Today I continue analyzing the great private school debate: whether to enrol your child in a day or boarding school. Last time I mentioned the negative effects of homesickness that boarding school inevitably brings, and the parental fear of missing out on your child’s upbringing. I also demonstrated how the single-sex learning curriculum found in boarding schools does not improve the learning experience of a student, and actually presents significant social detriments to a child’s development; a lack of experience in healthy interaction with the opposite sex can seriously hurt a child’s ability to integrate into the workforce and develop relationships in maturity. To read more about the harmful effects of the single-sex classroom, click here.
To begin this post, I want to look at the most popular argument in favour of boarding schools: 24/7 educational immersion, extracurricular activities, and supervision. Day schools do not lack in extracurriculars whatsoever. For example, at St. Jude’s Academy we strongly encourage athleticism in our students: PE is held every day, there are innumerable sports teams to choose from, and there are many afterschool programs hosted at the school. Especially because St. Jude’s is a registered IB school, fostering interests outside of academics is a must for our students. Most day schools recognize the importance clubs and sports play in developing teamwork and a sense of community to shape the well-rounded student. The benefits of a “round-the-clock education” also warrant further investigation. A child’s sleep schedule does not constitute meaningful R&R time: students need a portion of their day to “turn off” and disassociate themselves from the rigorous academic demands at private school in order to recharge. If your child is enrolled at a boarding school, living every hour immersed in the school environment despite the end of class, they could burnout early in the school year. Day schools occupy less time in a student’s day, but this does not reduce the academic rigors and demands placed upon our emerging world scholars: it just means we also allow our students time to grow.
Lastly, boarding school could be the better option for your child’s educational future, but the often insurmountable financial costs can be a barrier to achieving that plan. Day school tuition is much more affordable than the incomparably expensive boarding school fees that are a result not necessarily of a boarding school’s reputation, but its meal plan, accommodation, and extra staff supervision. Parents must decide if the expense is worth it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. Please let me know what YOUR position is in this debate, and which private school type you think is best.