When you hear the words “boarding school,” what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind?
Thanks to Hollywood, many of us associate boarding school with the rich or troubled but you may be surprised to find out that it’s not at all like you see in the movies. The idea that boarding school is only for a privileged few couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, there are many different types of boarding schools out there, including college prep, therapeutic, religious, military, performing arts, co-ed, and single gender, just to name a few. Whether you’re interested in providing a rigorous academic schedule, an immersive learning environment, a safe and diverse community for your child (or all of the above), a boarding school can be the right answer for your family.
In this blog post, we’ll explore how boarding school can benefit both your child and your family.
Why Should You Consider Boarding School?
To answer this question, let’s look at some of the reasons why 90% of boarding school alumni loved their experience and would elect to do it all over again.
You Can Improve Your Relationship With Your Child
It sounds counterintuitive at first glance. How can living separately from your child improve your relationship?
But consider this: When you live together, it’s actually easy to live separate lives. Sure, you may stay in the same place, but how many nights do you spend in the living room while your teen is off in their bedroom and hanging with friends? Even though you live together, you may not share a meaningful conversation all week.
However, when you live apart from your child, you never take your interactions for granted. Your conversations are more intentional. Plus, with the various ways to connect (video chat, text, email, and phone calls), you and your child can stay in touch every day.
Your Child Has Easier Access to Teachers
Crowded classrooms are a big problem in our country. Teachers are overburdened with an impossibly high student to teacher ratio. In some districts, it’s common to have 35 students to one teacher. Students pay the ultimate price for this disparity. It’s difficult to get your teacher’s attention when it needs to be split 20+ different ways.
In a boarding school, smaller classes are the norm. In fact, here at Besant Hill, we have a 4 to 1 student to teacher ratio. Smaller classes mean that your child’s teacher is available to answer questions, facilitate right thinking, and motivate greatness.
It’s More Affordable Than You May Think
Don’t think you can afford boarding school? Think again.
Boarding isn’t as expensive as you may think. Okay, some boarding schools are pretty pricey, but not all. If you’re considering private school, you should broaden your scope because boarding school isn’t much more expensive than private school.
Plus, we are proud to be one of the Southern California boarding schools that offer financial aid awards to make our tuition affordable to all. This year, thanks to the generous support of alumni, parents, and friends, just under 20% of our student population received financial assistance. We believe that quality education should be accessible to all. Learn more about our tuition and financial assistance here.
You’re Not Limited to What’s Nearby
Don’t limit yourself to the schools that are in your neighborhood, and don’t move homes just for that reason alone. Instead of choosing your child’s school based on its proximity to your home, choose it based on what it can offer your family. The school that’s right around the corner may be the closest, but does it offer the right challenge or educational environment for your bright and budding child?
If you have the desire and opportunity to provide a world-class education for your child, why settle with the “good enough” school down the street? Set your child up for success by enrolling them in a school that’s selected for its academic merit, not its zip code.
Your Child Will be Challenged
Do you ever look at your child and think that he or she is capable of so much more?
It’s no secret that boarding schools tend to be more rigorous in nature. Your child will be academically challenged in a boarding school setting. Research shows there are many reasons for this, including:
- More homework. On average, boarding school students do 17 hours of homework per week. Compare that to 9 hours for private day students and 8 hours for public school students.
- Less television time. In boarding school, your child may watch three hours of television on average. More than double that average for private day and public school students.
- Motivated peers. Seventy-five percent of boarding school students are motivated to be there and do their best — and it’s contagious.
- High-quality teachers. Ninety percent of boarding school alumni believed they had great teachers. Compare that number to 51% of public school and 62% of private day students.
You Can Nurture Your Child’s Natural Talents
A challenging academic load isn’t the only reason to opt for boarding school. If your child is interested in sports or the arts, boarding schools like ours offer unparalleled instruction from passionate and proficient teachers. The statistics speak for themselves:
The average boarding school student spends a combined 24 hours per week studying music and in a sporting activity (compared to their public or private day school counterparts, who only spend 18 hours on average).
You Can Limit Distractions
The typical teen experience comes loaded with non-stop distractions. From social outings to social media, there are so many things for your teen to get involved in — all while neglecting their education.
In a boarding school setting, your child’s strict daily schedule limits distractions. Your child simply won’t have the opportunity to do much else.
You Can Remove Your Child From a Negative Environment
Sometimes, a child’s environment or circumstances can distract them from receiving a quality education. Problematic friends, the recent loss of a parent or close family member, easy access to drugs or alcohol — all of these can distract your child.
Hit the reset button by enrolling your child in a boarding school. At Besant Hill, your child can learn in a beautiful setting nestled in the California hill country with access to start of the art learning and sporting facilities.
Your Child Can Build a Relationship with Others
In boarding school, students build strong bonds with each other. Over the course of a school year, a fellowship is forged around classroom discussion tables, out on the sports field, and at center stage.
Living with your classmates 24/7 will create a deeper bond than only seeing them for a period or two. It’s common for students to develop lifelong friends. These friendships become the foundation of your child’s professional network — a network which can support your child throughout his or her career.
Still Not Sure If Boarding School Is the Right Choice?
Before you commit to a full year of boarding school, consider trying it for the summer. This can give your child (and you) an opportunity to see what boarding school is like before you make the decision to enroll for the full school year.
Through our Summer Institute, we offer several programs from late June to early August, including:
SAT Prep and College Application Essay Writing
In this three week course, your child will learn about each section of the SAT, receive test-taking strategies, and take practice tests which will be scored and reviewed.
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
This four-week intensive course will provide students with hands-on experience in engineering, computer programming, and sustainability.
For more information about our summer programs, visit this page.