Boarding school – yes or no?

Words by Quintessentially Education

01 July 2020

When it comes to making decisions regarding your children's education, there is no decision bigger than that of day vs boarding. It is a crucial decision which will impact significantly on your children's upbringing, so is most certainly not a decision to be made lightly. For some parents, those with busy jobs or with rural homes for example, it can be an obvious choice. However, for those that have possible day school options, it can be a difficult and daunting decision to send their children away from home.

To make this decision process a little easier, here are some pros and cons of boarding school from Quintessentially Education's point of view.

Boarding school is a wonderful and exciting privilege and an opportunity that many children would jump at. One of the greatest attractions of boarding school is the extremely well-rounded education on offer. Pupils do not simply put down their books and forget all about school at 3pm every day. School becomes their life, rather than something they just do for the day, and this can have a truly beneficial impact on their education. By moving away from home aged 11 or 13, children gain a level of independence which they would never gain living at home. Of course, they have round-the-clock care from a variety of responsible adults, but the fact that these adults are not their parents enables children to gain a unique level of independence. Boarding school also offers your child a built-in social life. They will be living in a boarding house with their friends, which is just like having a sleepover every night of the week! Pupils in the same house will eat together, study together and even brush their teeth together, allowing for lifelong friendships to build and for your child to develop strong social skills which will stand them in good stead in later life.

As well as the fantastic social side for your child, boarding schools also offer an extremely wide range of extracurricular activities to keep the children busy in the evenings! Many boarding schools offer activities from water polo to jewellery making, bee keeping and CCF. Day schools do not tend to offer such extensive variety. These wonderful extracurricular activities will keep your children busy and entertained, whilst adding to their first class, all-round education.

However, it is important to note that boarding school is not for every child. It comes at a great financial cost and certainly affects family life. There is no denying that boarding school is an expensive luxury, and many families believe this extra money would be better spent elsewhere. Boarding school can also disrupt family life – having young children leave home for long periods of time can, understandably, be upsetting and unappealing. That said, boarding schools offer regular 'leave' weekends and long holidays. Parents are also always welcome to visit the school to watch sports matches and other events, so for some parents it can seem as though their children never left!

However, with boarding school comes the concern of homesickness. Schools are brilliant at keeping the students busy and active during the first few months so often children don't have enough time to feel homesick! There are also many parents who feel that by sending their children to boarding school, they lack involvement in their children's education. This to an extent is true; you will not be sat with them helping with their homework every night. Therefore, for parents who wish to play a hands-on role in their children's education, perhaps boarding school is not the right choice.

Boarding schools will always be the subject of debate and will continue to divide parents for years to come. As with all schooling options, there are positives and negatives to boarding and different parents will always have different views. What is important is that the decision is made by the parents, for the children, ensuring your child is given the best possible educational experience.

For further information, please contact
Quintessentially Education.

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