• August 8, 2022

Nothing much, I assure you. Mostly myths.

It’s a common misconception that parents send their kids to boarding school because they have bad grades. For some reason, that decision to send a child to a boarding school is often seen negatively.

Oh! My parents must hate me, and that’s why they’re sending me to boarding school.

Well…not true, and you’ll understand boarding schools so much better by the end of this article. You’ll also understand why bad grades come into the picture at all when boarding schools are discussed.

What’s in a boarding school?

Structure. 

That is the number one part of boarding school that many parents find appealing. Structure helps kids develop more productive skills such as discipline, independence, and confidence.

The constant exposure to other kids can influence their social confidence levels for the better.

Historically, many parents consider sending their kids to boarding school because of the benefits of its structure. Specific time is devoted to academics during the day, followed by extra-curricular activities. Later in the evenings, supervised study times are conducted with assigned adults. Every minute of the day is accounted for, and this structure influences how every kid structures their world.

Bad grades and boarding school

Can we agree that lack of structure and distractions can negatively affect school grades?

Yes. It does, and that’s how bad grades and boarding school got mixed in the first place. There are several more reasons for bad grades, but we’ll stick with this example for now.

Every boarding school has a different mission statement and vision. Often, when parents want to decide the best fit for their kids, they pay attention to these two components of every boarding school. 

A boarding school will help kids improve bad grades, but only if it’s the best fit for them.

It can be really tricky deciding if boarding school is the best option for kids and which ones.

When is Boarding School NOT a Great Option?

As I said earlier, the boarding school choice can be tricky.

Here’s a shortlist of reasons NOT to go the boarding school route.

  • It corrects all kinds of extreme behavior: Ever heard of the one bad apple in school that ended up influencing everyone else? Yes, that can happen in boarding school, and the truth is, not all boarding schools fix bad behavior.

However, some boarding schools make it clear if they are thoroughly equipped to help kids re-focus their energies on productive behavior. Unless it is explicitly stated, there’s a high chance that boarding schools won’t help with all kinds of behavior correction.   

  • A relative loved it there: Nope, not a good reason at all. First, we’re all different, and just because someone you know enjoyed their stay doesn’t mean you would.

Plus, many things can go wrong between the time they were there and when you show up. It’s best to make a decision with up-to-date information, always.

  • Not doing well in other schools: When a student isn’t doing well in school, the first approach should be to diagnose the problem. As I said earlier, bad grades at school can result from distractions or a lack of focus. A boarding school may not be the instant solution, even when distractions are causing bad grades. For example, a kid can be distracted for a lot of reasons including family issues; sending a kid like that away from the family may not have the best effect on them.

The best approach is always to find out what the problem is, and if boarding schools can help solve those problems…and how. The how is very important, along with making sure that kid is on-board with the plans.

If the decision to attend boarding school has NOT been explained by any of the three reasons above, that’s a great start in the right direction.

Let’s Wrap This Up…

We’ve established that bad grades shouldn’t always mean boarding school. Many boarding schools are selective about their admissions, and everyone with bad grades isn’t given a free pass. That’s only a myth.

Kids need a strong foundation and structure to excel in school. Some kids need more structure, and a boarding school can provide such structure. The key to making the best decision (about boarding school or not) is to pay attention to the kid’s specific needs.

It’s not easy, but it can be simple enough if you pay close attention.

I hope this helps!

Desmond utilizes his knowledge of education policy from his undergrad, his Masters of Education from Johns Hopkins, and a variety of advanced certifications such as CHPC and LWT to construct prime academic intervention programs and homework/executive functioning support for all his students.

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