Canadian Boarding Schools
Boarding School Pros
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A major advantage of the boarding school experience is the fact that the learning never stops. Your child is immersed in an educational environment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and even when they’re outside the classroom, they’re still learning important life skills that they wouldn’t learn through sitting at home in the evenings and at weekends. Most boarding schools are very strict about homework, so you can be confident that your child is getting it done in a distraction-free environment – often in designated time slots, so your child has no choice but to do it.
Excellent extra-curricular opportunities.
There’s no doubt about it: the extra-curricular activities on offer at boarding schools are almost certainly going to be far more extensive than those on offer at a day school. Boarding schools have a responsibility to keep children busy in their downtime, and most of them really go to town on the activities they offer. This means that your children will have numerous opportunities to get involved in new hobbies, thereby developing non-academic skills that will be valuable for the real world. What’s more, they can take part in these new hobbies in the evenings and weekends without inconveniencing anybody, because they take place on site; and you can rest assured that they’re being kept busy and out of trouble.
Boarding school comes with a social life..
Boarding school comes with a built-in social life, which means that your children will be living with their friends – a recipe for good fun! Many children want to go to boarding school for this very reason. It’s also a good option for only children, who don’t have siblings to play with back home. This lifestyle isn’t just fun, though. It develops your child’s confidence because they’re forced to interact with other children constantly, and they’ll be learning to get on with lots of different personalities, which is a useful skill for life.
Boarding school can improve family relationships.
Contrary to what you might expect, many families find that the quality of their family relationship actually improves when a child goes to boarding school. This is because nobody gets under each other’s feet, and because you see each other less often, the time you do spend together is of a higher quality. What’s more, your child is away from any family tension or stress that may be happening at home, and you miss the teenage angst during term-time, too. You stop being the one nagging your child to do their homework or telling them what they should and shouldn’t do – that’s up to someone else, so they associate time with you with more positive things.
Boarding school fosters independence.
Going to boarding school cultivates self-reliance, getting your child used to the idea of being away from home. This makes it easier for them to make the transition from school to life at university, as well as equipping them with the independence they need to succeed when they leave the education system altogether and go out to work.
There’s no commute – freeing up more time for everyone.
The time spent travelling between home and school eats significantly into your child’s day (not to mention yours), and another big advantage of boarding school is that the daily school run is a thing of the past. Without this travel time, children are free to do much more with their day, such as sports or music practice, or extra study. For you, it means that you’re not having to rush about driving your child to and from school.
Boarding school is the perfect solution for busy parents.
It’s not just the school run that eats into your day when your children aren’t at boarding school. You’re called upon to make all their meals, supervise homework and ferry them to and from extra-curricular activities. If you both work, there will reach a point when it’s not feasible to do all this. Boarding school provides the ideal solution for career-focused parents who are anxious that their children are adequately supervised at all times and encouraged to participate in a variety of out-of-school activities. It allows you to maintain your career at the same time as ensuring that your children get the best possible start in life.
Boarding School Cons
Parents feel much less involved in their child’s upbringing.
There’s no escaping the fact that when you send your child to boarding school, you’re handing over a major chunk of their upbringing to someone else. When your child goes to boarding school, you’re relinquishing a lot of the decisions you’d normally make about what your child is and isn’t allowed to do, and the responsibility for their upbringing falls temporarily on someone else’s shoulders. They will probably be going to someone else – a school-appointed pastoral carer – with their problems, which may make you feel redundant. Many parents find this idea hard to cope with, and feel a great sense of loss when their children go off to boarding school. You won’t be there to chat to them over breakfast or say goodnight to them when they go to bed, and in these vital years of your child’s life, when they’re growing fast, you’ll inevitably miss out on a lot of their childhood.
Homesickness will strike at some point.
Homesickness is likely to rear its ugly head at some point or another, at least in the beginning. Your child will be away from home for the first time, in an unfamiliar environment away from their family and home, and their new way of life will take some getting used to. They will almost certainly get used to it sooner or later – but both you and they might find it difficult when they’re grappling with feelings of homesickness, and it will probably make you wonder whether you’ve done the right thing.
Boarding school costs significantly more.
The other disadvantage of boarding school is that it costs significantly more than day school – you can expect to pay over $55,000 a year at the top boarding schools. There are other boarding schools for those for whom these sorts of costs are unfeasible, but you’re still looking at $25,000 – $35,000 or so a year.
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