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If they begged would you let them board?

(107 Posts)
morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 18:40:02

Ok, just that really.

<disclaimer> My child is very happy at home, no issues and we are a very close family who spend most of our time together.

She has made her mind up she is going and nothing will stop her.
I have nothing against boarding schools, but being completely selfish I wouldn't want her to go and hope she changes her mind.

Your thoughts, wwyd.

derektheladyhamster Wed 30-Oct-13 18:41:51

We did, it's hard though but ds is thriving.

Chubfuddler Wed 30-Oct-13 18:43:18

Can you afford it is the big question, I'd think.

If it was Monday to Friday flexi boarding yes, in a heartbeat if they wanted to and we could afford it. Full traditional boarding I would struggle.

RandomMess Wed 30-Oct-13 18:43:23

How old and why has she fallen in love with boarding, or is it a specific school?

schoolchauffeur Wed 30-Oct-13 18:52:38

Yes, but make sure she really understands what is involved. DD went at 16 to do A Levels having previously done some flexi-boarding at her prep school and one full term of weekly boarding. Her school at 16 was very much full boarding- there for four weeks and then a weekend off and then another four until half term. It was near enough for us to visit so we would go up sometimes in the interim weekends to do sunday lunch out. But she loved it, it made her as a person, she loved all the opportunities and by her last term she was so busy it was hard to find a time to see her, but it was a great preparation for university. She was very sad to leave and would go back in a heartbeat.

However, DS went at 13 ( at the same time as DD) to a different school- very much his choice and he begged and begged to be able to go as some of his best mates were going. After 18 months he decided he couldn't cope with the boarding- we were lucky in that we needed to move anyway so have moved nearer to the school so he could become a day pupil. So just be careful that she really understands what being a full boarder means, if that is what the school offers. Being there every weekend and not coming home ( even if you can have visits) for 3-4 weeks at a stretch can be very hard for some children.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 18:56:44

The money isn't a problem, we are poor, so wouldn't have to pay. I know that sounds weird.
Its a specific school and they come home one weekend out of 4 and of course holidays.
She is 9 would be y5 and there is no way we would agree until secondary anyway. It is specialist and super selective I think you'd say.

Chubfuddler Wed 30-Oct-13 19:00:52

Is she already there as a day pupil and feels she's missing out?

In those circs I would have to say yes with proviso that if she changed her mind she had to say so.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 19:01:25


If you don't mind me asking, did it change your dc at all and did your ds get over the experience well? I hope he is settled now.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 19:03:54


No, but she feels as though it would be all or nothing and that she would miss out. I am trying to get her into the frame of mind of starting as day pupil and then boarding if she wants to.
We live about an hours train journey away and the school day starts at 8am, so would be leaving here at 6.30 in the morning.

BanjoPlayingTiger Wed 30-Oct-13 19:07:50

Yes! We just did this. My dd has started boarding school this year. It is a specialist music school. Up until this term we home educated.

She LOVES it! I had no intentions of sending her. But she looked up the open day and told me about it and pushed for an audition and sailed through to get her place.

I have no regrets. Though I am finding it a lot more difficult than she is!

WhatABeautifulPussy Wed 30-Oct-13 19:07:59

Yes I would let her. In fact DS will probably go board at 13 for continuity purposes and almost definitely for 6th form. If the school is right it can be a really positive and enriching experience.

RandomMess Wed 30-Oct-13 19:09:58

That is a very very long day at that age, I'd be more inclined to let her board!!!

In some ways when they are younger they have simpler emotional needs and she may be absolutely fine with boarding...

Sorry I'm no help. My dd was desperate to go to a certain boarding school and she found it hard but doesn't regret it - although the state alternative was absolutely dire!

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Oct-13 19:13:08

Yes I would, although I would hate it. If they wanted to leave I would be completely fine and take them out ASAP.

I know loads of people who boarded, some hated it but some really loved it and it had a positive impact on then socially. Including DH who got loads out of it, so I know it would feel hypocritical to him to say no, and I can't be that negative about them.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Oct-13 19:14:11

Is weekly boarding an option?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 19:26:47

I don't think weekly boarding is an option as they have compulsory elements at weekend.
I think my main concern would be having to cope for a full terms notice if I new she was unhappy.
We don't know a single person who has boarded, and nobody in our families have ever gone down this route.

JammieMummy Wed 30-Oct-13 19:46:10

Well....--at the risk of sounding sexist-- I would struggle to let my DD board but would be more than fine with DS!!! shock

This is partly due to the children and their very different personalities and partly that we are fortunate enough to live withing commuting distence of a whole range of schools for DD which mean she won't have to board (from top 10 school in country to those with other interests). There is nothing locally for DS.

That being said if she begged me and I was convinced that she has good reasoning behind it, knew what she was getting into etc then I would let her go. I would have loved to go to boarding school as a child and always felt a bit resentful that my mum wanted me at home so much that she wouldn't let me go.

When is your DD thinking of boarding? As I definitely wouldn't let her go before secondary level as I don't think they really know at that age.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 30-Oct-13 19:49:01

Mine weekly board, and DD1 stays over quite a lot at the weekend anyway, to do extra curricular stuff. They seem to enjoy it. Most of the time, anyway.

Mine are 13 and 15, this is the first year boarding for both of them.

Labro Wed 30-Oct-13 20:30:47

I'd say yes if she genuinely knows what it involves, not some 'story book' version and not until secondary. Make sure that you check out the schools policies as it may be quite difficult to withdraw if fees are being paid etc. Do also make sure she knows about day options if there is anything nearer offering similar opportunities.
What age would she be going from as also be aware that if its a few years away her ideas may completely change.

mustbeabetterwife Wed 30-Oct-13 20:37:29

I wouldn't want her to board, especially as she is so happy at home.

Those precious years fly by. I would say to her start as a day pupil and then you will consider it after the first term.

Then think of all the ways to talk her out of it and hopefully she will come to her own conclusion that as a day pupil she isn't missing out at all..

From a selfish pov it will be more difficult to share that journey with her as she won't be coming home every evening to share her experiences with you.

It must be very hard for you as a parent, I feel for you. <sob, sob>

UniS Wed 30-Oct-13 20:41:13

if he begged AND the school was appropriate to his academic, sporting and social life, Yes.

Oh yeah, and if we could afford it.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 20:42:29

Hello Labro, and thank you all very much for your comments. I needed to get a perspective on this as it is completely new to us.

She would go now if we would agree to it, but definitely not until secondary as far as we're concerned. She would be y5 now so only really a year or so away. She has been talking about it for about 2 years now ever since she first heard of the school.

I really don't want to put her off, but the selfish part of me would miss her so much. She has also been H.ed for a while and we are really close.

starrystarryknut Wed 30-Oct-13 20:44:30

Is it a specialist music school then? If yes, think carefully. BTW my DC boarded and it was fantastic. I don't have an issue with boarding. But certain specialist schools need, shall we say, "due care".

ZZZenagain Wed 30-Oct-13 20:49:19

I don't think I would really but I know my dd. Yours may be very different. Won't this be a big jump from HE and being around her parents a lot of the time?

ZZZenagain Wed 30-Oct-13 20:51:15

If she is going, I think I might try and get her used to being away from home for a few days at a time if she has not done this before. Maybe a summer programme (such as BH) for music if it is a specialist music school she is going to?

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 20:57:21


Honestly, it isn't a question of finances, we couldn't afford it if the school was managed differently. All parents are assessed on income and pay an amount in relation to this on a sliding scale.
It is the dc ability that is important to them and the school attracts huge awards for fees, that all parents can access.
This is why it is harder as well, we can't just say no way we can't afford it.

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