Choosing a School
As you begin to refine your boarding school search, you will find yourself circling back to identify the schools that offer the programs your child wants and needs. Don't forget to discuss your wants and needs with your child. She needs to buy into the idea of going off to boarding school. That way, you will end up with a child who is enthusiastic about going to private school and feels involved in the decision-making process. It will be her idea. Choose your time wisely for these essential conversations. Be an active listener. Avoid jumping in as she expresses her thoughts. Choose a relaxed, informal setting for this important conversation. Chatting with your daughter while out shopping or driving around town will be a much less confrontational experience for her than having a formal discussion.
Unlike the limited options you will find in most public schools these days, private schools offer a rich array of programs. Let's look at a few.
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If you are thinking about sending your child off to boarding school, you should try to start your school search process as early as possible. Finding the right school takes time. The process itself is not difficult; however, it is time-consuming. For example, if you are considering getting your child into school for 10th grade, you should begin the process in the spring of 8th grade. Standardized admissions testing typically will occur in December of 9th grade. Most boarding schools have application deadlines at the end of January of his 9th grade. Schools send out acceptance letters in March of your child's 9th-grade year.
Many parents think that they will have plenty of time to get everything done, but the truth is that the 18-month time frame which I am recommending flies by very quickly. Before you know it, the application deadline is around the corner. With that in mind, let's review why I feel that you need 18 months for your school search.
1. You need time to visit the schools.
Visiting schools is time-consuming. It is not enough to visit the schools virtually, although if you live abroad, that might be the only viable way of visiting schools. You must experience the school. You need to use your own eyes and ears to help you decide whether your child will be happy there for the next three years. Possibly four if he stays for a PG year. You wouldn't buy a piece of real estate without seeing it. Same thing with
Is online learning not working for you and your son? Are you concerned about his missing out on enrichment and other activities? During these unsettling times when the pandemic keeps reappearing just when you thought it had abated Then, maybe boarding school is a good education solution for your child? But you will never know until you explore the idea thoroughly. Before beginning your research into boarding schools, tune out the negative things you read about boarding schools. After all, the media tends to focus on sensational stories which don't show boarding schools as they really are. Go see for yourself. A quick call or an email is all it takes to make an appointment for a visit. The other consideration which keeps many parents from even considering a boarding school education is the cost. But boarding school may be more affordable than you think. That's because most schools offer very generous financial aid programs. The admissions staff at any boarding school will be only too happy to explain how financial aid works.
Now that we have those considerations out of the way, answer these questions to help you make that important decision about sending your child off to a residential school.
1. Do you want to stretch your child?
If you are content with the status quo, then boarding school is probably not a good idea. Why? Because by going to boarding school your child will be embarking on an incredible adventure. She will be
Here's an example of what your spreadsheet could look like. We have chosen basic data but you can list whatever criteria matter to you in the first column of the spreadsheet.
Many schools have open houses. These offer you a wonderful opportunity to visit the school, see classrooms, listen to the school's 'story,' and meet admissions staff. How do you figure out which schools have open houses in your area? You can look at the school's website. And, you can do a search on this site. Here's how: