Getting a child admitted to a boarding school can be a difficult decision for many parents due to the distance and uncertainty that follows. However, in reality, boarding schools can offer better opportunities for the academic, social, and personal development of your child. In this article, we at Ezyschooling introduce a few points you can follow to prepare your child for boarding school admission.
There are numerous advantages of shifting to a boarding school. The most important one is that boarding schools offer an environment favourable to learning with few distractions. They cultivate personal discipline and socialisation skills among students. Good residential schools have a lot of dedicated and experienced caretakers to address any needs of the students on campus, this makes them a good choice for parents who are not able to devote a lot of time looking after their children but want their kids to grow up safe and sound. Due to fewer distractions in a boarding school, children get more time to devote to their studies, interacting with their peers, or exploring other pursuits. This leads to the better all-around development of children. The most well-known advantage of opting for boarding school admission is that the boarding school environment helps in the inculcation of skills such as time management, assertiveness, and independence that he or she is bound to develop.
Despite this, sending your child to a residential school requires a lot of thought and preparation especially when it comes to your child.
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Boarding schools have diverse specializations and focal points when it comes to their curriculum. Certain boarding schools stress on developing academic excellence while others emphasize the development of sports-related or artistic skills. Finding a boarding school also broadens your choices and allows you to consider a school best fit for your child’s temperament and interests.
While looking through boarding school admissions, look through the fees, vision and mission statement to find if a particular school is affordable and fits the values you want to inculcate in your child. Then, you should take a look at the security, past academic performance and faculty of the school. Pay good attention to the curriculum that is followed. Most Indian boarding schools are either affiliated with CISCE or CBSE. There are also some that offer IBDP or other courses. An assortment of varied extracurriculars can help your child develop a diverse skill set and be more creative. An excellent strategy could be to involve your child in this stage of decision-making.
Begin by being honest about the reasons behind your decision of sending your child away. Your child might feel confused and upset so you should comfort him or her and be supportive. Try not to make it seem like you are sending your child away to punish him or her. This could greatly scar your child who will then find it difficult to settle in an unfamiliar residential school environment.
Once you have had a heartfelt conversation with your child, you can begin involving them in the boarding school admission process. You can explain why you are picking a particular school or let the child pick from two or three final choices. Letting the child be involved in the decision-making makes it easier to mentally prepare him or her for the shift. This will also make the child feel more motivated and excited to make the most of the boarding school he or she picked.
Most boarding schools have a website that includes their contact details. This can help you clarify any doubts you might have about the boarding school admission process of any specific school. Once you are sure of a school, arrange a campus visit after contacting the institution. You can take your child along to familiarize him or her with the place. If you intend to confirm the admission at the same time, carry all the requisite documents. These usually include mark sheets of the previous grade, identity proof, residence proof, and transfer certificate. You can inquire about the required documents beforehand to avoid any hassles at a later date.
Some schools also include an entrance test and interview. You should check if the boarding school you are interested in follows such a pattern. The difficulty of the entrance exam depends on the board, grade and standards of each school. If a school has an entrance, you can help your child prepare for it by going through the syllabus for the same. Usually, the interviews for schools do not involve difficult questions. You should have clarity about why you are applying to a certain school for your child and what your child’s abilities are. To give your child confidence, you can try doing a mock interview and consider questions commonly asked in school interviews.
After finalizing the procedure comes packing and preparing for the transfer. It is suggested that you let your child participate as much as possible in this step to help him or her mentally prepares to move out. You can go shopping for essentials such as stationary, clothes, spare bedding, gadgets etc. it would immensely help your child with homesickness that is natural to come if you pack a few sentimental objects from homes such as a cherished blanket or a small soft toy. In addition to this, you can ask the school about ways in which you can communicate with your child and inform your child of ways to connect if needed.
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In the end, the experience of going to a boarding school will be different for every child. The most important thing you can do to smoothen the process is to convey your unconditional support and understanding for your child. This could give your child the confidence to do his or her best without fear. It would also make it easier for your child to experience life away from his or her family while knowing that they are just a phone call or a trip away.