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Thread: DD wants to go to boarding school.

  1. #1
    MelanieOH is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default DD wants to go to boarding school.

    DD, age 9, is bored at school. The gifted program is for only 45 minutes a day, and it's first thing in the morning. We live in the middle of nowhere, so driving her somewhere else is not an option. It would be at least an hour a day each way in good weather. We try to supplement as we can.
    There is a university here, so quite a few of the professors' kids are in the same boat.

    An additional inequity for DD is the boy:girl ration in the gifted class, which is 3:1. There are only three girls, so the boys do tend to dominate. I've spoken to the teacher and she'll keep her eye out for this.

    So, having read Harry Potter and ballet books that include boarding school, DD decided this was for her. She googled it, narrowed it down, and came up with three that she thought were reasonable possibilities. She made her case to DH and me, and we said no.

    Last Sunday while the kids and I were at Sunday School, DH received a phone call from a boarding school following up on an inquiry DD sent. She obviously knows how to use the Internet better than we thought she did.

    I've talked with DD. There are no problems at school. She seems happy. She's getting A's. She's playing sports and participating in music. I'm treating this as a passing fancy, but keeping my eyes open in case there's something deeper behind it.

    Any advice? Would you handle it differently?

    Thanks,

    Melanie

  2. #2
    jvirginia is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Wow, I am just so impressed with the maturity of your DD to come up with this idea, do the research, etc. I think you owe it to her to listen to her and take her seriously; at the same time, let her know that boarding school in Harry Potter and in other books is not the same as "real" boarding school - these are books, fantasies.

    I have to say, if we could afford it I would send my older DS to boarding school in a few years. I have a good friend who sent both her kids to boarding school (not uptight, snooty ones) and she said it was wonderful; among other things, the kids maintained a really strong positive relationship with her throughout adolescence, which is a lot LESS likely to happen if they are living at home. My older DS is extremely adventursome, bright, and what I call a "leash tugger" in terms of seeking independence. He's been going to sleep away camp by himself since he was eight. I expect our public high school will be boring for him even though it is solid academically. Living in the country where we do will also be hard on him, especially before he can drive.

    Anyway, don't dismiss your DD out of hand, and if you think you'd ever consider it (say high school) let her know what she'd have to do to get your support. But, you and your DH are the parents so you need to be the ones to separate fantasy from reality.

    Another thought would be to have her do a sleep away academic camp in the summer and see what she thinks of the experience, or a travel abroad program - something to give her a sense of adventure and independence, which it sounds like she is craving.

  3. #3
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Just now reading this-any update? I was much older than your dd but did the same thing years ago when I was 14 and after 18 months ended up attending and living at a BS. It was the right decision for me

  4. #4
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    Sounds like ds. At 11yo he had researched Hotchkiss, determined to go there. DS is a high honors student and has rec'd many awards. He was convinced that he should go to Hotchkiss in 9th grade. I've seen every link on their website and he even had a current student there speak with me. My ds is not going to boarding school because I refuse to miss out on his high school days. I am not a fan of boarding schools. Not to mention the 40K it costs/year.

  5. #5
    MelanieOH is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default No real update.

    We did treat it seriously, but told DD that our decision is No. She is only 9, and we think she's just too young. We've had company over T'giving, so it might show up again when they leave later today, but the request has abated for now.

    When DD asked why she couldn't go, I gave her two reasons. First, her dad and I believe that it's our job to raise her, not strangers. Second, we enjoy her too much to send her away.

    She sort of got a self-satisfied smile on her face when I said that, so maybe she'll be OK for awhile. We have also talked about the difference of something happening in books and what might be in real life. We also talked about everything she's involved with here that she would have to give up. We also discussed how much airline tickets would be and how expensive it would be to come home. I think she started to realize how much time she would be away from home.

    Of course, when boredom sets in again, it's likely to recur. We'll just deal with it then.

    Thanks for asking, and I'm always open to suggestions. One thing's for sure. This kid keeps me on my toes!

    Melanie

  6. #6
    fatcat is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I think 9 is too young!

    I went to boarding school for high school and my nieces go to one. I think it's a great education and opens a lot of doors for students. But, high school! Not age 9!

    Unless we win the lottery, dh and I will be sticking with the public schools for our kids.

  7. #7
    CynthiaDL is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Once again our girls are similar! Tho your DD

    has explored the option in much greater detail than my DD.

    Last year we were wait listed for the session of sleep away camp that was one week -- but slots were open for 3 weeks of camp and DD begged to go. She was 8!!! And we said no -- too young.

    DD has brought up boarding school too -- I told her the only option was the state supported (i.e., free) science and math boarding school that is just 30 minutes away!

    I think books do incite their imagination and the reality might prove much harder. But overall I'm glad they have no separation issues.

    Gotta run to church...

    Cynthia

  8. #8
    zmaditto is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I have to thank you for posting this. Dh and I always thought sending your kid away to school was a horrible thing to do. But your post got us thinking. We started researching and talking to ds about it. We really think that boarding school might be an amazing opportunity for him. We'll miss him so much. But his life is about him, not us. He'd absolutely thrive in the right boarding school and it would open up his world in so many ways. We've even found a school we love (so far) online.

    Now we just have to save $200,000 to pay for said amazing opportunity (high school)...oh, and get him accepted...yikes...tests, references, waiting lists...

    Anyway, thanks so much for posting this. You may have done our ds a BIG favor. :o)

    Oh...in regards to your own question...I think you've got to consider the individual child in the situation. Can they handle being away from family? Can they stay out of trouble? What would that child gain in a BS situation that they couldn't gain in a local school? Etc. I agree that 9 is far to young to go away to school. But for some kids, it really would be the perfect thing to do in their high school years.

  9. #9
    WasTarin is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default A former sitter of ours did this...

    We were living in Massachusetts at the time and the public schools of the town were perfectly fine. But this girl (I forget the age at which she did it) wanted to go to a great school (that she could have driven to and from, BTW). She APPLIED without her parents knowing. When they were finally clued in, they were cool with it. They could not afford it (day student or boarder) and she got a scholarship (not sure what percentage). She has since graduated college. We get letters from her now and then (last one was a few month ago). She's just always been in control of the direction of her life.

    The only factor here for me is the money. If you're unable or not prepared to pay and she cannot score the funding herself, I don't know if it would be a good idea to do it (maybe that money is planned for college for all the kids, etc.) but if the money isn't a factor, I would explore the idea with her further.

    Interesting situation. Good luck with it all and keep us posted.

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