At home, I grew up middle class, then became the privileged prep school girl. But at Andover, suddenly, I was poor. Trying to reconcile these conflicting identities, I realized how complex and mutable class is. My class is connected to my parents' income, but it's also rooted in cultural knowledge and objects that are charged with greater meaning. That realization forced Sottile to reflect and have a better understanding of herself, and others.
Search icon A magnifying glass. It indicates, "Click to perform a search". Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. When it comes to choosing the appropriate senior high school, the decision should not only be left to parents. Both children and teachers should also be actively involved. However, inasmuch as children want their wishes to be heard by their parents, they should do well to be considerate since the financial standing of their parents plays a very important role in selecting a school.
The primary and paramount factors to consider are; quality of education, accessibility and affordability. Four reasons shaped our decision. I share these and other insights with you. I had taught in day schools and was a Deputy-Director of one of them. Yet we chose to send both daughters to boarding schools. Here are the reasons why. I hope that our experience will help to inform you as you make this critical decision about which kind At the time we were considering sending our children to private school we were fortunate to be living in an area which had good schools.
My late wife Nancy indeed had graduated from the local high school. So it wasnt the schools per se which were the issue. There were four factors which shaped our decision and I lay these out below in greater detail. The high school curriculum was solid.
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The teachers were experienced and competent. The school was small as high schools go with a student population of students in grades 7 through There was a football and basketball team, a highly- acclaimed marching band and a couple of clubs. That, however was what made us want more for our daughters. We wanted them to read 5 Shakespeare plays a year. Not Just the one a year taught in her current high school.
Same thing with other academics. They met the minimum requirements. But we wanted more. The sports and arts programs were wonderful but options were extremely limited. Same with extracurricular activities. But the real reason was something every parent of a teenager comes to terms with: who was she hanging around with after school? So against that backdrop we began to consider boarding school very seriously. Rigorous academics We always felt that we should stretch our children intellectually. That approach literally started from the earliest months.
Serious fare with a few mysteries thrown in. She was fluent in French and Spanish too. Classical music was my thing. As mentioned previously, the public school offered solid courses.
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Just not enough epth and breadth for our needs. We had no firm ideas about what the girls should pursue in college. We felt our Job was to provide them the best foundation we could. As we explored curricula at several boarding schools we realized that our children could build on their existing knowledge base while having the opportunity to explore more subjects.
Lots of sports The idea of having athletics twice a week was a huge hit. Boarding schools typically finish classes at lunch on Wednesdays. The afternoon is given over to sports. Same thing on Saturdays. The variety of sports offered as well as the availability of many ports at varsity level as well as intramurals made this feature of boarding school very attractive. Plenty of extracurricular activities As with athletics the schools we looked at offered dozens of clubs and other extracurricular activities. Because all the students were required to take part in one or more activities there was plenty of talent to make the activity fun and practised at supervision This is not a characteristic of boarding schools which your teenager will consider terribly important.
But it was a huge plus for us parents. We had spent many years raising our children according to our personal values and precepts. When it came time for our young adults to begin to leave the nest and fly solo, we still wanted the reassurance of a safety net. They have looked after teenagers for decades.
They are tuned into what goes on in those young minds.
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They have the safety net at the ready. The net is invisible most of the time. But there when needed. Boarding schools know how to handle the hormone factor before things run amok. They understand bored teenagers. And they do all of this unobtrusively most of the time but conspicuously when that approach is called for.
Finally I should mention that neither of us were helicopter parents. We taught our children as best we could and allowed them to get on with living their own lives. We felt that a gentle transition from childhood to adulthood Just made a lot of sense. You cannot hover and be over-protective and expect your child to develop self-confidence nd independence.
Looking back more than two decades it was probably one of the best decisions we ever made. Both girls excelled in college — Harvard and UMass Amherst — and went on to earn advanced degrees. They have great careers. They are wonderful mothers. What more can a parent ask? However, some simple facts which might be considered about each are outlined below, in addition to a number of useful links to sites, events and schools which might help your decision making process.
Day School travel to school from a wider geographical area than those at state schools might, there is an obvious restriction as to how far from the school you wish your child to attend you can feasibly live.
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It is useful to investigate a bus or rail links to your local ndependent schools in addition to investigating what it is they can offer your child. Some schools may offer their own transport services from your area. Boarding School Boarding schools exist for children in preparatory or senior education, and sometimes cater for both. Obviously one of the key advantages of boarding schools is that location need not be a primary consideration, and thus if you find the perfect school for your child you will not have to move house or seek a school elsewhere.
However, this obviously means that children can spend extended periods of time away from their families, meaning in the search for a boarding school considering the availability and quality of pastoral care is of particular importance. The kind of accommodation offered at boarding schools differs for children at various ages.
Prep school children would typically share a room with a group of around half a dozen other children, whereas at senior school smaller numbers would be expected as children begin to develop a greater sense of independence. Yes because… No because… Boarding schools allow children a safe space in which to exert greater control and independence over….
Boarding schools allow children a safe space in which to exert greater control and independence over their daily lives. Teachers and staff can supervise and support but they are unlikely to be over-protective. This can be a great preparation for university or work away from home in later life as it provides an intermediate step between childhood and full independence.
If they are separated from hem for long periods of time this may damage their relationship and leave the child feeling anxious or alone. Schools are unlikely to be able to replicate the detailed knowledge of each individual child that a parent has and therefore cannot be as effective in supporting the child. Boarding School Being in school all the time allows children full access to its facilities.
This is good for creatin… Being in school all the time allows children full access to its facilities.