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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.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Wed 30-Oct-13 21:00:08

I would if I thought DD would thrive by doing so.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 21:03:39


You are scaring me now with your think carefully grin
Thank you, I hadn't thought of this.
Yes its the specialist music school I think you are all thinking about.
And yes, the fact she has been H.ed and close to us really worries me.
It is her suggestion though, and whilst I know nobody here has suggested it, the first time somebody thinks we just want to dump her at school, will break my heart.
We all love her so much, she makes our life complete and her two much older dbs love her to bits as does her dad.
I think it would break our family tbh, but she doesn't worry about this, almost heartlessly although I know she isn't.

Spongingbobsunderpants Wed 30-Oct-13 21:06:47

I didn't end up going to boarding school despite getting into a specialist music school on a scholarship- I was super keen initially but went to visit the place and just felt it wasn't for me. My parents never expressed a real opinion about me going or not going but sat me down and got me to visualise what days would be like - routine stuff like sharing rooms, morning times, what would happen if I was ill etc, and it really clarified that I would miss out on home life too much.

DH, on the other hand, went to boarding school-a very traditional one- and absolutely loved it. He has exactly the right personality for it though - quietly confident, optimistic, independent and enthusiastic for life. I was much more reserved and less confident - who knows what would have happened if I'd gone though ... I could have had a more successful career in music and been more rounded as a person. Maybe.

TeWiSavesTheDay Wed 30-Oct-13 21:10:55

Have you been to see it?

Having said it's a music school will she have events in holidays as well? Thinking about Christmas etc.
If you do go and visit, I'd try to go on a normal day, and,talk to the students about bullying/homesickness/evening and weekends... because how they react when you ask can say a lot.

It's difficult because the pastoral care will be the key thing, but it can be hard to get unbiased reviews of what it's really like.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 30-Oct-13 21:51:17


I know exactly what you mean. We have been to open days, and read brochure and website, but imo these are mainly marketing opportunities and don't give a true picture.
I will try and make an appointment for a normal day and hope we get past the "come on an open day" response grin

Thank you all again for the lovely responses.

happygardening Wed 30-Oct-13 21:58:13

My DS2 has full boarded since yr 2 now yr 11 like your DD many years ago now he asked to go and with some trepidation I agreed. I adore him and like you he makes my life complete. But it's not about me it's about him and what is right for him. We've had some ups and downs with boarding or perhaps more accurately with his prep school which he boarded at but I've never regretted it. We've all just come back from a short break and I can see how boarding has and is influencing his life in such a positive way. My DS is happy at his school he is allowed to be the person he wants to be and receive the type of education that he personally thrives on. I suspect your daughter would get the same benefits at her specialist school.
Go for it, see it as what it is a positive life changing experience.

bebanjo Wed 30-Oct-13 23:44:26

I home educate, but if DD wants to go to summer hill when she is 8 she can go, I believe most children know what they need.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 31-Oct-13 00:21:07

Dd is at a specialist boarding school but doesn't board as she doesn't have an MDS award so we can't afford boarding.

I'm torn. In since ways her life would be easier & she wouldn't struggle to juggle the work, homework, practice, commuting & relaxation time if she boarded. On the other hand I enjoy seeing her each night even if she is only home for an hour before bedtime.

If your child is that dedicated & focused on her art then you can't stop them. I didn't want dd to turn round in years to fine and say what if.

starrystarryknut Thu 31-Oct-13 10:24:40

potato Purcell, Chets, and Menuhin all have had problems recently. Wells seems a happier place. Is your DD at a Saturday junior conservatoire? That could be one way of getting the high level musical input without boarding.

casacastille Thu 31-Oct-13 10:42:17

My DD2 (Y9) started boarding this year at her own request - new school, first time in the UK - and she is loving it, doing really well and thriving socially.

We miss her like mad but I couldn't be happier that she has settled so well and is seizing opportunities to do new things. She has come back for half term so bubbly and confident that I can't regret it despite feeling bereft when she's not here.

The agreement was for a year only but I can already see that extracting her in the summer could be tough...

IndridCold Thu 31-Oct-13 11:02:56

Your DD sounds like the sort of child who will keep busy and thrive in the boarding environment.

You will miss her like crazy, but it will certainly not 'break' your family. In making these difficult decisions you also have to factor in the regret you (and your DD) may have in 5-10 years time if you deny her a fantastic opportunity to try something that she really wants to do.

LittleSiouxieSue Thu 31-Oct-13 11:11:33

My DD was keen to board. We are not from a boarding family and every other parent in her state primary thought we were barmy. She reasoned, correctly, that making friends is easier and that you have time to do lots of extra curricular activities. This suits an enthusiastic and busy child. I was also acutely aware that local parents formed horrible cliques and formed friendships for their children, from which others were excluded, my DD being one. She is intelligent and we thought that boarding would be a better way for her to make friends without undue parental influence! I can only say it was magic! 10 years later she has a huge number of schools friends, many from day 1 of boarding. She flourished and is self-motivated, highly organised, happy and confident.
I am slightly different, however, in that I wanted to her to go. We started off with traditional boarding but school became flexible later but she always took full advantage of trips and activities at weekends even when she could have come home. There was so much going on and the ones who went home all the time really missed out. I would therefore say that weekly boarding lessens the experience because Friday evenings and weekends are diminished in terms of school activities and the social side of boarding makes friends for life. Please think about your DDs education and well being and not just about your feelings. Make sure your DD really understands what boarding is all about but truly some children are made for boarding. Mine was and yours may be too. If so, give her the chance. It is something you and she will gain from enormously.

Theas18 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:22:58

Morethan, I think you are maybe being a little economical with the facts. Not stalking you, from other threads this would be a very specialist school and similar education is not really available to your dd without boarding I guess.

You've got to go for it if it is her choice.

Theas18 Thu 31-Oct-13 14:24:36

Btw we have transiently considered it for the same reasons, but the kids didn't want to specialise so much so early, but your child does.

girliefriend Thu 31-Oct-13 14:25:53

No, I couldn't bear it. I don't even like it when my dd goes to a sleepover as I miss her too much shock

Although may feel different when she hits the teens grin

She has said its a specialist music school up thread. Hence later references to Purcell, Chets and Menuhin.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 31-Oct-13 14:54:44

Wow, thank you all so much for the wonderful advice.
Both me and her Dad are selfish in respect of we'll miss her, I realise this.
Somebody suggested a jd instead of boarding, which she has agreed to try if boarding turns out not to be right for her.
I think I will bide my time until the time comes and if she hasn't changed her mind and all other factors are deemed suitable I will not stand in her way.
There is so much to consider and weigh up at the moment, but many posts have given me food for thought.
Many thanks.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 31-Oct-13 15:02:18


Its ok, yes you are completely right. She has known since she was a tot what she wanted to do and is the complete opposite to our other older dc.
I know we have spoken before, I know you aren't stalking.
I was being a bit economical with the facts as I didn't see them as important, but yes I guess they are grin
Thank you and you are so right, it would be wrong to stand in her way, but I can't help secretly hoping she'll change her mind.

peteneras Thu 31-Oct-13 16:36:15

We are all selfish parents and we all want our kids to be at home. But my philosophy is, a child's got to do what a child's got to do. My DS boarded full-time aged 10 and I knew he would be away boarding full time for the next 8 years (guaranteed) and after that more years still at university. Broke my heart of course, but I knew it was for the better. It's his future, not mine.

zingally Thu 31-Oct-13 18:16:37

IF you can afford it.

If he wants to try it on a trial basis, I don't see the harm in trialling it for perhaps half a term/a term. Although both of you would need to be flexible if it turns out to not suit either one (or both!) parties.

ie: If it turns out he HATES after a month, be ready to say "okay, come home", even if it means a lost deposit or something. But if he LOVES it, but you hate him being away, you'll need to come up with some sort of compromise where... I don't know... he comes home every other weekend.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 31-Oct-13 22:50:20


That's it in a nutshell really "It's her future not mine".

wordfactory Fri 01-Nov-13 08:26:20

OP, personally I wouldn't.

I've given this a lot of thought as after prep school, many of DC's peers were going boarding. I came under a certain amount of pressure to do the same (admittedly from fellow parents who have a vested interest in other parents doing the same).

Eventually, I came to the conclusion that to be the sort of parent I wanted to be I needed to see my DC most days.

Nothing to do with selfishness and all the other silly platitudes that are rolled out about this (frankly it would be much easier if my DC boarded), but more to do with how I viewed my responsibilities to my DC.

That said, there are certain types of specialist education that are very hard to access wihtout boarding. And I think those parents have a more difficult decision to make.

Since I think you're in that category, I don't envy you.

cory Fri 01-Nov-13 08:53:06

For me it would not be about selfishness, but about things I wanted to be around on a day to day basis to teach dc while they were at this particular stage of their lives.

But that would have to be balanced against the other, very specialist teaching they could only receive at a specialist school.

And their possibly lessened receptiveness to any teaching of mine if they felt I had done them out of the one thing they wanted to do.

Tricky one.

DowntonTrout Fri 01-Nov-13 09:18:17

I think that if it is a specialist school (as mentioned up thread) she will not get that level of education elsewhere. You have no choice really, other than to give it a go.

FWIW, DD so nearly went to one if the specialist music schools. We only decided against because her interest was broader than the music, she would have gone as a chorister and her first instrument would have been voice. However at 13 she would have needed to have something else as first instrument and her piano was never going to be strong enough for that.

We side stepped into a performance based specialist school. She boards mon to fri and her train journey is 2 hours. I wave her off on the train at 5.30 on a Monday morning and collect her at 7pm on a Friday. It breaks my heart actually. But she loves it. She is very happy boarding, there is always someone to talk to/play/practise with. It is as much about the social side as the education for her. In the end, it was our only option really, she is so happy. If your child shows promise and wants to go, I think it is only right that you support them as far as you can, and if the opportunity presents itself to give them a chance it would be wrong not to let them run with it. You, and she, can always change your minds.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 01-Nov-13 12:30:38

Gosh, it is so difficult.
Today, she has started saying sarcy comments in between practising.
Like, well if I had somebody to accompany me here I might be able to learn this song for next week. She shouts it so I can hear and then later will ask a question such as "If I do go to x school, will I have an accompanist"? She knows very well what she is doing, and can't pull the wool over my eyes grin.

Downton Of course you are so right, minds can always be changed, I am going round in circles and can't see the wood for the trees.

There is another bs thread resurrected from the depths that is running too, it seems like such an emotive subject for many.

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