Five Ways Your Teen Can Benefit From Boarding School
Jul 18, 2017
If you’re like many parents, you may assume boarding schools are limited to families of tremendous financial means or those whose children require a military-like structure to avoid getting into legal trouble.
However, many boarding schools are financially accessible and can provide a well-rounded education to students from many different backgrounds. Often, the connections made in this learning environment can last a lifetime. What should you consider when deciding whether boarding school is the right fit for your child?
Read on for five ways in which boarding school can benefit just about any tween or teen.
1. Enhanced Focus for Creative Pursuits
Many public schools see a direct correlation between students’ performance on standardized tests and the amount of state and federal funding the school receives each year.
As a result, teachers have often taken to “teaching to the test,” eliminating many of the art, music, and drama classes and extracurricular activities available in favor of additional class time instruction in math and English.
Boarding schools, on the other hand, can allow students to devote as much time as they’d like to these creative pursuits, whether taking part in an immersive drama class, learning to paint or sculpt, or performing with other students and teachers.
2. Exposure to Students of Diverse Backgrounds
Even if the public schools in your area are relatively racially or financially diverse, there often exists very little diversity when it comes to life experiences. Your teen may be missing out on firsthand testimony of what it’s like to grow up in a foreign country, under a non-democratic political regime, or even “off the grid” in the U.S.
Boarding schools, particularly international schools, can provide your teen with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and bond with other teens from across the globe.
3. Immersion in Foreign Language Study
Another area in which public schools often fall short is foreign language instruction. While many middle and high schools will require students to complete a certain number of credit hours in foreign languages before graduating, few of these classes go beyond the most rudimentary level of teaching basic words and phrases.
In contrast, foreign language courses provided by a boarding school are generally immersive, requiring your teen and his or her classmates to speak only in the language they’re learning while in the classroom.
This type of immersive learning is proven to lead to fluency more quickly than the simple vocabulary and rote memorization lessons common in public school foreign language programs.
4. Focus on Public Service
It can be hard to encourage teenagers to focus on doing good deeds for others, as this period of life is often fraught with hormonal swings and self-indulgent behaviors.
However, instilling a love for service at a young age can carry your teen for the rest of his or her life. Boarding hall students often do volunteer work in local communities during the school year weekends. By enrolling in a boarding school, you teen will be given a firsthand look at how his or her actions (or inaction) can translate into real changes in the world.
5. Opportunities for Excellence
Boarding schools like to see all their students succeed. Because of this, your teen is much more likely to be mentored and guided in his or her boarding school education than would be possible in a public school environment.
For example, if your teen has always shown an interest in disassembling items to see how they work, a boarding school can provide him or her with basic engineering courses in addition to the regular language, math, and science classes available. He or she may also be able to join (or found) a robotics club for more learning opportunities.
By tapping into your child’s innate abilities and strengths, boarding school faculty and staff should be able to ensure his or her talents are fostered.