sending a child to boarding school will damage their bond with the family. However, most parents actually find the opposite ends up being true.
Your child can become a happy, thriving young person who you can have a stronger relationship with, thanks to their needs for academics and extracurricular activities are being met at a level they couldn’t get at home.
Boarding schools can offer a challenge for children who are bright but aren’t currently achieving academically or socially.
The environment of a boarding school can meet their needs, whether that’s material offered at a slower pace with a focus on effort rather than on production, or more challenging material to catch their interest and material.
Boarding schools can also offer a beneficial environment for children with behavioral issues, trauma, or family issues.
For other children, who are not unhappy at home but would benefit from a different kind of experience in their schooling can also benefit.
This might be children who have parents who went to and enjoyed boarding school, those who want to have the chance to be part of a like-minded academic and social peer group or more opportunity to immerse themselves in arts or sports to a higher level.
Most families start their research into boarding schools on the internet. After a quick search, you might find that all the information you can find is overwhelming.
To help you sift through all of this information, you can hire an educational consultant who will bring their firsthand knowledge of the experience.
Educational consultants visit many schools to get an insight into the sort of child who would do well there. Hiring a consultant will, of course, add to the expense of boarding school, but it can be well worth the cost if you are struggling to decide which school, if any boarding school at all, is right for your child.
These consultants can help you and your child understand how boarding school differs from other schools, as well as helping them to understand whether they will do best at a more academically challenging school or one with more focus on a particular vocation, whether that’s military training, a sports school, or a performing arts course.
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