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middle school

Swiss ChardSwiss Chard Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
edited August 2008 in Prep School Admissions
What kind of middle school did you go to? Did it prepare you/your child for boarding school? Did you do outside activities to prepare? Or do you feel that you weren't quite prepared for the rigor of the top school?
Post edited by Swiss Chard on
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Replies to: middle school

  • aminitnaaminitna Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I attend a cut-throat, high-stress, 2-3 tests a day (no, I am not exaggerating) middle school in China that just may be tougher than some boarding schools. I certainly hope that I am at least fully prepared for boarding school after 4 hours of sleep a day for a week before end of terms.

    I honestly do not mean to rant. While my school is insanely stressful, opportunities abound--we can apply for the 20 spots available for research in a college lab, we can take part in numerous extracurriculars, our graduates go on to be extraodinary indivduals, and we get an Olympic medal (in Physics, Bio, Math, Chem or Astro) practically every year.

    I think that I should be prepared for the rigors of boarding school, yeah.
  • SaerSaer Registered User Posts: 1,494 Senior Member
    My gawd, aminitna, that is amazing. And I envy you.
    I go to a terrible middle school. Well... Not horrible. It's a small town, so the middle school and high school are connected, so there's not even the feeling that we're moving on to bigger and better things by the times we hit 9th grade. For a small school, we have good teachers. But it's public, so it is very lax and most people couldn't give two s**ts about their education or the arts. Athletics (especially football, volleyball, cheerleading, and basketball) have been pretty big lately, placing in states and such, but no one at our school cares that for the pat 3 years we have placed in Nationals (not states, NATIONALS) for Envirothon, a highly challenging team-competition that goes through several stages before even considering a team for nationals. And no one cares. Nope, but our football team won! Whooo.
    Middle school is not preparing me. 9th grade won't prepare me. I am preparing myself, because I have to. And I'd probably do a heck of a lot better job than most people.
  • aminitnaaminitna Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    My middle school *is* good, but it's tough. For examply, a 94-96 in math; 89-93 in Chinese is considered pretty high for us. And believe me, sleep deprivation is not fun.
  • wiseman222wiseman222 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I attended a regular public middle school in Southern California, and although it wasn't as challenging as the school in China described above, it still got me buried under hours and hours of homework and tests. (speaking of tests, i had at least one every day) I want to note, however, that the number of tests that you have in a week or a day does not in any way determine how well you're prepared for boarding school. Plus, i dont really think that schools look for "prepared" students but rather for students with the potential to bear so many hours of hw/studying at a school away from home. For instance, my tour guide at St. Paul's attended a very easy middle school in Connecticut and he was nowhere near being "prepared." But because he had the potential to manage the workload, he quickly got accustomed to the new environment and became one of the top students in his grade. As for the "preparedness,"you can show plenty of it by being mature and calm during your interview. As I write this, I'm starting to think that when you asked about being prepared, you were talking in terms of academics? in that case, i wanna say that if Exeter had been searching in me "preparedness in academics," I would've never been accepted.

    P.S. : i dont think any middle school actually "prepares" you for the rigors of boarding school..unless it teaches its students all of the things taught in high school.. I think anyone can be prepared for boarding school so long as he/she tries hard in everything and doesn't compare him/herself to others
  • hellosunshinehellosunshine Registered User Posts: 298 Junior Member
    I absolutely loved my MS. It was Pre-K-8th grades, but I only went for 6-8th.
    It was a school specially focused on "gifted" education, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go. It really fosters it's students to learn how think in ways that are helpful to them and the rest of the world. I could not have been in a better place for my middle school years.

    I think that it has prepared me to go to BS in someways, but not in others. I don't think they were strict enough with the deadlines we had for projects, but as far as teaching me to appreciate an education, and teaching me to strive for improvement. They did an excellent job.
  • aminitnaaminitna Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    Perhaps I should rephrase--I did not, in any way, mean that I think I will be prepared for all the aspects of boarding school. However, I do believe that my middle school has prepared me well for the large workload, because it has taught me time management and balance, as well as how to make informed, reasonable decisions.
  • Swiss ChardSwiss Chard Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    Thanks, wiseman. That helps....
  • prettyckittyprettyckitty Registered User Posts: 1,363 Senior Member
    I went to a pretty academically poor middle school with unchallenging classes. By the time I hit seventh grade, teachers had more or less stopped caring whether I did the work, because they knew that I knew how to do it. Student teacher ratio was about 35:1, with minimal to no outside opportunities for extracurriculars. The teachers were extremely dedicated, wonderful people, but the gap in both achievement and ability among the student body was enormous, and they were forced by circumstances to teach from the bottom up. I had not had to work hard for a class before the beginning of 9th grade last year, ever. my homework load increasing by about 6 times this year at Andover. I would say I was pretty utterly unprepared for Andover. A lot of my friends this year who know where I went to school last year have remarked that they can't believe I've kept up with the work. But I managed it. I came in prepared to work harder than I ever had before; I did; and I lived, and managed honors average each term.
  • PhotoOpPhotoOp Registered User Posts: 1,194 Senior Member
    Good for you prettyckitty!
  • Burb ParentBurb Parent Registered User Posts: 2,100 Senior Member
    Congratulations on doing so well prettyckitty! I remember that a number of schools recognized your talents.
  • prettyckittyprettyckitty Registered User Posts: 1,363 Senior Member
    Thanks. It was difficult, but there were kids who came even less well prepared, and thrived as well.
  • BrooklynGuyBrooklynGuy Registered User Posts: 666 Member
    Other types of preparation: how well do you do being away from home? Are you self-motivated? I believe that schools will only accept students who they know can handle these aspects of boarding school, but some may be more ready for these challenges than others. I would imagine that these differences would even out after the first few months of school.
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Registered User Posts: 4,461 Senior Member
    It has to be a big adjustment, especially for students from California who choose East Coast boarding schools...how do you prepare for being that far from home?
  • neatoburritoneatoburrito Registered User Posts: 3,449 Senior Member
    Self-motivated

    You know, I go back and forth on this one. My son's teachers might say that he is NOT self-motivated at all. He just finds it hard to be self-motivated to fill in their forms (worksheets and other repetitive assignments). Of course, they've never seen him at home, practising piano or re-reading one novel to compare it thematically to the one he's just read. Novels that, incidentally, wouldn't be assigned at his school until 11th grade, if then. I'm mean, seriously, how motivated can a kid like this be to copy out sentences and circle the prepositional phrases?
  • wiseman222wiseman222 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    When I told my friends and teachers that i would be attending a school in the east coast, they stared at me as if i were an alien and asked, "isn't it COOOLLD there?" as for the extremely cold weather, however, I'm not concerned at all; kids from exeter told me that it's very warm in the dorms, if not HOT, even during the winter.
    other than that, I'm not worried bout going to an East Coast boarding school.. i mean i'm probably gonna have friends to talk to. Plus, I can always come home during breaks. I think it's all about having the right mind-set.
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