Many people base their understanding of boarding schools on what they’ve seen on TV series and movies, or within the pages of books. However, these popular conceptions of boarding schools don’t portray the institutions in the best light, or an accurate one, most of the time.
If you’re a parent wondering whether or not sending your child to live on campus at school is the right idea, it’s vital to have a real understanding of how boarding schools work, the difference between them and traditional day schools, and what might suit your child best. To help you get some clarity, get to know the truth behind some of the most common myths surrounding boarding schools.
Boarding Schools are Rundown Places with Bad Teachers and Facilities
People often mistakenly believe that boarding schools are horrible, dark, rundown places that no one would ever want to spend time at. However, although such institutions are shown like this on the screen or in books, in reality, they usually feature beautiful buildings on stately grounds.
Boarding houses often allow children, especially those in upper years, to have rooms to themselves or to share with only one other person, plus get access to modern bathrooms, kitchens, and more. Chefs are usually on hand to provide spreads of food for each meal of the day, so some children eat better than they would at home. Institutions now cater to food allergies and intolerances too, with meal options that are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, etc.
They usually have all sorts of wonderful facilities that children can use. For instance, they often boast state of the art science labs, all the art tools budding artists could need, quality athletic facilities, a wide range of extracurricular clubs and groups to join, and theater groups that have access to good-size budgets for annual productions.
Many boarding schools also hire the most qualified, experienced, and well-loved teachers in the country. For instance, sports-focused boarding schools that teach aspiring athletes to bring in coaches who have been world-class athletes themselves, or who have been top coaches in their sport. As an example, feel free to visit this website.
Boarding Schools are Only for Kids from a Certain Background
A pervasive myth is that boarding schools only really take a certain type of children, such as an academically gifted or highly athletic kid, a child from an ultra-rich family or an unhappy home, or kids labeled as “trouble.” This is not the case, though. Boarding schools have an incredibly diverse student base and children attend from every type of background and skill level.
Some do specialize in an area – there are institutions focused on helping struggling teens, or those with sporting prowess, top academic results, or even drama and film concentrations. For the most part, though, boarding schools are open to all students. Most boarding schools have a mix of kids from all over the country, and who often have parents who move a lot due to their work.
Some children will have grown up in the city, others in the country. Some come from wealthy families and some have earned a full scholarship to attend the school, while some students excel at studies and others have learning difficulties they’re working to overcome.
For many parents and children, the fact that boarding schools provide a more diverse mix of students and give kids the chance to meet people they otherwise would not, is one of the key reasons to attend.
Children are Always Upset and Lonely at Boarding School
Many stories depict boarding schools as places where children are picked on relentlessly by students and/or staff members and are constantly upset and lonely. This is a stereotype that doesn’t hold up.
While bullying can occur anywhere, and students can be homesick, being away from their families, most children settle in quickly and love spending time with other kids their age. Students often develop incredibly close bonds with other kids at their school, where they all rely on each other because they don’t have families on-site. Kids regularly find that the friends they make at boarding school end up as friends for life.
Plus, these days children have smartphones, tablets, and the use of services like Skype, FaceTime, and social media to keep in touch with loved ones back home. As such, some students actually chat with their families more while they’re away than they did before they left. Furthermore, most boarding schools are happy for parents and siblings to visit students regularly throughout the year.
Attendance at Boarding Schools Guarantees Entry to Ivy League University
Another common myth surrounding boarding schools is that if parents send their children to these institutions, it guarantees that the students will, in turn, gain entry to an Ivy League university. This, unfortunately, isn’t the case.
While it’s true that many children who graduate from these institutions do attend well-regarded, prestigious schools, there aren’t any promises for this kind of acceptance. No school, whether private or public, can possibly guarantee this. At the end of the day, it still comes down to how hard a child works, their natural abilities, and where their interests lie.
Boarding schools do, though, help to give students the best possible chance of being accepted into the universities of their choice. Due to the often smaller class sizes and the personalized attention they receive from top-notch teachers at boarding schools, kids get help to perform at their best.
Plus, while attending institutions like this, students also build their independence and their social, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. In turn, this helps them to impress at university interviews, to write excellent entry documentation for colleges, and to later adjust more quickly and seamlessly to university life.
While you may have mistakenly believed the above myths about boarding schools, as well as other falsehoods that abound, in this day and age, these are a haven for many students. Go and visit some with your family, and you may soon notice your child clamoring to attend one.