Today, there are numerous schooling options available for your child. From government schools to private schools, from ICSE schools to CBSE schools to SSC schools to IB schools, from co-ed schools to strict, even archaic single-gender schools, from military schools to boarding schools. Here, we are going to talk about that last one. Boarding schools are well known to us all, either because someone we know has been to them, or because we have seen them in some movie. Often, it is a case of the latter, with the movies showing these boarding schools to be elitist academies in the middle of a vast plot of land, full of a host of students with varied, even peculiar personalities. In many cases, they are shown as being a world unto their own, with sports, music, academics and other extra-curricular activities going hand in hand, and fierce competition being a norm.
But are boarding schools the right choice for your child?
Well, there isn’t a simple yes or no answer to this conundrum. What can work for one child, won’t necessarily work for another. What suited your neighbour’s child perfectly may not be good for your child. After all, every child is different, and putting a square peg into a round hole is a recipe for disaster.
Talk to your children. Ask them what would they prefer – a normal day school, or a boarding school. Ask them about their interests, and see what would suit them best, what would help them reach their potential. See if their interests would work well with a boarding school, check out the best boarding schools, look into their track record at developing children, and whether being away from the family for months on end would be agreeable and manageable for your child. Do not take hasty decisions. Give it due thought and then decide on yay or nay.
Most people give boarding schools a wary glance not because of any logical reason, but because of the way they have been depicted in movies and the like – as a place full of problem children, where troubles between different groups or houses in which children are placed are rife, or where the competition for sports, academics, extra-curricular activities can reach cut-throat levels, with students indulging in unsavoury practices. Of course, what is seen on the silver screen is not a representation of reality; instead, it is just fodder for the story, added by scriptwriters and directors to meet their ends. In fact, most boarding schools actually have really good academic and sports programs, and they also make students gain discipline in life, as they follow set daily schedules.
In the end, if you are not sure about whether you want to go for them or not, speak to a consultant. Get some expert advice. Talk to students and parents of children who have already gone to boarding schools and experienced life there. Talk to your children as well.
In the end, both boarding schools and day schools are supposed to help your child get the best education and draw out his potential. The choice is yours and your child’s, just make sure it is a well-informed one.