Why Should You Consider Boarding School?

Published April 29, 2016 |
Why Should You Consider Boarding School?
Why would you consider sending child to boarding school as opposed to leaving them in public school? Some answers here.

From time to time publications ask us why parents would consider sending their child to boarding school as opposed to leaving them in public school. What follows are my answers to some questions which were recently posed to me. I hope that you find my answers helpful as you weigh the pros and cons of sending your child to boarding school.

1.  Why should you consider sending your child to a boarding school, instead of to one of the many private day schools and charter schools in the area?  

In a perfect world, most of us parents would decide to send our children to schools which meet all or most of our requirements and needs. When you are fortunate enough to live in an area which has good public schools, then it makes sense to comparison shop carefully. Tune out any prejudices you may have about any kind of school, and try as much as possible to compare apples to apples.

For example, if your child has special needs, you need to look carefully at the quality of instruction which she will receive in order to continue enjoying learning. Boarding schools which offer programs for students with special needs tend to do a good job simply because they offer plenty of individual instruction. The other advantage they have is that most, if not all of their students have some special need of one kind or another. Boarding schools which specialize in learning disabilities such as ‎dyslexia often called reading disorder; dyscalculia

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Updated April 15, 2016 |
Spotlight on Sports
Explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. Athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit.

I have assembled this spotlight on sports in boarding schools so that parents and prospective students can explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. As I have pointed out many times, athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit. What do you do if your child is not athletically inclined? Don't worry. Schools are accustomed to students with just about every background you can think of. Your child will surprise you after a few weeks at school by exclaiming "Mommy! I love sprinting!" If you live within driving distance of her school, even better. You can attend games. We used to enjoy driving up to the old girls' campus of Kent School on Skiff Mountain to watch our daughter play field hockey. The toughest issue with boarding school athletics which she will encounter is which ones to select.

Crew

69 schools offer crew. Most schools assume that their students have never rowed before. As a result, they offer a solid grounding in the sport combined with all the ergnometrics required.

Groton School, Groton, MA 
"Since Groton’s founding in 1884, rowing has been a prominent sport. Girls began to row as soon as the school became coed in 1976. Groton rows in 4 person shells with a coxswain to steer the boat and give commands. We generally have eight boats of girls for a team

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Updated February 22, 2016 |
What About Schools With Riding Programs?
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? Let's look at a couple of schools with riding programs.
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a  private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? After all, your daughter began riding in seventh grade. One of your neighbors had a small stable with a couple of horses. She had ridden professionally years ago. Now that she was retired, she had taken on a few riding students and was showing them how to ride as well as how to take care of the horses. Your daughter has participated in several shows and loves riding. So, it makes sense to find a school which will allow her to enjoy her riding as well as give her the college preparatory academic curriculum which she needs.
 
A quick search of Boarding School Review looking for schools which offer equestrian programs yielded a list of 67 schools. After you filter that list for location, religion, and size, as well as any other criteria which matter to you, you will be able to come up with a short list of schools to visit and evaluate. In the meantime let's look at ten of the schools in my search results so that you can get an idea of what is available. We will inspect schools which have their own equestrian facilities as opposed to schools which offer riding programs based at a local stable not located on campus.
 
 
I personally always thought that the Litchfield Hills in Connecticut
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Updated February 10, 2016 |
A Quiz About Private Schools
Here are five questions the answers to which will introduce you to the world of private schools.
I have targeted the first three questions at parents who are just starting to think about private school for their children. I can remember what it was like when we looked into sending our eldest daughter to pre-school. We had two primary concerns: paying for her schooling and understanding what the school would teach her. I know that parents today essentially have the same concerns.  Possibly the last two questions might stump people who are familiar with private schools. My intention here is to offer some facts and figures as I compare private with public schools.
 
1. How many private schools offer financial aid?
 
The short answer is that just about every private school offers some form of financial aid. They do that because they are well aware that many families cannot afford to pay the full tuition and fees which they charge. Also, they don't want to admit only children from families who can afford to send their children to private school. Most private schools these days want to have as diverse a student body as they can. Consequently, there are over a dozen schools which now offer full financial aid to families with incomes below a certain income. These thresholds vary from school to school but typically are in the $75,000 range
 
I am saving the best for last. The United States has a handful of free private schools. A dozen or so munificent, visionary citizens founded tuition-free schools in the 19th century and early part
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Updated January 05, 2016 |
Frank Bruni: Why Fit Matters Most
Parents considering schools should read New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Much of what he says applies in the private K-12 world.
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni has written a very useful book about college admissions entitled Where You Go Is Not Who You Will Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. Obviously, as you can see from the title, Bruni's audience is parents, and possibly students, who are thinking about and applying to college. Yet as I read the book, I began to see many similarities between the private K-12 school admissions process and the college admissions process. I suggest that you read this book which will clarify your thinking as you go through the process of selecting a private school for your child. Bruni's insights will also prepare you for the months and years ahead when you and your child will be dealing with the mysteries of college admissions. In the meantime let's look at some of the things about college admissions which Frank Bruni points out which are remarkably similar to what we will find in private school admissions.
 
Treatment of legacies
 
Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions by Richard D. Kahlenberg and The Price of Admission by Daniel Golden are two additional books which you should read about legacy admissions. These authors go into great detail and cite many sources to support their arguments.
 
What is a legacy? A legacy is an applicant to a school who has a relative or relatives who attended the same school. You will find legacies in both private K-12 schools as well as at the college
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