what do you think about boarding school?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
what do you think about boarding school?
36
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 8:05am

Does anyone here have their children in boarding school?


The old-fashioned upper-class in England still routinely send their children to boarding school from the age of 7.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 8:08am
ooops, I think I have posted this in the wrong section - sorry.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:08am

I have two good friends who grew up in British boarding schools. Both came from abroad and were "wogs" (their explanation of how they were viewed at school.) One of them absolutely loved it and had been in boarding school from age 7 on, first in Africa, later in Britain. The other is more lukewarm about the experience. I have to say that one of the saddest things I ever read was a note written by Winston Churchill to his mother during his first year at boarding school. He was 7 and the note read something like, "Dear mother, when may I see you again, Love, Winston." Churchill is quite explicit in his memoirs about the pain the separation from his mother caused him.

In addition, my youngest cousin just entered 11th grade in a boarding school, at his own insistence and against his father's wishes. A friend of mine also has her son in a boarding school, one of those very fancy British ones, again at the kid's insistence. He started in 8th grade.

There are boarding schools in the US, several in fact, and they are peoplep by a certain breed of upperclass kids, examples would be the Madeira School, Exeter and Andover. The schools are also used by families, like diplomats and high-ranking military, who may be posted to new overseas locations frequently. Usually, though, they are mostly used for HS.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2007
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:23am
Stephen Fry (my hero) has written a lot about his experiences of boarding school as a very young child.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:23am

My husband and his brother are both Andover grads, and went to boarding school at the age of 14 until they graduated. They both kind of liked it because their father was in the military and they would have been moving and changing schools every 18-24 months if they hadn't gone to boarding school. But neither of them was interested in sending any of their kids to boarding school, so that must tell you something.

Funnily enough, though, my younger nephew went off to boarding school in Swaziland for his senior year of high school and had such a good time he stayed an extra year to earn his International Baccalaureate degree. And my younger one is talking about wanting to go to a boarding school in Michigan that specializes in turning out skilled young musicians for high school. He is only eleven and I am not taking him seriously -- yet.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:32am

This is so outside of my way of life, that I could not even be able to argue for or against it.

suzjuly6.jpg picture by LadyCaribou

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:33am

They did it for cultural reasons and those can be very strong in influencing how you do things. It is very interesting to move countries when you have young children and experience all those subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences in childrearing practices between cultures. As a Brit on the wrong side of the pond you must have experienced some of that too.

Dd is now 15 and I have lived with her both in the US and Greece and have spent quite a bit of time with her in Denmark as well. My young halfsiblings live between France and Denmark and have a Swedish mother, so I see other practices there as well.

Dd was 3-4 years old when we first came to Greece and some of the things Greek mothers did as a matter of course seemed completely nuts to me. They in turn thought I was a seriously strange mother. The same held true when I lived in the US. Yet, now that dd is a teen, I do not see any remarkable differences between her and her peers in anything that really matters, other than the typical ones that you can chalk up to personality, natural endowments and general culture (dd identifies very strongly as Greek).

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2004
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 10:50am
I would never consider it in my family.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 12:22pm

When Liza was five i would have given my eyeteeth for

 

Yes. We. Did.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2005
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 1:32pm

I went to boarding school from 13 until graduation.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 11-16-2007 - 1:43pm

As a teenager I longingly thought of boarding school.

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