Hi there, forum.
We are starting to explore NE boarding schools for our child, who is currently in 7th grade out on the West Coast. Our kid is a classic nerd who is unsure of the whole NE boarding school thing because it seems very preppy and DC is definitely not. That said, the idea of academic challenge and independence is very appealing. We've got an idea of which schools check certain boxes (challenging, strong math/science, certain sports or ECs), but we have no idea about "fit" from so far away. As @boardnotbored
described perfectly in this thread (https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-admissions/2007693-fit-as-mysterious-as-the-luminiferous-aether.html
), I feel like we could cut up all the catalogs and mix them up and be unable to tell which school is which, for the most part.
DC seems to think big and extra challenging is the ticket - but my kid's a bit type B and I wonder if it wouldn't be better to look for something that is mid sized or is "warm" if one is so far from home. Or maybe lack of challenge is why DC seems type B sometimes - our kid tunes out when bored. We also realize that even if our child thinks Exeter or Andover is a perfect fit, that they are not necessarily going to reciprocate, so we need to build a list.
I'm thinking about going out over our spring break to visit some schools just to get a sense. I'm concerned that if I wait until 8th grade fall, if we visit a few and find we need to "redirect" our list to a different type of school, there won't be time to trek all the way out again for a second circuit of schools in time. We definitely want to see the schools while they are in session.
The problem is that some schools seem not to offer tours when our spring break is happening. Others do but appear to require an interview at the same time. DC is an introvert and is not yet ready for prime time in terms of interviewing.
Is it worth it to go so far to walk around campuses that aren't open for scheduled tours? It's not easy for us to get there, and we have limited time. Should we go ahead and chance a few interviews now at the ones that are, when we're so clueless, maybe at perceived lower-priority schools, or wait till we all have a more together idea of what we're looking for and what our DC's (still developing) passions are?
Thanks in advance for any thoughts, advice.