How to Determine if Boarding School is Right for Your Child
Making the decision to send your child to boarding school is not one that should be taken lightly or be decided on quickly. Not only does your child need to be ready for the rigorous academic nature of boarding school, but he or she needs to be mature enough to live away from home in a university-like setting. Of course, upper school boarding environments have plenty of support staff to assist your child with any issues that may arise in a residential life environment, including house mothers, proctors, and other residential life staff. Even so, living in a dormitory during high school while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule and possibly a full athletic schedule as well takes discipline, maturity, and the desire to live in a boarding environment.
How to Choose the Right School
If you and your child believe that this is the right choice, the next step is to make sure that you are choosing the right school. Are you making the choice based on the school’s religious affiliation, academic prowess, or athletic programs? Maybe it's a combination of factors that draws you to a certain program. Just make sure that the school as a whole meets the needs and wants of your child as well as your expectations for their experience. It is also important to ensure that the school is geographically convenient for you and your child. How far you are willing to travel can help you narrow down your list of choices.
Boarding schools can be excellent preparation for college life and can allow your child to engage in academics, athletics, and campus life more fully. However, because you are adding room and board to private school tuition, boarding school can come with a hefty price tag. Although many schools offer grants and scholarships, the process of applying for financial aid varies by institution.
The best way to determine if this school is right for your child is first by deciding if they are ready to live away from home, then by determining your priorities. For example, what are you looking for in a school and their programs? Once you have made those decisions, do research on the institutions you are considering, talk to current students and parents, and most importantly, visit campus.
Why Visit the School?
Visiting the campus and meeting with staff is the best way to find out if a school meets your requirements and vice versa. Feel free to spend time on campus and meet with academic, residential life, and athletic staff. Ask any questions you have. If you determine boarding school is the optimal environment for your child, you can expect them to learn, grow, have fun, and thrive.