“Boarding schools” makes many of us think of either a thing of the past, or places for troubled children or children of uninvolved parents. We would be wrong, however, if we thought that these conceptualizations cover the truth of the availability or role of boarding schools. Boarding schools are certainly not a thing of the past; they are alive, well, and still sought after, though, there may not be as many as there used to be.
What has been the reason for the drop in popularity? For one, culture has changed. In the hay days of boarding schools, sending one’s child to a boarding school was done whenever feasible. For some it was the only option for their children to receive a formal education, and for some it was a sign of, and effect of, social status.
The other reason for the decline in popularity of boarding schools is simply a practical matter—transportation means have improved. In many cases in the past, the terrain to and from the closest schoolhouse might have been too difficult for daily commutes. Therefore, as transportation became easier for the masses, the need for boarding schools dwindled.
Today, boarding schools are sought by a smaller margin of people. Certainly, some families need specialized places to help understand, nurture, and guide their troubled teens. However, those seeking boarding schools for troubled teens make up a small portion of those in need of boarding schools.
The majority of people looking for boarding schools for their children do so for work-related reasons. There have always been lines of work that have kept people frequently packing up and moving. Popular examples for us in today’s society include military personnel, missionaries, and many levels of business people.
For parents in situations like these, the idea of uprooting the family every year or two brings with it the realization the their children will have little hopes in forming lifelong friendships, or too great a possibility of growing up feeling reluctant to get involved with people and organizations, because they believe they will eventually have to leave them. As well, some families are led by their work, or by their life calling, to aid people in dangerous places, or places with too little resources for their children’s upbringing.
Boarding schools also attract international students. International students seek American boarding schools for many reasons. To meet the demand, many boarding schools develop special relations with students from specific regions, and some offer special funding for international students.
Whatever the reasons, parents desire safe, stable places for their children to learn, grow, and mature. Most parents are not desiring to “get rid” of their children. They turn to boarding schools to give their children the best life and learning experiences.
We have taken a special interest in Christian boarding schools because many people seek boarding schools that will instill the religious values the parents themselves hold. To help families in their search for quality Christian boarding schools, we offer “The 30 Best Christian Boarding Schools.”