Living in a boarding school essentially prevents your child from being anonymous. She will be part of the school community. She will be engaged in its activities, academics and athletics. She will be involved in the life of the school. That may strike her as different from the life which she has enjoyed back home. Nonetheless, she will become accustomed to participating in a wide range of activities throughout the week. She will develop confidence in her abilities. Best of all, she will accomplish all of this in the company of and with the support of her new friends.
You also don't have to worry about meals as those are part of the daily schedule too. So is down time. Teens need time to socialize. Boarding schools help teenagers learn to manage their time. And that is a life skill worth learning.
Besides not having to worry about what your child is doing, the transportation issue is moot. No more driving to and from school. Or worse, no more teens driving between home and school.
Best of all, a boarding school is a self-contained community. Your child will interact with all the members of that community, learning valuable lessons about diversity and tolerance in the process. The teaching, and the learning, never stop just outside the classroom.
The Convenience of Day School
What are Your Requirements?
Compare the pros and cons of boarding and day schools carefully before going on to the next step of identifying specific schools. Both types of schools have merits and distinctive features. Which one works best for you is a matter of your requirements.
Private Schools on YouTube
Most private schools have videos available on YouTube. Some are professionally produced. Others are not. While a video is no substitute for visiting a school, it does give you an idea of what the school is all about. In the case of boarding schools the videos will help you refine your short list of schools without having to set foot on campus. Save your visits and travel budget for schools on your short list.
Keep a list of features which are appealing to you. Always compare what each school offers to your own personal list of requirements.
Looking for a video for a school you want to check out? Type the school's name into the search field at the top of the YouTube page. Then look for the school's channel. Most schools will have their own channels on YouTube. The channel is a place where the school collects and organizes its video clips. I recommend subscribing to schools you are interested in. That way when a new video clip is posted, you will receive notification.
Deciding whether to send your child to boarding or day school is a major decision. Once that is out of the way then you need to focus on finding the right school for both your child and you. Her happiness must be at the top of your list of requirements. It must remain there simply because the last thing you want is an unhappy child. Even a pre-schooler can be unhappy if the fit isn't right. So be mindful of that important requirement.
Start by compiling a list of all the schools which you think are a good match. Keep that list on a spreadsheet to which you can copy and paste information about the schools from their web sites. Information such as web sites, admissions office contacts, tuiton and fees and deadlines specific to each school will help keep you organized. Once you have this first list of schools completed, set aside a couple of hours with your child and shorten the list down to 3 to 5 schools. At this point, if you have the slightest doubt about whether she will get into any or all of the schools on your short list, you need to decide whether to hire an education consultant. The last thing you want is to apply to three schools and be turned down by all three. And that can happen. Education consultants know their schools. They will tell you whether or not the schools on your list are a reach or are strong possibilities for success.
Use these three checklists to help you compare the criteria which are important to you and your child:
- Checklist For Comparing Schools
- Checklist for Comparing Schools: Administration and Faculty
- Checklist for Comparing Schools - Curriculum and Instruction