How to Turn a Downer into an Advantage
You’ve put in the time, completed your applications, embarked on tours and prepped for boarding school interview questions - congratulations! As spring approaches and acceptances start to roll in, you’ll likely be bombarded with advice about how to choose the best boarding school. Something you might not have heard? How NOT to choose a boarding school. Here’s the low-down.
As you explore independent, private high school choices for your child(ren) you may discover you have more than the two choices of day school and boarding school. More schools are adding a five-day boarding option. What's a five-day boarding option and can it work for your family?
There's Plenty to Like
Five and seven day boarding options share almost everything. With both options, students live in dorms, have a dorm parent, and both follow the school's schedule for meals, classes, athletics, practices, and study time. Both five and seven day receive the benefits of a classic boarding school education.
Do you have an interview with a boarding school admission officer? Congratulations! Here are a few handy tools and look over a few common interview questions in advance of the big day.
We get it, we’re parents too.You want to know everything that’s going on - how he did on his Chem test, the score of the latest game, what part he received for the school musical - here are sure-fire tips to follow, designed to help you stay in touch.
Get Your Ducks in a RowWell before you pack up the car - let your son set some of the ground rules. Together, decide which platforms you’ll use to stay in touch (phone, text, Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, etc.) and how often you expect to hear from him. Depending on your son, you may want to consider a Communications Contract to set up clear expectations. Your expectations should not include an immediate response. He’s going to have different standards at boarding school than his previous school. Students likely won’t be able to access messages until after obligations end for the day and before the start of study hall.
be in the KnowTo keep up to date on the ins and outs of school follow the school’s social media accounts. You can locate the main accounts on the school’s website. If he joins a theater production, Model UN or a sports team, many schools also have social media accounts for extracurricular activities. Don’t forfget to “like” and “share” the posts because coaches love it when parents comment and cheer on teammates.
Find Your Inner GeekLet your son take the lead here on which social media platform you’ll use to stay in touch. We recommend you get really comfortable with texting (but not while you drive). Some families may find an app such as WhatsApp or Twitter will work well, while other families prefer to use a combination of apps. We always like to strongly suggest to families to refrain from publicly commenting on their child’s posts.
Fun Wins the Day!Sharing funny photos or “memes” (pronounced meems) is great because this age group is hyper-connected and really loves social media.
Connect with the Other ParentsJoin the Parents Association. By joining the email list or the Facebook Group, you can find out about volunteer opportunities. Volunteer possibilities may be in person, such as Admission Open House days while others are off-site opportunities. The Parents Association is a great way to stay connected with parents and faculty while allowing your son his personal space.
Mix it Up
Don’t forget to send a care package once or twice a semester (just remember to follow the school rules about what is acceptable in the dorms!). You’ll find your son may also enjoy a “snail mail” letter every now and then. Mix it up with alternating a visit home with your visiting campus outside of Parents Weekend or game days.
Congratulations! Your daughter is off to boarding school where she’ll be surrounded by new intellectual opportunities, have access to world class facilities, and be able to dive deeply into her passions whether that’s geeking out on the Robotics team or practicing her shot.
Topics: Boarding School
Change can be hard. It’s especially hard for families who know eventually their child(ren) will move out of the family home and start living independently. For many families, this happens when children turn 18 and graduate from high school. But what happens if you want to go to a New England boarding school when you are 14 or 15? What are the steps you can take to help your family agree that boarding is the right choice for you?