There’s still a large segment of the population that isn’t familiar with boarding schools and their benefits. So it’s not surprising when you hear parents ask, are boarding schools good for children? The answer? Definitely. Let’s look at why.
Boarding school is like a trial run for college, but with more support and structure. Students at boarding school can’t rely on their parents to run around after them and make sure everything is done. College is the first time that many students find out what it’s like to live alone and be responsible for themselves completely. Boarding school gives them a similar experience, but students aren’t left totally on their own.
Many students take for granted the role their parents play in their daily lives. From helping them wake up in the morning and getting to school on time, to keeping their rooms clean and making sure they have clean clothes to wear, parents play a huge role. Students learn time management skills, responsibility, and independence through managing their own daily lives: getting to class on time, making it to meals on time, and eating healthy, including doing laundry. Boarding schools give students the chance to take care of all of this on their own, and if students don’t step up, dorm parents step in, making sure that students take care of everything they need to be responsible for on a daily basis.
Read more: The Ultimate Boarding School Definition
Parents often play a role in study habits, ensuring that students get their homework done. Boarding school does too, but puts greater responsibility on the students to manage their daily lives. Boarding schools provide ample time for students to work via study halls and free periods, but students have to be responsible to ensure that they get their work done on time. Students have the freedom to choose when they study, but they learn quickly the need to balance it with their social life.
Boarding school is also a great way for students to learn more about the global community in which we live. Cheshire Academy, a boarding school in CT, enrolls students from more than 30 countries, which means students interact with people from all walks of life and learn new perspectives on everything from discussing current events and educational models to reviewing literature and language.
Another benefit of attending a boarding school is small class sizes and personal attention from teachers. Many boarding schools in the US, including Cheshire Academy, have average class sizes of 12 students, meaning you won’t get lost in a crowd. Often, classes are conducted using the Harkness method, which means discussion style learning while sitting at a round table; there are no back rows at a round table. Students not only benefit from personal attention in the classroom, but also personal attention outside of it.
At a boarding school, you live with your teachers, which means they aren’t just in the classroom with you. Boarding school teachers make themselves available for assistance outside of the normal school day, and are part of students’ daily lives. It’s not uncommon for teachers and students to meet at breakfast, have conversations about life outside in between classes, or even have study sessions in their apartments on campus at night. They are more than just teachers; they are your coaches, dorm parents, and mentors.
Many students who attend boarding school also report that adjusting to college is easy, and they truly feel prepared, often noting that they find their first year of academic studies to be a breeze, especially after the rigorous schedules they had at boarding school.
So, you decide … are boarding schools good for children? While it may not be right for every child, I’d say, that yes, boarding schools can be an awesome experience for children.