The popular saying “It is not for the sake of school that we study, but for life “ („Non scholae sed vitae discimus“)applies more aptly to a boarding school education than to any other. In addition to an excellent education, boarding schools impart such values as consideration, responsibility and reliability, due to the child's daily interaction with teachers and schoolmates. As a consequence of this pupils learn to set a high standard for themselves, and to be open for the values which they gain by experience in dealing with real life situations. Boarding schools offer chances which cannot be acquired in an ordinary school or by contact with family and friends.
There are a variety of reasons for giving your child the possibility of attending a boarding school:
Your Child's Decision
It is ideal when children opt for boarding school of their own volition. Even if you have never thought of sending your child to a boarding school, you should not ignore the suggestion. Many children develop a strong sense of independence at an early age and like to demonstrate this by making their own decisions about their education and choice of school. Parents should acknowledge their child’s wishes and expectations by looking into the available possibilities.
Twenty-four Hour Care
Sometimes personal circumstances make it necessary to choose boarding school for your child. Often, particularly in rural areas, there are no schools nearby which meet the needs and requirements which you envisage. Perhaps for professional, personal or family reasons you do not have the time to care for your child as you would like to, or you may need to move house or even go abroad.
In such situations, boarding school offers a great opportunity. The highly qualified teaching staff make it possible for your child to benefit from a variety of educational openings. They help with challenges and give personal encouragement. Moreover, educators can be consulted outside regular lessons regarding problems at school or of a personal nature. In this way, the teaching staff assist students in overcoming barriers and difficulties in learning. Contact with teachers is not just limited to classroom activities, it continues on the playground, during leisure time and in study groups.
Consequently, the teacher enjoys the status of being an adviser, a source of knowledge and sometimes even a friend. The continuous cooperation between the school, boarding house staff, educators, teachers and students enables a perfect symbiosis in their efforts to achieve success in learning.
Community and Social Contacts
Beside scholastic achievements and the acquisition of theoretical and practical abilities, social and communication skills are of increasing importance in the community. Not only from a professional point of view, but also in terms of of behaviour and the assessment of situations, an ‘emotional intelligence’ makes interaction with different kinds of people from various walks of life smoother. Attaining a distinctive maturity affects many aspects of pupils’ lives.
Normally, highly sociable people earn more respect, radiate more sympathy and are more successful in their private and professional lives. The development of such abilities depends very much on a child's environment. Generally, only children with few friends have problems integrating into new social groups. Furthermore, faculties such as the ability to assert themselves are developed much later than in the case of children in families with siblings.
Group dynamics and intense commonly shared experiences have a lasting effect in strengthening children’s self-confidence and their ability to project their personality. Children and teenagers learn to take part in the community, to defend their point of view and even to lose from time to time. These common experiences form the basis for friendships which often last a lifetime. Thus children are given the opportunity to make contacts both nationally and internationally, which can be of great help for them in later life.
Implementation of Standards
Boys and girls at this age are faced with the particular problems of puberty, which sometimes lead to conflicts with parents and others. Testing their limits and standing their own ground are a part of daily routine. An important point in a boarding school's agenda is to assist children in forming their own opinions and not just opposing the opinion of adults. Staff members who are particularly trained in such pedagogical problems take appropriate action in such cases.
Educational institutions are often more successful than parents in dealing with problems associated with puberty. Family members are often emotionally involved, making it difficult for them to be consistent in enforcing rules. The regulated lifestyle and rules to be observed at boarding school give children and teenagers an appropriate framework in which they can fully develop. A well-defined explanation of the rules and standards concerning daily contact with peers forms a firm foundation for living together peacefully.
Many boarding schools take the increasing need for international understanding and cooperation into consideration. Therefore, they offer educational programmes which develop language skills and stimulate inter-cultural tolerance between different peer groups. The on-campus contact with people of different nationalities helps students to apply these values in practice.
Leisure Time and Sport
Most boarding schools offer special leisure and sports activities in conjunction with normal schooling. These are very popular as they help pupils overcome homesickness which sometimes sets in at the beginning. Moreover, these extracurricular activities provide children and teenagers with better opportunities and more choices than they would have in a different environment.
As a consequence, individual talents are identified and promoted. Different sports such as bowling, football, basketball, tennis, ping-pong, fitness, riding and swimming are offered. There are similar possibilities for expression in the field of art and crafts. The independent organisation of shared activities amongst the pupils themselves is a positive side-effect, which promotes the initiative of each individual child.