Thanks so much everyone for responding. I really appreciate the input.
Maybe I started the thread with some confusions. Owlfoxmama9 really spoke my mind. We are looking for a professional to guide him through this process, without us parents constantly nagging and pestering. We both work busy jobs and really don’t want school application to become a focal point in our family time together. In addition, prep school applications nowadays are a totally different game from 30 years ago. We wouldn’t know what to do even we want to help.
Now a bit more about my son-- He went to a very small private school in Concord for elementary school, but that wasn’t hard to get in :). After finishing 5th grade, he wanted to test the water in a public middle school which offers more activities (sports, orchestra, etc) so we enrolled him in the middle school in our town. He is doing overall well. He is academically strong and is taking 8th grade math (He is in 6th grade.). His interest is broad (lacrosse, violin…) but I can’t say he is going to become an amazing athlete or musician.
We feel an educational consultant can help identify his strength and interest, and maybe guide him towards things he may excel or need to work on. We are not expecting to find someone who can “make it happen”! He used to have an advisor in his small school in Concord, but now he is a little lost in a school with over 300 students. He wants to try Middlesex and CA because we used to drive by their campuses all the time, and both schools are nearby. We are not interested in boarding schools and want to keep him home a little longer. They are certainly hard to get in but they do admit day students from local towns every year.
Thanks again everyone for all the helpful information!