Granger Whitelaw: This Week, Boarding School
So I just spent a few days with my daughter Lili at her school and my son Granger Whitelaw (mini me). Lili goes to an all girls school in Maryland and Granger Whitelaw jr in New Jersey, co-ed of course. It is amazing to see how wonderful these schools are today and the facilities they provide for children to learn and grow. The students at these schools are the top of their classes, and to get in, you must take SSAT’s (like mini SAT’s, but in 8th grade..UGH!) and then go through extensive paperwork, essays, recommendations and interviews to be admitted. Trust me, if you think getting into College is hard, it does not hold a candle to this process! I am really proud of my kids. They are both great students, respectful people and I expect they will do great in life. If you are considering sending your kids to a top boarding school, I highly recommend it. Just make sure they are ready to be away from home…my kids?…. they couldn’t wait !
All my best,
For those who are interested in further information, here is an excellent set of questions to consider as written by Robert Knox Kennedy on Boarding School Review click on the link for entire list and other resources.
Is boarding school right for your child? Answer these questions to help you make that important decision.
1. Do you want to stretch your child?
If you are content with the status quo, then boarding school is probably not a good idea. Why? Because by going to boarding school your child will be embarking on an incredible adventure. She will be exposed to all kinds of new ideas and different points of view. She will be able to select academic courses which will enrich and challenge her. She will be in small classes where she cannot hide in the corner. Her opinion and ideas will matter. Her strengths will be expanded. Her weaknesses will be addressed in a positive environment.
The stretching occurs because she will simply do more academic work at boarding school than if she were in a public school with its large classes. Moreover, the students who attend boarding school want to be there.
2. Do you want her to have sports opportunities fall, winter and spring?
It’s a major difference between public and private schools. Stories about public school budgets being cut are everywhere. The first things to get cut are sports, arts and extracurricular programs. They are often considered extras. Not at a boarding school.
Boarding schools have long subscribed to the idea that education works best when there is balance. Academics, sports and the extracurricular activities which are part of every boarding school’s program make this philosophy work very well.
3. Do you want him to be with other young people who are serious about achieving something?
A parent’s worst nightmare is that your child will fall in with the wrong crowd. While things like substance abuse and inappropriate behavior of all kinds are worrisome enough, so is the idea that your child will hang out with kids who have no goals, no dreams and no aspirations. Boarding school offers a safe haven for your child, to be sure. But it also puts him in the company of children who want to achieve something in life, who want to be the best and who aspire to greatness. Boarding schools educate the whole child. They don’t just teach them how to solve an algebra equation or how the stock market works. They educate the whole child and strive for a balanced approach to accomplish that objective.
4. Do you want her to develop a network of friends which she will have for life?
We adults understand the importance of networks more than ever in these tough economic times. Networks of friends and acquaintances who know you, understand you and can vouch for you are one of the lasting benefits of a boarding school experience. When you live with your classmates 24/7, you really get to know them. You also appreciate them, and, even more important, learn to get along with them. The diverse nature of most boarding school populations these days means that your child has the potential for a network of friends which literally could stretch around the world.