Biting the Boarding Bullet - Midland School

Biting the Boarding Bullet

Or, Why Boarding?

Having your child choose boarding school can seem like a daunting decision, but the many ways it can enrich a student’s life make it worthwhile. Plus, you don’t have to make that decision alone — here are five ways boarding can become a transformative experience for your child and your family!

Independence & Responsibility

Living a little ways from home means that students are responsible for their own cleaning, laundry, time management and more. Without parents nearby to serve as a built-in alarm clock in the morning, to help out with household chores and to remind them to complete their homework in the evenings, boarding school students are self-starters. Developing a sense of independence and self-reliance is integral not only to their daily routines, but also to the wellbeing and upkeep of their communities. This environment where students learn to self-manage under supervision ergo offers the perfect balance for young adolescents, giving them a head start to life after school.

Community & Lifelong Friendships

Smaller class sizes and shared lived experiences outside the classroom allow for a tight-knit community to flourish in a boarding school setting. Oftentimes, students also hail from many different parts of the world — from nearby towns, to the opposite coast, to international cities like Seoul or Hong Kong. It is through full-time boarding that students immerse themselves, 24/7, in an intercultural learning environment that simulates the real world. As a result, students develop a sense of self and community through collaborating, supporting each other and sharing exciting experiences with their peers of diverse backgrounds, cultures and perspectives. It is not uncommon for the friendships made in boarding school to last a lifetime!

Preparation for College

Boarding schools are known for their academic rigor. This is evidenced by the structure of school hours, which often include mandatory study sessions, one-on-one faculty-advisor meetings and thoughtful phone and technology policies. This focus on academic excellence is what helps students prepare for the rigor of higher education, increasing their chances of succeeding in a future college setting. In fact, in a TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools) study, 87% of boarding school graduates report being well prepared academically for college, compared to 71% of private day school graduates and 39% of public day school graduates. 

Digital Detox

Boarding school is an immersive environment. With more intentional technology policies (sometimes with cell phones out of the equation!), students become much less distracted by social media or online video games. Instead, they can take advantage of the time they have outside school and extracurricular activities to explore their interests, hobbies and passions — be it playing soccer outside in the fields with their friends or designing and creating artwork using alternative forms of mixed media. Think of a time before the age of the internet — what active or creative ways of spending your time do you want to share with your child?

Engaged, Motivated & Supportive Faculty

What better place to learn and live than in a community in which you can walk to your teacher’s classroom (or even house!) to discuss an upcoming essay on Cold War history or to get extra help on the math test you have tomorrow? As much as boarding schools emphasize hiring capable faculty, faculty members also self-select into teaching smaller class sizes and to living on campus — a testament to the dedication and support they are willing and able to provide. This extra time, patience and availability allows for students to gain better access to educational resources inside and outside of the classroom. More importantly, the creative and mutually transforming mentorships built in this environment allow students to talk to their teachers like they would a friend, learning from the wisdom and life experience of someone twice their age.

All in all, when you choose a boarding school that is a good fit for your family, it can be an adventure like no other. Through boarding, your child lives their education, builds a diverse network of academic and emotional support and gains a head start to success after school.

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