Boarding Or Day School? - Ugochi Oritsejolomisan
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Boarding Or Day School?

Boarding Or Day School?

boarding or day school 2Two years ago when my son was about going into the secondary school he was highly interested in boarding, even though we had told him from the beginning that we, as a matter of principle and choice do not have such plans for him or his younger ones.
He asked us severally why he couldn’t board seeing that most of his friends were going to be boarding at school. We tried to make him understand our reasons.

Our Reason
We still had so much to teach him and we feel we need more time with him especially during his teenage years; we wanted to be a huge part of this time of his life. After now, during university we get less and less time to “be” with them and besides, they would have formed to a very great extent by then.

The Pluses Of Boarding
Many parents I know hold the view that boarding school teaches a child independence and maturity and I agree. It also helps the child create a daily routine or schedule around his studies; I really am trying to implement this for our boys.
I believe if we make the time (which is mostly difficult in this busy world) we should be able to instill discipline and a healthy routine in the children. This I know would require plenty of time, effort and discipline on the part of parents.

Both Can Work
I know a lot of children who went through the boarding school and turned out very well and I also know some who went through a day school and turned out excellent.
It all depends on what works for parents, given their different experiences, situations and lifestyles.

The Very Best We Can Do Is Pray
I know and believe firmly that praying for them is very important; I was interviewed about it here. But there is something about daily reviews and constant teaching and fellowshipping with the children that makes it very important too. However, if your children are going to school from home and they hardly “see” you, it does not make any difference, you might as well send them to the hostel and plan for them during the holidays.

The Important Thing
So whether your children are going to school from home or they lodge in school, the most important thing is that you find regular moments of coaching, reviewing, teaching, and modeling to ensure that they do not live this time of their lives in your complete absence.
If holidays are properly used, with intentional schedules for the children, it would suffice.

Not A Parenting Get Away
Boarding school should not however  be used as a tool to “send them away” in order to create time for you to do “other things”. No one can raise a child better than devoted parents, shoving them off to boarding to give you free time is not enough reason. You must weigh your options carefully.

In all, when we commit them into God’s hands, He is well able to keep them.

…For I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him Whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which I have committed [to Him] until that day. 2 Timothy 1: 12  (AMP)

Your Turn
Do you prefer your teenagers going to school from home or living in?
What are your reasons?

Copyright© Teshuva 2014


Ugochi Oritsejolomisan

Ugochi Oritsejolomisan is a mentor, encourager and influencer. She writes to inspire you to live a full life. Ugochi lives in Canada with her husband Benson and their children; Joshua, Joseph and Josiah.

  • Lilly
    Posted at 22:59h, 17 August

    Hi Ugochi, your article was quite insightful, more so because i feel EXACTLY the same way you and your spouse feel about boarding schools. Everything you said about it have been my thots exactly. I’m a born again mother of 3 who is committed to bringing up our kids God’s way and i think from reports a nd people’s feedback, i’ve done a great job so far (only to the glory and by the grace of God). Against my wishes though, my hubby sent our first child, a boy to a boarding house ( a military school) outside the town we live. He’s through with JS 1 and his experience has been nothing but unpleasant and unnecessary. His Dad keeps telling him that as the first born, he has to endure some level of hardship because of the future? His academic performance even dropped far beyond his usual performance and I’m wondering, is that the best we can give our child? I went to a boarding school but my siblings that went to day schools have done better than me in many areas, so what are we talking about? The boy clearly doesnt like the school and has said he doesnt want to go back, should we force him to?I’m trying so hard not to deviate from what is best for him by praying and using wisdom in the whole situation. But what do i do when the Dad feels military boarding house is just the best? Yeah, did i mention that my hubby is in the military and that our son gets bullied a lot at school because of his small frame, even by his own mates? Your take on this would be very welcoming pls. Thanks.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 00:09h, 18 August

      Hi Lily, this is a pretty tough situation because your husband wants it while you don’t.
      Does he know the details of what is going on with your son in school? If he doesn’t, then you should tell him so that he makes his decisions based on all the information. You can also ask him to please listen to the boy and hear straight from his mouth. Especially since his emotions, psychology and academics are getting affected.
      If he knows and still insists, then the best you can do is pray and ask God for intervention. There is nothing God cannot do if we commit it into His hand in faith.
      It is easier when couples agree but in your case you have to be calm and careful so that it does not bring any crack in your relationship with your husband.
      Take time out and talk to God about it and leave it in His hands, refuse worry, anger, agitation or anxiety. It does not produce anything positive.
      Give it to God and trust He will handle it the very best way.

  • Susie (The Esthetic Goddess)
    Posted at 21:35h, 31 March

    Oh I’m with you, Ugochi. I would not have been able to send my boys off as I wanted to instill my values and morals in them. How do you do that if they are not there?

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 22:07h, 31 March

      My point exactly! Those holidays would never be enough for me.

  • Adrian
    Posted at 06:19h, 31 March

    This was an interesting post for me. Here in the US, any kind of a boarding school is rare and I don’t know anyone who has a child in one. It’s kind of a unique concept for us. It would be tempting to send your child off and let others raise them, but my son gets so much bullying in regular school. I can’t imagine how it would be if he was there 24 hours a day. Here it’s mostly a question of public vs private schools – we’ve opted for public and while it hasn’t been ideal, it has worked out #SITSSharefest

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 10:09h, 31 March

      It is tempting Adrian, but I have chosen not to “fall” for the temptation. Boarding school here has worked for some and worked against some too. We have opted for day school, we believe we should be largely involved in raising our children through their teenage years. It is a matter of choice for us, not really whether it is good or bad.
      Thanks very much for coming by, do have a super blessed day!

  • Rachel G
    Posted at 20:06h, 29 March

    I had friends who went to boarding school growing up, and enjoyed it, but I know I wouldn’t have liked it at all. I moved away from my family to attend college when I was 17, but I’m glad I got to spend my early years with them!

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 10:04h, 31 March

      Yes Rachel, it works differently for different people. I strongly believe no one can raise children effectively more than devoted parents and children really need to spend majority of their teenage years with DEVOTED parents who make time for them.

  • Fred Otone Olomuro
    Posted at 17:12h, 28 March

    I love the sincerity of this articles because as much as possible the author stated both sides.

    I have my 2 wonderful kids 13yrs and 15yrs old in the boarding school. I have observed growth in the area of self-reliance, diligence and confidence. Their spirituality is not left out. A lot of parents are worried to release their love ones for the fear of the unknown. I tell you if they have their way, they would prefer their children/wards to attend higher institution from home. This is common with Mothers!

    Allow them be! Faith, Prayers and Training are continuous exercises. They need to explore for themselves. I attended boarding school in my A’Levels and grateful I did. I found it easy to relate with others while in the University be it Pagans, Muslims or Christians. It was easy to relax with those of different cultures and traditions. I recall seeing some students roasting brown rats and did not see anything wrong, but my nephew who lacked this exposure confronted these Yoruba guys challenging them to stop eating this bush rats.

    The right boarding school is better than the right day school.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 10:02h, 31 March

      Thanks very much for coming by Brother.
      Like I said in the article, all parents should discover what works for them. Both sides if applied with wisdom and intentionality can produce great results.
      Backgrounds, environments, individuality and family values will affect choices and decisions. Boarding works well for some children and doesn’t quite for some. The same thing with day school, parents should discern what is best for their children and follow it.

  • Angel Thompson
    Posted at 23:30h, 27 March

    Here in the USA, boarding schools are prestigious and mostly for the wealthy (costing on average $40K per year). In three years, that would be enough money to buy a nice home with a nice yard. Parents don’t send their children to boarding school so they can have free time. These parents are seeking the highest standard of education.

    Our public school systems (which are government funded), usually don’t offer the option to board.
    So I can’t really answer your question, but I do agree with you that children need more time with their parents, especially during the teen years. Besides, I’m just a biased O’homeschooling mom.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 15:13h, 28 March

      Lol! I think I may be a biased patent too. It is the same with most of our public schools here in Nigeria. But fortunately we have private schools with high academic standards who accept students that come from home.

  • Christy Hoover
    Posted at 19:08h, 27 March

    Hello! I want to thank you for stumbling to my blog and participating in the convo. I am so glad that I was able to stumble back across your blog. I have been going back and forth with homeschooling my son. We are military and we bounce around the country a lot. Sometimes we are in good school districts, but out current duty station, we are not. I really cringe when I think about how little time I actually have with my son. It makes me sad. That is one reason that I do want to homeschool him. He will be out in the world soon enough, I just need more time with him, and him being in school doesn’t give me that time. I have also considered boarding school for him when he reaches his junior year because there is a really good one in my husbands home town. Thank you for sharing your views and insight on schooling for children. I am glad I am not the only one feeling this way. 😉

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 15:00h, 28 March

      Yes Christy, lodging them in school would certainly deprive us of some time, though sometimes it seems better option for some. I would rather have them with me at home till university.
      Every parent has what works for them.

  • Rosey
    Posted at 17:24h, 27 March

    This is such a personal decision. It’s not common where we live, but if it were, I don’t know if I could go through with it. It seems they (the kids) leave home so fast already. Any time I get seems so precious, I would hate to lose any of it. I realize that may sound selfish, but it is really how I feel.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 14:57h, 28 March

      Not selfish at all Rosey. It is common here in Nigeria, students have the option to come from home or lodge in hostels at school till holidays.
      I feel the same way too. I want to spend all the time I can possibly get with my children before they are ready to start out on their own.

  • Abiola
    Posted at 14:53h, 27 March

    I went through boarding and I must say it opened my eyes to a lot of things. I am happy I dont have to make a decision soon but its better to start thinking ahead and weigh the pros and cons before the time arrives. The boarding system teaches kids a lot of things -both positive and negative. I am torn between the two options and would love to hear from ólder’parents who are in the middle of making such decisions or who had made such decisions.

    • Ugochi Jolomi
      Posted at 14:54h, 28 March

      I agree it is good to plan ahead. I trust that you would find answers that will help you decide here.