Boarding School or Day Scholar for my child?
By Madhurie Singh, September 15, 2011
Every once in a year, I ask myself whether boarding school will be a good choice or day scholar is a good option for my kids. Since they are very small, I have ample of time to think and plan. But once a while I do meet people who are big fans of boarding school and go gaga over it.
I have had the opportunity to do my engineering as a day scholar but did my MBA in a college where residential study was compulsory. But that was when I was pretty old.
Hostels and boarding schools are great when children are old enough and have had the time to build good bonding with the parents and siblings. Then it really does not matter if the young adult is out alone and learning the ways of life to live alone.
But I have my own doubts to send kids when they are very young to any boarding school. Unless one has no option for better education. Even in that case, most cities and towns have good schools and sending kids to far off cities for schooling is not a very comfortable idea for me.
This is totally my personal view.
Pros of Hostel or Boarding schools.
- Children become independent very early.
- They learn to eat, sleep, clean, study on their own.
- They learn to follow rules and respect regulations.
- They learn to live and share with other children.
- They learn the value of money and importance of saving pretty early.
- They learn to eat all types of food.
- They learn to play several games and sports which otherwise is not possible.
Not so good outcome of hostel life.
- If sent very early to the hostels, the kids may not develop the bonding with the parents and siblings, which is a very important need for a balanced life ahead. Family support is the back bone of all individuals at all phases of life. The chances of this bond is tweaked if kids are sent off early to the hostels.
- They find difficult to adjust when they are back in the family. Even weekends and holidays are not very interesting to them as they miss their friends and independence.
- The kids become too rules and regulations followers. Personally I have nothing against people following rules, but one should not stop thinking in the name of following rules. But then it is not limited to hostelites only. Everyone seems to be following someone or the other with no much thought as to why they are doing whatever they are doing?
- The chances of abuse both mental and physical is slightly more in boarding schools. There have much more number of stories I have heard about abuse happening in the hostel. There are drugs, bullying and physical abuse more often than in day boarding schools.
I think boarding should be need basis decision only for parents.
Think of hostels and boardings only in such conditions:
- Age of the child is at least 13 years. And if planning, make sure you drill the importance of family, parents and values years before the day the child is packed off to the hostel.
- Always keep on asking the reason to send your child to the hostel be better worth. Asking the child is also very important. Sometimes kids are more than happy to be living independent. Finding out the reason will be a good exercise.
- If the child is very dependent, sloppy, careless and uncaring in attitude, trying two years of hostel life may be a good option.
- The best time to send the child is in class 6 – class 7. And best is to bring home the kid back in class 8. This is again my opinion. But I think a reasonable amount of bonding is built by class 6 in any kid. And spending 2 years in a hostel may help mending the dependent child's attitude. Such kids learn a big lesson and would love to be back home in a changed good way. The reason I mentioned 8th class is good time to bring them back home is to give them a good environment at home under the parental guidance to study and choose what they want to become. But if home is not very conducive to giving good environment to the child, it is best they are in hostel.
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