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Why a boarding school?


Replies to: Why a boarding school?

  • RubriconRubricon Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    I may be having the 24-hour cold sweats... Neither my husband nor I went to bs, but when we moved out of a large urban area to a small community we learned that bs is the norm. Our d will be applying for fall of 2011 and we're torn. She might get into a local bs and could, in theory, be a day student there. The disadvantages seem self evident--late night pick-ups, excluding her from her school's dominant culture, sending her out and away prematurely. Or is it premature? How will we know if bs is a good fit when we have no experience with it and we still want a hand in supporting our daughter's social/emotional/spiritual/academic growth.
  • takeitallintakeitallin Registered User Posts: 3,378 Senior Member
    I have always wondered about this so was interested to see it addressed. While I would never have considered sending my children to BS, I can understand now why some would do it. We have an excellent public school close to us. My kids took full advantage of AP and Honors programs; I feel they were thoroughly challenged throughout HS and have developed excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills. Financially we could not swing BS and then college for 4 kids, so it has never been a consideration. I have 2 older kids who are out of college and working, 1 in college OOS, and 1 in HS. They are home such a short portion of their lives that I want to take advantage of having them around as long as I can. But after reading the posts here I can understand that BS affords fantastic opportunities to those who choose to attend. Glad I looked at this.
  • MadaketMadaket - Posts: 223 Junior Member
    Rubricon we are in a similar position - my daughter attends a great day school where many in her 8th grade class will apply out to BS. We also have a very prestigious BS within 15 minutes of our home. We have gotten our daughter to agree to apply there but she says it is her last choice - wants the "full boarding experience" and a change since she has been at her current school since pre-k. I met with admissions last summer at the local BS and they will not give her a boarding spot since we live within 15 miles of the school. I would like her to stay put or accept a day spot at the local school if it is offered. I am also torn - some days I say I can do this for her, and other days my heart aches with all the uncertainty and fear that comes along with major change.
  • redbluegoldgreenredbluegoldgreen Registered User Posts: 1,256 Senior Member
    Madaket, we were in the same boat last year. But I can tell you, we opted for the prestigious BS further away, because eventually that's where the opportunity was. And yes, even after lots of hand wringing on my part and a couple melt-downs, pre-start jitters on his, I can say now after about a week, that he is loving the full BS experience a little further away from home. Has friends and loves his classes! It's hard dealing with anxiety, but I'd say, go for it! And all will be well.
  • kidwaitskidwaits Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    I can't imagine....I told mine right off that boarding wasn't an option, we only live 8 minutes, yes 8, away from a top notch boarding school. I told my kids I was selfish, and needed to see their cute little faces everyday.....truth is...I just don't have the extra 10K to do it. It works out well for us though, because sometimes they stay until 8:30, or 10pm or even 11 and my husband doesn't mind going to get them. I think one of mine would love to be a boarder though....wonder if she will ever ask again.....I would say "Let them if THEY want to, and you can afford it!!
  • InventInvent - Posts: 521 Member
    Can they apply for financial aid once they are at BS? The school may bridge the 10K gap, as some of the schools have huge endowments.
  • ExieMITAlumExieMITAlum . Posts: 2,367 Senior Member
    Yep. Me. Regrets, Sweats, overwhelming desire to buy her a return ticket home even knowing we live in a crummy school district (public and private).

    .....And I went to boarding school myself.

    Now I know what this process did to my mother - back when the only communication means was "collect" calls and letters. But knowing what the experience did for me as a person, makes it easier to make the sacrifice for my daughter. Skype, email and texting has made the transition easier.

    If your child is ready - and you find the right emotional/academic fit - it will be worth it.
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    I ran into a friend the other day who reminded me of why we did this. She said she'd heard the rumour that my d was away at school and couldn't believe I could do that. When she asked where my d is and I told her she pined "that's where I wanted to go but my parents wouldn't let me."

    I, too, wanted to go to a private school and my parents wouldn't let me. I don't want my d to grow up and pine for what she didn't get - particularly when it is of SO much higher caliber than anything at home. As I told my friend "I believe that my job as parent is to help my children go after their dreams."
  • grinzinggrinzing Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    I wanted to go to BS, didn't, and wanted that dream for my S. Seemed like a wonderful opportunity for him and I imagined all of the great things I experienced at college for him, only earlier. There's the problem--it's high school and they are 14+ years old and not ready for it in so many ways. We wished we waited. Parents if you can have a local BS for your kid to attend as a day student, you are the luckiest parents alive. It's not just a look or a hug every day, but your kids still need their parents to help advocate, support, steer. No BS can replace parents . . .
  • wcmom1958wcmom1958 Registered User Posts: 351 Member
    @Grinzing, am curious about your experience. Why are you sorry you didn't wait -- was your child unhappy or were/are you? I know that I miss my d so much it hurts, but am hardpressed to find fault with her experience (so far, but it's only been a month). She had her first (mild) illness last week, and imagine my relief that her dorm parent was totally responsive and even encouraged her to check in during the night if she couldn't sleep - and kept me up-to-date via email. Earlier in the week her advisor called just to get to know us. We feel totally supported so far, so regrets about her departure are, so far, only in my heart. That said, if I thought her academic needs could've been met closer to home I wouldn't have allowed her to go. I guess we'll see how she feels down the road. She is aware that her classmates (east coast) are more status conscious, but so far she just finds this silly and has made a very international group of friends.
  • Alexz825MomAlexz825Mom Registered User Posts: 730 Member
    Grinz---You are right....no bs can replace parents....and I dont think that is the goal at any school. At the first lunch on campus, with the parents present, the Head of School said "the school and the parents are co-parenting for the child". I feel this in my heart.

    I guess a day school alternative would have been the best of both worlds for me.......but that wasnt an option and I wanted my d to have the total, live on campus experience.

    One of the biggest reasons I decided on bs is that it could offer my d options and opportunities that I couldnt give her at home. So no regrets. OK...one regret...I wish I had the chance I am giving my d.

    PS-I am of the firm belief that if my d isnt happy, she doesnt have to go back when the school year is over. She must finish what she has started. It is just another experience, no shame to change.
  • grinzinggrinzing Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    IMO, BS leaves too much to chance (and kids)--some kids will find a coach or faculty member to become close to, other students have the unique ability to do it all themselves. But for many 14, 15, 16 year olds, all of whom still need lots of guidance and support, encouragement and push, BS adults can't do it for all kids every day--like parents at home. My S's experience is a case in point. He's a pretty highly functioning kid--doesn't get into trouble, goes to classes, does what he should--but is pretty on his own--too early. No one has stepped up, no one is pushing him to be his best, no one is getting him out of his comfort zone. The schools are all over the kids in trouble and fawn on the superstars--but if you fall somewhere in the middle, you are on your own. It may even seem fine to the kids, but as a parent observer, I am at a loss to how being on your own at 14/15 without an adult advocate is the best for my S.
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Registered User Posts: 2,261 Senior Member
    With all of one week's experience under my belt, I'll jump in here and share our experience so far with the adviser/parent/student relationship.

    Our son had some scheduling issues around day 3, and was feeling stressed, and after about 5 minutes' hesitation, I emailed his adviser. I was happy I did, as stress turned into homesickness pretty quickly, but the adviser was already stepping in, and was able to get all the student and faculty leaders in the dorm on board, and communicated with us regularly. Largely because of this, everything seems to have resolved itself remarkably quickly. All of us have already established a good relationship, my son has someone he's comfortable going to with questions, I know people at the school are caring for him for me, and I now have someone I would email without hesitation about even small concerns.

    If I hadn't said anything, the adviser most likely never would have known anything was amiss...like grinzig's, my kid's the kind who would probably fly under the radar. So consider this a plug for actively parenting by actively pursuing the help of the "parent" at hand!
  • tomlind169tomlind169 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    If you want to enroll in a school that upholds relatively strict guidelines about discipline and is located miles away from home, but promotes an above-average educational program, then boarding schools is for you. This type of school provides a different educational experience and it gives students who enjoy an isolated and closed environment to thrive and flourish. Normally, a boarding school is appropriate for those with behavioral disorders such as learning disabilities, anger issues, depression, bi-polar, and others, which explains some of the strict disciplinary methods some schools are known for. However, BS has emerged as a legitimate academic experience that some students will find enjoyable.
  • winker425winker425 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    Tomlind, welcome to CC. Your spammy post? Not welcome.
This discussion has been closed.