Socrates once said that “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”. With 55% of high schoolers feeling unprepared for college, it’s a relevant statement.
Day school is far more popular than boarding school. Costs are a factor, as is familiarity. Most of us attended either a private or public day school. And while experiences may differ between the two, one thing remains the same: Children come home every day.
Which is great, right? You love them and want them close to you. It gives them a sense of comfort and belonging. You’re able to interact with them and experience the joys of parenthood.
It isn’t all rosy though.
Downsides to Day School
As our esteemed philosopher said, education is the kindling of a flame. It doesn’t end when the bell rings.
In many modern households, both parents are working. Some have two jobs each. Plus, the ever increasing single parent household scenario means that the parent is even busier than usual.
As a result, convenience is necessary.
We all know how easy it is to put the TV on for your child after school. They’ve had a long day, and so have you. While you’re doing the chores, they’re quiet and all is well. They might even do their homework while watching. Convenient, yes. Good for them? Not at all.
To save time, parents will also try and do everything. From the cooking (it always takes longer when kids help) to the chores, and even the homework. Children become accustomed to their problems being solved.
That’s if parents are even able to be there after school. Daycare costs are rising , and kids are often coming home alone. We all know that it’s more likely the Xbox will be the priority rather than the homework.
The disadvantages to day school don’t end there. Massive student numbers makes personalized attention difficult. Limited school hours mean less time to properly impart information.
There is, of course, an alternative.
Boarding schools have featured prominently in popular culture. From scary tales of being ‘sent off to boarding school’, to magical coming-of-age stories, many impressions have been formed.
Fantasy aside, Boarding schools have much to offer. Let’s take a closer look at four of the biggest advantages.
87% of boarding school students feel academically prepared for college. This is according to a survey by The Association of Boarding Schools. Private school graduates were at 71%, and public schools, just 39%.
Boarding schools have class sizes that range from 10 to 15 students. As a result, individual attention is possible. Students’ progress can be closely monitored. Specific academic issues can also be directly identified and addressed.
2. Extracurricular Activities
Boarding schools have numerous sports and activities. The quality of instruction is on a different level, too. With all the extra time students have, they’re able to become immersed in their chosen activity. This virtual tour of the Taft School shows some of their unique activities.
The arts are, of course, a huge factor. From music to dance, theater, and the fine arts, your child will have more options. They’ll also have a better chance at becoming very skilled at whatever they choose.
Boarding school teachers generally have degrees in the subjects they teach. Many of them have advanced degrees. Having more time with students, as well as disciplinary support from house masters, etc., allows them to be more focused on teaching. Your child receives a higher caliber education from the best teachers.
4. Social Environment
There’s a very strong bond that boarding school students develop. There is a sense of community and mutual respect, which continues well after graduation. Often, lifelong friendships are forged. This socialization increases confidence and prepares students for the teamwork required in the real world.
Choosing a school is like every other choice in life. The more information you have, the better. Discuss all the aspects with your child, too, and get their feedback.
Hopefully, you’ve learned more about the boarding school option. The rest is up to you!