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Talking to parents about boarding school!!!

ZooYorkZooYork Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
edited March 2010 in Prep School Parents
Hey everyone,

I'm a kid who wants to apply to a boarding school (yes, I know. Its late.) and wanted some parental advice. I brought up the topic to my mom (my dad is on a business trip right now, he won't be back till March 6th) and well she was surprised. Like, it was totally unexpected. And pretty much, right off the bat she said it would be too expensive, that i wanted to leave her, etc... So I'm kinda asking that parents whose kids suddenly wanted to go to a boarding school or parents with kids in boarding schools or anyone with advice: how can I explain to my mother and father that I want to go to a boarding school, not to leave them (i'll probably miss them like crazy), but to gain independence, get a better education, and all the other good perks of boarding schools. Also, how you/ or your kid told you about the boarding school idea... stuff like that. And kinda what i can say to make them feel the same way I do about boarding schools.

Thanks in advance! :D
Post edited by ZooYork on
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Replies to: Talking to parents about boarding school!!!

  • BlueRaven1BlueRaven1 Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    What I did was I introduced the concept to my parents now last year. Got a "No,No.NO.NO" dropped it and then picked it back up in October when my father was on a bussiness trip, somehow won her over and got her permission to apply. My father would never have agreed but I got to mum first. So my advice as a student is "Divide and conquer" :p and start early. I know this is parents but I thought I'd reply anyway.
  • ZooYorkZooYork Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Haha! That's a good idea! I think I'll start with my dad though... He is more easy going and will probably agree to it first. Then he'll talk to my mom and BAM! Yay!!! Haha, I don't think it's going to be quite that easy though... Anyways thanks for your answer and i'll definitely try it. :)
  • ParlabaneParlabane Registered User Posts: 596 Member
    "Divide and Conquer" ...... the province of sneaky - oops, I mean smart - kids everywhere!! ZooYork, I'm not even your parent, but the last minute nature of your boarding school plan has the whiff of impulsiveness about it. And impulsive is the last thing you should be when considering an expensive, life changing decision. Why not put this off for a year and do your homework well like a lot of the kids on this site? Rushed decisions are usually poor ones.
  • gretchenamygretchenamy Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    As a mom, my initial reaction was not positive but after thinking it over and doing some research I got on board and then helped convince both Dad and Stepdad. So yeah, divide and conquer works. One thing that helped me was seeing the schedules...parent weekends fall and spring, a week off at thanksgiving, three weeks home for winter and spring breaks , home all summer... This really helped me get past the initial "I'd miss her too much." Also, you are very late for applying for this fall. Your folks might be more receptive if you propose it for the following year-- you'd have time to take SSATs, visit several schools, etc. and they would have time to come to grips with the expense. Good luck!
  • zuzu'spetalszuzu'spetals Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    Zooyork,
    You sound a lot like my daughter. She desperately wanted to go to boarding school and I was on the fence. She and I are very close and I knew I would really miss her. This is what you need to do. YOU need to start your research and send for viewbooks of schools that you like (and probably aren't too far away). You should probably apply for the 11-12 school year, although some schools will have rolling admissions. Get all the information you need and show it to her. Tell her concrete reasons why you want to go and how these schools can help you. If you want to go next year, go to boardingschoolreview.com (I think that is the site) and look for schools with rolling admissions. My son applied for bs in April and got in. Start calling them for applications. Be prepared to work on the applications. Hopefully, your mom will see how serious you are about this and consider it.
    Oh, and btw, my dd and I are even closer this year. She skypes me daily and I feel like an integral part of her life.
    Best of luck. Let me know if I can help you.
    zuzu'spetals
  • BlueRaven1BlueRaven1 Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    Sneaky? Me? I'm aiming more for Ravenclaw and I didn't actually expect it to work. I just went on and on and on about it, showed my mother all the videos and suddenly my mother was convinced. To this day I'm unsure how I managed it. Best of luck zooyorker.
  • ZooYorkZooYork Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Thanks for your answers everyone. I started to get some (like 3-4) viewbooks already and my mom looked at one... I think I'll talk to them soon though. I started the applications already, and pretty much only have to do the essay and recommendations. Oh, but a quick question about it: you know the Principal/counselor recommendation, I go to a public school and its really big. My principal doesn't know me and I've never went to the counselor.... So what do I do??? Thanks! :)
  • BlueRaven1BlueRaven1 Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    I had the same dilema, my principal didn't know my name and we had literally never spoken and I'd meet my counciller once at registration. I gave mine to my homeroom teacher but I considered giving it to the 8th grade administrator who I'd spoken to when I was Student of the Month.
  • ZooYorkZooYork Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    Homeroom teacher? Do you think its ok if I give it to my first teacher of the day, (technically/informally my homeroom teacher)? I know her pretty well since she was my advisor for History Day (she is a social studies teacher) and is really friendly and nice and would probably agree to do it.
  • zuzu'spetalszuzu'spetals Registered User Posts: 344 Member
    I would still give it to the principal. He (or she) should then speak with your teachers to get a better idea of you as a student. Then the principal can write the rec.
  • PhotoOpPhotoOp Registered User Posts: 1,194 Senior Member
    Visiting boarding schools was the thing that won me over. My first visit was to one that my daughter didn't even apply to but the atmosphere and the apparent happiness of the students really made me feel much more at ease with the whole idea. Then a year later I went on a week trip with my daughter to visit seven schools that she did apply to and we had a great time and all the schools were very welcoming and all I saw were happy engaged teenagers. It puts a mother's heart at ease to see that.
  • ZooYorkZooYork Registered User Posts: 24 New Member
    I think I'll give it to my principal and just hope for the best... My mom thinks I'm too young to go off and that its still too expensive, even if we get FA... I wonder if she will even agree to let me apply and let us go see the schools.
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Registered User Posts: 7,311 Senior Member
    ZooYork - A couple of thoughts for you . . .

    First, about recommendations. The recommendation forms you were given are the required recommendations - you must do them (as directed) in order to be considered. Your principal has dealt with this kind of situation before, and he or she will look at your record carefully before responding, and then provide the best information he or she can.

    But, just because certain recommendations are required does NOT mean you are limited to those! If there is a homeroom teacher or English teacher or gym coach who knows you well, ask them to do a recommendation also - even if the school didn't send you a specific form for that person. If you've worked part-time at the grocery store down the street, and the owner knows and likes you - ask him to fill out a recommendation for you! The point is to give the school the best and most complete picture of you that you can. Don't send 20 recommendations - but feel free to add a few extra if it will help your application.

    Second, about financial aid. If you are seriously looking at applying for next year, you need to be aware that even though a school might still accept you at this late date, your chances of getting financial aid are pretty slim. The schools have a fixed financial aid budget, which they generally distribute to their first round candidates. That doesn't mean you can't try for financial aid again next year, but it may be tough if you need it for September.

    Third, if your parents are willing to spend the $35, they can fill out a Parent Financial Statement online to find out how financial aid they might expect to be able to receive from a school if you file a timely financial aid application for next year. The numbers aren't set in stone . . . sometimes they're close to what a school ends up offering and sometimes they're not. Just so your parents know that it's always possible you'd be offered more than what is predicted - so they shouldn't give up if they don't like the numbers. Most of the schools use the same financial aid service. Just look at one of the school admissions & financial aid pages, and follow the link.

    Finally, I can understand that if your parents were expecting you to be around until you're 18, it can be a shock to think of you all of a sudden moving away . . . but it can also be the most amazing opportunity for you. Depending on a number of factors, it may or may not ultimately be appropriate for you to go away to school at this age. In other words, your parents may have a good reason for saying "no." But present the idea as best you can, and see how things unfold.

    Good Luck!
  • BlueRaven1BlueRaven1 Registered User Posts: 2,109 Senior Member
    dodgersmom-you just gave me a heart attack. Does this mean I won't be considered for admission???? My principal had no record to look over seeing as I'd only been at the school less than 3 months.
  • dodgersmomdodgersmom Registered User Posts: 7,311 Senior Member
    BlueRaven1 - It certainly wasn't my intention to give you a heart attack! Relax . . . what I meant is that principals are used to doing this and they know what's expected. They'll find a way to say something positive about you. And, unless you're an alien who was just dropped to earth and landed in this school, the principal would have records from your prior school. (Okay, well, if you were home-schooled previously, I guess that would put you in the "alien" category . . . but I'm sure the principal would still be able to get to know you by speaking with your current teachers.) The schools you're applying to also recognize that the principal may not be the person who knows you the best. That's why they ask for teacher recommendations also.
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