You’re trying to decide whether boarding school or day school is the better option for your child. It’s a tough choice with good arguments on both sides. Boarding school is a transformative experience that shapes students in profound ways. While day school certainly has its benefits, boarding school is an unparalleled opportunity for personal development that pays dividends for life.
In this article, we will go through some of the reasons why boarding school is better than day school.
A boarding school is a school where students live on campus during the school year, including weekends and holidays. Boarding schools provide housing and meals in addition to education.
Living at school means students are immersed in an educational environment 24 hours a day. They get to participate in both academic and social activities with their peers and have access to campus facilities, even after classes end.
What is a Day School?
A day school, also known as a non-residential school, is a school where students attend classes during the day and then return home in the afternoon. Unlike boarding schools, where students live on campus, day schools do not provide housing or meals for students outside of school hours.
The school day at a day school typically runs from around 8 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Students follow a standard daily schedule of attending multiple classes, with breaks for lunch and recess. After the final bell rings in the afternoon, students go home. Some days, schools offer after-school programs, sports, clubs, and activities that students can participate in on a voluntary basis before heading home.
There are several benefits of attending a day school, which includes the following:
- Staying at home: Students get to live at home with their families and maintain their normal home routines and relationships. This can help avoid feelings of homesickness that some students experience when first attending a boarding school.
- Less expensive: Day schools are often more affordable than boarding schools since they do not charge for room and board. Families only pay tuition and fees associated with the academic program.
- Flexibility: The daily schedule at a day school is less restrictive since students go home in the afternoons and on weekends. They have more flexibility and free time to pursue hobbies, activities, and social events outside of school hours.
- Safety: Some parents feel that day schools are safer since students do not stay overnight on campus without parental supervision. Bullying and other behavioral issues may also be easier to monitor.
- Convenience: Day schools are convenient since students do not have to move away from home. They can remain in their local school district and community. This also makes it easy for parents to stay actively involved in their child’s education.
While day schools have their benefits, boarding schools also have a lot to offer in terms of opportunity, independence, and life skills development. The choice between day school and boarding school ultimately comes down to a family’s priorities, needs, and values. Both options can provide students with an excellent education and preparation for college or career.
Why Boarding School Is Better Than Day School
Boarding school offers benefits that day schools can’t match. When you live at school, you get immersed in an environment focused on learning and growth.
Here are some of my reasons why boarding school is better than day school:
Boarding School Offers a More Immersive Education
Boarding school offers an educational experience that extends far beyond the classroom. Living at school provides learning opportunities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Immersive Learning Environment.
At boarding schools, learning is not confined to scheduled class periods. Your education continues during free time, study periods, and weekends. You can join clubs, sports teams, and activities that match your interests.
Constant Access to Teachers and Peers
In boarding schools, teachers are available outside of regular class hours for extra help or to chat. You can easily schedule time to meet with teachers to go over challenging topics or get guidance. Living together also allows you to form meaningful relationships with teachers as mentors and role models.
You are surrounded by like-minded peers who share your curiosity and dedication to learning.
Boarding school provides an ideal learning environment free of many of the distractions of home. There are fewer chores, responsibilities, technology, and social pressures to distract from your education. The boarding environment cultivates focus and discipline since studying, learning, and activities are central to the experience.
Boarding Schools Provide Better Opportunities for Social Development
Boarding school provides opportunities for social development that day schools can’t match. When you live at school, you learn valuable life skills and form close bonds with classmates.
At boarding school, you interact constantly with a diverse range of classmates and roommates from different backgrounds. This continuous engagement helps you strengthen your communication and interpersonal skills as you navigate challenges together. You learn empathy, conflict resolution, and teamwork skills that will benefit you for life.
Independence and Responsibility
Living away from home, you gain independence and learn responsibility at an early age. You do your laundry, keep your space tidy, get yourself up and to class on time, and make important life decisions. Boarding school prepares you for college and beyond by teaching skills like time management, self-sufficiency, and accountability.
The friends you make at boarding school often become life-long relationships. Living together strengthens your bond in a way that day-school friendships can’t replicate. You support each other through ups and downs, share life-changing experiences, and create memories that will stay with you forever. The social connections you form at boarding school enrich your life for years to come.
Boarding schools offer opportunities for students to pursue hobbies and passions outside the classroom. With campus facilities open evenings and weekends, you can join sports teams, clubs, volunteer groups, and more. You have time to immerse yourself in activities and develop new skills and talents. Participating in extracurriculars also allows you to discover and nurture your interests with support from teachers and mentors.
Boarding school students benefit greatly from smaller class sizes. With fewer students in each class, teachers can give more individualized attention to each student. This means your questions get answered, you get guidance tailored to your needs, and you build closer relationships with your teachers.
More one-on-one interaction
In a typical boarding school, class sizes are often under 20 students. This allows for more in-depth discussions and meaningful interactions between students and teachers. Teachers get to know their students well and are able to pinpoint specific areas that need improvement or topics a student may need extra help with. Students feel more comfortable asking questions and participating in class discussions in this intimate environment.
The smaller campus community of a boarding school also means students form closer bonds with one another. It’s easier to get to know all of your classmates and build new friendships. Students often keep these relationships for life and refer to their boarding school peers as their “second family.”
With fewer students and more supervision, boarding schools can provide a safer environment. There are fewer opportunities for issues like bullying, violence, or illegal activities. Strict rules and curfews also help ensure students’ security and well-being. For many parents, the safe environment and constant supervision are appealing benefits of boarding school.
More leadership opportunities
In a smaller school, there are more opportunities for leadership roles in sports, clubs, and student government. Students get valuable experience organizing events, mentoring others, and developing skills that will benefit them in college and their careers. Teachers and advisors can give students more attention and guidance to help them succeed in these leadership positions.
The intimate feel of boarding school, with smaller classes and campus community, allows for a tailored experience that focuses on the individual student. Students thrive under this supportive system, developing confidence and life skills that prepare them for success after graduation.
Students Learn Important Life Skills at Boarding School
Boarding school provides opportunities for students to develop important life skills that will benefit them for years to come.
At boarding school, students learn about responsibility at an early age. They are responsible for waking themselves up, doing their laundry, and keeping their living space clean without parental supervision. Students have to budget their time wisely to complete homework and activities on their schedule. These skills translate well to college and career, where time management and self-sufficiency are essential.
At boarding school, students are exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking. Both students and faculty come from all over the country and world, providing a multicultural learning environment. Students can take language courses and participate in exchange programs to experience other cultures firsthand. This helps to foster more open, worldly perspectives and a sense of global citizenship in students at an early age.
The boarding school experience creates an opportunity for students to build deep, lifelong friendships. When students live, learn, and grow together, they form meaningful bonds that often last well beyond their school years. Boarding school friends become like a second family, providing social and emotional support to one another. These friendships are a profoundly impactful part of the boarding school experience.
The Boarding School Environment Fosters Independence and Maturity
Boarding school life teaches independence and maturity in a way that day school simply can’t. When you live at school, you learn essential life skills and gain valuable experiences that will benefit you for years to come.
Issues pop up when you live in a community, and boarding school is no different. You’ll face conflicts with roommates or teachers and need to navigate them on your own. This fosters resilience, critical thinking, and the ability to resolve problems independently. These soft skills are vital for leadership and success in any career.
When you live at school, you gain freedom and learn to structure your own time. You’ll have opportunities to pursue hobbies, join clubs, and take part in activities that you choose. Making decisions and following your passions cultivates a strong sense of self that will benefit you for life.
Boarding Schools Offer More Extracurricular Activities
Boarding schools offer students opportunities for extracurricular activities that aren’t available at day schools. When you live on campus, you have more time to participate in sports, clubs, volunteer work, and hobbies.
More Time for Sports and Clubs
Living at school gives you more time for practices, games, meetings, and events. With boarding, you’ll have the chance to fully immerse yourself in several sports teams or clubs, and really improve your skills over time.
Space for Hobbies
Do you have a hobby like robotics, debate, or theater that you’re passionate about? Boarding school provides more opportunities to pursue your interests. You’ll have access to spaces on campus specifically for hobbies and extracurriculars, as well as support from teachers and mentors. With day school, hobbies often get pushed aside due to a lack of time or resources. At boarding school, you can join hobby-based clubs and really dive into learning and improving.
Many boarding schools emphasize the importance of community service and volunteering. Students are required to participate in service projects to build character and help the surrounding community. These opportunities aren’t always available with day school due to logistical issues and time constraints. Giving back in this way helps shape students into responsible, civic-minded adults.
Boarding School Cultivates Lasting Friendships and Memories
Boarding school allows you to form meaningful friendships and memories that will last well beyond your school days. Living together in a boarding school environment creates tight bonds between students that are hard to replicate in a day school setting.
You live together. At boarding school, you share living spaces, meals, activities, and free time with the same group of students every day. This constant togetherness speeds up the process of forming close friendships. The people you bond with become like family.
You support each other through challenges. Dealing with homesickness, difficult classes or teachers, relationship issues, and the usual angst of the teenage years creates a sort of “shared trauma” that brings people together. The friends who help you through these formative experiences often remain lifelong friends.
You create cherished memories. The hijinks, adventures, and shenanigans that happen after hours at boarding school create memories and inside jokes that you’ll reminisce about for years to come.
In summary, boarding school is a uniquely formative experience that shapes you in ways that extend far beyond the classroom. The lifelong friendships, cherished memories, and life skills gained during your boarding school years stay with you forever. While day school certainly has its benefits, boarding school offers an unparalleled opportunity for personal growth in your adolescent years.
The Cons of Boarding School
Boarding school isn’t for everyone. While it does have its benefits, there are also some significant downsides to consider before deciding to send your child away to live at school.
Less family time
One of the biggest cons of boarding school is less time with family. Your child will only be home during school breaks and holidays, missing out on daily interactions with parents and siblings. For some students, especially younger ones, this can lead to homesickness and difficulty adjusting to life away from home.
Strict rules and less freedom
Boarding schools typically have many rules around behavior, activities, and scheduling that students must follow. There are curfews, dress codes, prohibited items, and less flexibility in their daily routine. Some students struggle with the lack of independence and free time. The increased supervision and regulation of activities may feel restricting.
Bullying and teasing
Living together in a boarding school environment unfortunately increases the opportunity for bullying, teasing, and other harmful behaviors between students. There is less ability to escape social problems and less direct parental support to help deal with them. This can negatively impact a student’s self-esteem, mental health, and school experience.
Students at boarding schools often share rooms and bathrooms with other students and have less personal space. Their activities and schedules are also closely monitored by school staff. For students used to more privacy at home, this can be an uncomfortable adjustment. Lack of alone time and feeling constantly surrounded by others can lead to stress and anxiety.
The cost of boarding school is a significant downside for many families. Tuition, room and board, and other fees make it a pricey option, often prohibitively expensive. Boarding school typically costs far more than attending a day school.
Boarding schools are known for high academic standards and rigorous coursework. For some students, the intense focus on studies and demanding workload become overwhelming. Pressure to excel in a competitive environment and achieve high grades in difficult subjects is not ideal for every learning style or skill level.
In summary, while boarding school has many benefits, the lack of family time, strict rules, bullying, lack of privacy, high cost, and demanding academics can be serious downsides for students to consider before choosing to attend. For the right student, however, the pros of boarding school may outweigh these potential cons.
In conclusion, while boarding school is not for everyone, for many students, the benefits of independence, community, and opportunity far outweigh any temporary discomforts of being away from home. The boarding school experience helps shape students into responsible, empathetic, and engaged citizens of the world.