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As your child progresses in age and development, you might be thinking of all the schooling options available. Just getting any education is no longer option; in today’s world, we are all searching for a comprehensive learning environment that looks after not just academic excellence but all around development that is holistic and inclusive.
Is Boarding School Good Or Bad?
Unlike traditional schools, boarding schools for children have the pupils live on campus. They have their classes together, meals together, and live in common housing. Children go home during the summer holidays, between grades, and some schools even allow children to go home on the weekends. As with other schools, you must look at what option will suit your child. There is no way to make a broad conclusion as to whether boarding schools are good or bad. Each child is an individual with individual needs and each school has a different mission statement and vision. The trick is to find a school that matches your child’s temperament and needs.
Advantages of Sending Your Kid to a Boarding School
There are numerous advantages to sending your child to a boarding school, some of them surprising. Here are some of these advantages.
- Independence and Self-reliance: Almost all boarding school children find that they are more independent and self-reliant than their other peers. They have to solve daily problems themselves, like organising for soap when they run out or making sure that their school uniforms are washed and ironed.
- Confidence: As the children begin to do things, small and big, on their own, they will start building up more confidence in their own abilities. Boarding schools expose children to many activities like social service, art, drama, and carpentry amongst others. As they begin to find what they like and are good at, children will develop more confidence.
- Discipline: Boarding students live a more regimented life than their peers. Meal times are set as is study time. If they are allowed to watch TV, it is also closely regulated. Learning discipline is important for children as it will help them achieve their goals.
- Standard Living: All the students will live in the same quarters and some schools even stipulate that a child must receive only a certain amount as allowance. This puts all the students on an equal footing and strips away the unnecessary trials of status and ownership.
- Social Confidence: As your children mingle, study, and live with hundreds of other children, they will soon learn how to transcend differences. Making and being a part of a group is at the core of living in a boarding school, and most pupils of these schools emerge as healthy social beings.
- Educational Excellence: Since the children live on the campus, they can reach out for help with their studies at any given time. Boarding schools can help set up after-school prep for students who struggle with certain concepts. Studying with peers means that the pupils will always have someone to learn from.
- Holistic Development: After school, students of boarding schools are exposed to a multitude of activities that will ensure that they have a rounded education that includes the arts. Since it is school mandated, there can be no issue of a hobby coming in the way of studies and children can pursue their passion.
Disadvantages of Sending Your Kid to a Boarding School
While there are many advantages to learning in a boarding school there are certain disadvantages that you must keep in mind if thinking of sending your child to such a school.
- Homesickness: While boarding schools are full of kids who have a lot of things in common, there is no denying that a child will still feel homesick for his family and home.
- Empty Nest: You too might find that the separation from your child is emotionally too difficult.
- Blending In: Boarding school is full of children and it isn’t necessary that your child will fit in. While some children immediately find themselves some friends, certain children will have a tougher time.
- Adjusting: Some children do not take to the regimented life of boarding school and would much rather be the master of their free time. These children might also find it hard to reconnect with the family after spending so many months away.
- Gender Separation: Most boarding schools are either boys-only or girls-only. However, in today’s age, it is extremely important for children to be a part of co-ed institutions.
- Other Risks: Some other risks include bullying which can be especially hard to weed out in boarding schools where children spend most of their time together.
- Academic Pressure: With regular schools, children can leave the school and remove themselves from the pressure of excelling at studies. However, in a boarding school, the pressure is constant.
- Only the extracurricular activities provided by the school are given any importance or attention. If your child has any special talents, this will not be given the attention it needs to flourish.
What Care should be Taken if you Send your Child to Hostel?
If you have decided to send your child to a boarding school, then here are a few things that you must take care of before sending them off.
- You must take the time to explain to your child why you think sending him to a boarding school is good for him. Be sure to assure him that you are not abandoning him.
- Even though your child will be spending almost all his time at the school, you still should keep tabs on his classroom performance. Keep in touch with all the teachers and follow up on your child’s progress.
- Trust your child. If he is telling you worrying stories about the school and the students, then take his concerns seriously. If the story is negative, then the school might try to downplay the seriousness of the issue.
- Do not send your child to boarding school before the age of 9. Most experts agree that this is the ideal age for boarding school.
- Keep a watch out for any signs of unhappiness. Your child might not be forthcoming about how he really feels at school for fear of disappointing you.
- Be sure to talk to the management about any special needs that your child might need.
There are many pros and cons of boarding school. The decision to send your child to a boarding school will entirely depend on the nature and needs of your child as well as the particular boarding school in question. Do your due diligence and reach out to other parents whose children go the school you are researching.
Also Read: How to Build Confidence in Kids