No matter how young your child is now, at some point you’ll need to start thinking about their formal education. For some of us, this means asking ourselves one crucial question: should I send my child to boarding school? While there are many great sources for online parenting tips on child development and schools (especially if your children are younger) the question of boarding school in particular is worth a closer look. So what are the pros and cons of sending your child to boarding school? Are the stereotypes really true? Is it worth the cost?
The first thing to realize is that while boarding school fees may be high, some schools do offer scholarships and bursaries for talented students. If your child is lucky enough to get one of these, the costs won’t be as prohibitive as you might think. Regardless of the cost, many parents believe boarding school is worth these fees, because of the benefits your child will reap. Here are some parenting tips to consider:
Pros of Boarding School
- Excellent academic education: One of the main reasons parents opt for boarding school is the academic reputation of these schools. With dedicated teachers and an optimal teacher-student ratio, your child will be able to intellectually thrive in an encouraging environment. Attending one of these schools may increase your child’s chances of entering a prestigious university.
- Wealth of extracurricular activities: At the same time, if your child is inclined towards athletics, the arts, community volunteering, or other non-academic activities, boarding schools often boast fantastic resources where students can explore these interests. This may include extensive playing fields and athletic spaces, art studios, orchestras, choirs, or connections to professional organizations.
- Independence and confidence: Your child could become much more independent at boarding school, without the immediate presence of his or her parents. In some ways, your child may grow up faster, leading to increased confidence for university and beyond.
- Networking and reputation: And yet, your child will also form long-lasting friendships at boarding school, which can extend into their careers. The strong alumni community and good reputation of top boarding schools could prove to be a boost for your children as they build their professional lives.
Cons of Boarding School
- Less time with your child: If you’re a parent who savours every moment you spend with your child, boarding school may be difficult for you, because you will naturally have less time with them. However, it may mean that the time you do spend together will be even more meaningful, and your relationship may become more positive as a result.
- Conformity may be challenging for your child: Some children do not respond well to a strict environment, as it confines their unique view of the world. A child like this may suffer at first at boarding school, which often stresses conformity. If this is the case, try to find a boarding school which caters to your child’s interests (the arts, for example), and remember: any school (boarding or not) will have some element of conformity to it. There are also plenty of parenting tips available to help you choose an appropriate school.
- A different social world: Boarding school students may come from a more privileged socioeconomic world than your child is used to. This may be daunting for your child, or may create a sense of envy for him or her. This isn’t any different from the adult world, though, and your child will be learning early on how to behave and succeed among people from different backgrounds.
These parenting tips should give you some food for thought when considering whether or not to send your child to boarding school. Whatever you choose, you want to give your children the best possible education, to prepare them for success and happiness in the future.
The above post is a guest article from Surf Excel Team.