Do we need to send our children to a boarding school?

Do we need to send our children to a boarding school?

Boarding school is an educational alternative for parents to send their children for furthering their education. Many people have said that the most beautiful time is that of adolescence but when we, as parents, send our teenagers into a boarding school, are their teenage years fully developed?

Most people, especially the elderly, consider a boarding school to be plebeian or a place of traditional education that makes children feel confined. But for parents who want their children to be independent and who understand that the child will one day live independently will deliberately drive their children to a boarding school in the belief that a boarding school is a very good option. It can be done as long as the child is motivated, is communicated with in advance, and is shown the boarding schools that she or he may be enrolled in so that they can choose the one that is preferred.

Teens like to play, to have fun, joke, laugh, and be mischievous with friends but when they are in a boarding school, can they do things like that? At a boarding school leisure time is strictly limited. Let’s say for eating, students are usually free to take whatever side dish available at home, but in a boarding school, they have to share and remember others. If they are still hungry they cannot ask for more, unless there is food left over.

And what about how an adolescent is feeling when they live in a boarding school?  They may be pleased as they gain a lot of friends, get new experiences, and live with fellow peers but they may also be feeling heart-break at parting with their family and comfortable homes. In addition, if there is bullying at a boarding school, the abused child will experience more sadness and suffering than children who experience bullying in public schools because they are away from home. For this reason boarding school managers and teachers should be sensitive to the things that are experienced by their students.

There are, however, many positive things gained by children attending boarding school, such as attitudes of itsar or how to prioritize other people, being independent and doing everything themselves (such as doing their own washing and ironing), as well as learning to budget given pocket money. A very expensive lesson for a child is when he/she has to share with his/her friends. For example, when sharing a water bath in a large tub (usually in some countries, they do not use a shower to take a bath, but use tub and dipper), and the water taps suddenly run out while there are other friends who are lined up outside the bathroom.

Many positive values ​​are formed for a teenage boy/girl when schooled to a boarding school, especially if the father and mother are always busy and when the things mentioned above are hard to come by in their own homes. Parents do not necessarily have enough time and knowledge to teach discipline and independence to a child.

For children, boarding school can be like a small country where he/she finds out who his/her leader is and where he/she is headed. How does he/she resolve a problem? How does he/she consult with and respect others? How does he/she understand other people’s feelings and learn other people’s characters? How do the children get along with friends from different kinds of walks of life and refrain from various desires while learning to share with others? It is important for teenagers to have the experience of boarding school as a child so that he/she can more easily face real life when they grow up.  Any thoughts?

Do we need to send our children to a boarding school? indonesia trip 2013 july 007 w640

Fifi P. Jubilea

Proklawati Jubilea, SE. MSc, is a mother of three, and currently live in Perth, Australia to achieve her PhD. She got her Master degree in Master of Science Human Resources, Development University Putra Malaysia. She is as a founder and conceiver of Integrated Islamic International School ( JISc ) and Islamic Boys Boarding School ( JIBBs) in Jakarta, Indonesia. She actively writes and contributes in Eramuslim.com, Sabili, Ummi Magazine, and has published a few books in Indonesian version. For more Information about Fifi go to www.jakartaislamicschool.com and www.mamfifi.com.

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