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Boarding schools have unfairly garnered a sort of bad reputation among parents and children unfamiliar with the actual workings of these unique educational establishments. Sometimes considered to be on the more “extreme” end of private school options in the United States, boarding schools can actually provide a variety of unique opportunities to students and families willing to make the sacrifice of time and money. These reasons to consider boarding school cover the vast array of advantages that boarding schools offer, and they just might convince you to consider sending your child to finish their studies at a boarding school.
Your child will learn to be independent.
Going to boarding school is an excellent way to set your child onto the path of becoming independent. The majority of students don’t really get a taste of what its like to wake themselves, feed themselves, and clothe themselves until they get to college (and sometimes not even then). If you’re hoping to give your child an opportunity to experience independence before they head off to college, that is one of the best reasons to consider boarding school. Students attending boarding school are given the opportunity to experience a certain degree of independence and must police their own actions, an experience not attainable by day school students.
Boarding schools have unparalleled faculty.
One of the biggest issues facing public high schools in America today is how thinly stretched the faculty can become. Especially in lower income areas, schools often are not able to hire adequate faculty to teach specialized subjects. The chemistry teacher, for example, may not have a degree in chemistry or any branch of science, for that matter. This issue affects the public school system at all levels, and is only worse at the middle school and elementary school levels. Boarding schools, on the other hand, are able to hire specialized faculty with degrees and experience in whatever subject they’re teaching. The chemistry teacher will actually have a chemistry degree, and you can expect most other teachers to have advanced degrees in their respective fields as well.
Boarding schools challenge students academically.
Educational experiences at public day schools can vary drastically, but even the top public schools in the country are limited in the range of academic subjects that they can cover. The educational experience at private boarding schools, however, is an entirely different story. A combination of more rigorous admissions standards, more accomplished faculty, and a more focused learning environment allows boarding schools to provide a much more comprehensive curriculum, and students are more exposed to learning and study strategies. Because of this more challenging learning experience, students graduating from boarding school are likely to possess significantly more knowledge across many subjects.
Boarding schools offer small class sizes.
Like many top colleges and universities, boarding schools are characterized by their small class sizes and low student-to-faculty ratio. This advantage can go a long way when it comes to your child’s performance in school. Most day schools, especially public high schools and middle schools, have a ratio of 25-30 or more students for a single class. In contrast, even the largest boarding schools tend to have classes with fifteen students or fewer. This means students at boarding schools are more likely to participate in class activities, while teachers are more likely to develop positive relationships with students as role models. Small class sizes are one of the best reasons to consider boarding school.
The athletic opportunities are second to none.
Pretty much all educators agree that participation in extracurricular activities is an important ingredient in the recipe that is a good high school education. One of the most popular and beneficial ways to fulfill this need is to participate in a sport or other athletic activity of some kind, and there is no better place to pursue an athletic activity than a boarding school. Not only do boarding schools offer the most popular sports, such as soccer and basketball, they also provide opportunities for students to explore more unusual pursuits, such as squash and racquetball. Private boarding schools also have some of the finest athletic sporting facilities among high schools in the United States, from state-of-the-art football stadiums to well-maintained fields and equipment.
Boarding schools provide a positive learning environment.
One characteristic advantage that boarding schools provide is an environment centered around the pursuit of education. While day schools provide ample opportunities for distractions, the 24-hour-per-day nature of boarding schools lessens these distractions. Students are able to have a fulfilling social life filled with extracurricular activities, but they are also able to focus on their studies when they need to. Sometimes, simply being in an environment that allows you to dedicate your mind, body, and spirit to earning a good education is enough to inspire you to strive for greatness.
Student have an advantage in college preparation.
For many high school students today, finding a good college is the name of the game. While gaining admittance to a top university program is dependent on a vast array of factors, statistics show that students who attend boarding school are not only more likely to be admitted to top colleges, but are more likely to succeed while in college as well. Being almost exclusively private, boarding schools aren’t required to conform to many of the standardized tests and “common core” curriculums that control what public school students must be taught. In other words, dedicated teachers have more control over their own curriculums, providing students with a more well-rounded education and preparing students for college.
There are phenomenal artistic outlets.
While most middle schools and high schools offer art and music programs, they often pale in comparison to the amazing resources that many private boarding schools can provide. Many campuses feature museums and art galleries with constantly rotating selections of art for students to devour. Boarding schools, which are typically well-funded, also tend to have state-of-the-art performing arts centers. These performing arts centers provide the ultimate rehearsal and performing space for musicals, plays, and ballet productions, as well as any number of musical ensembles from concert bands to philharmonic orchestras to jazz ensembles.
They contain top-notch educational resources.
While the core of the learning experience lies in the mentor relationship between a teacher and a student, access to educational resources like books and other materials can make the difference between a good education and a great education. Because they are generally so well-funded, boarding schools tend to have well-stocked libraries, up-to-date computer labs, and other unsung materials. While other schools may strive to provide advanced technology and new additions of textbooks, there is only so much that public schools can do with their government-mandated budgets. Access to these resources is one of the most underestimated reasons to consider boarding school.
There are a number of like-minded peers.
Attending a public school can be a gamble. While many brilliant students attend and succeed at public education establishments, they are outnumbered by the students who would rather be anywhere than in class. Boarding schools remove this variable from the equation, as far fewer “bad apples” make it past the rigorous application process. This means that all the students share the same desire to gain knowledge and better themselves, allowing them to work together toward this common goal. This peer environment creates a support system of friends who work together to push each other to excel in academic, athletic, and all other manner of life endeavors.