Boarding School Reviews

Written by Shirley Parker
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If friends already have children in boarding school, parents at least have a place to start when considering where to send their own child. This is true as long as similar reasons exist for selecting a boarding school in the first place. However, the school's program(s) must match the abilities and needs of the child, who may or may not want to leave home.

Asking for suggestions and advice from counselors at the current school attended by the child is also a possible source of information, depending on the situation. However, some public schools may lack the resources for referrals. At times, a more helpful resource may be a Certified Educational Planner who is acquainted with many schools across the United States. If needed, a child psychologist will also have recommendations.

The Internet hosts information suitable for background reading, and parents will see that they are not alone in sometimes agonizing decisions that need to be made. These decisions are not just for the welfare of the child, though that is of utmost importance, especially if the child has been abused by relatives or bullied at school. If a child is rebellious, using drugs or alcohol, or otherwise engaging in dangerous activities, the rest of the family is also being harmed by that unacceptable behavior. In this case, their needs are equally important. Boarding schools that seem suitable may carry reviews by alumni, as well as other parents. But try to find sites that are also independent of the schools, to get opinions that may not be all rosy.

Reviews in Book Form

An interesting book is Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools by Peter W. Cookson and Caroline Hodges Persell. According to the book, probably only one percent of high school students attend boarding schools, yet they produce most of the country's leaders. This is true of professional and business leaders, not just government. By sending children to elite boarding schools, parents are actually controlling the way power is transferred, at least in the United States. A few of the "better" boarding schools in the United Kingdom are also looked at with similar results. Other books written in the same vein provide insights into the college prep school experience.

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