Boarding schools in India is a concept sprouting from its rich heritage. The concept back then was called “Gurukul’. A phase in every human’s life where they went away from home to learn and gain knowledge. It is important to focus here on the thought of ‘leaving home’ which in reality infers leaving the comfort zone, a cocoon of protection knit by the family and a feeling of dependence. Boarding schools in India, by their age-old existence carry some key ethos that do make it a place for each to learn skills, gain knowledge and develop senses in every way.
While boarding schools in India might seem like a road filled with curiosity to many, this road has benefitted students in more ways than one. At the end of the day there always comes a time when one leaves the protected environment of home. The real learning for him/her actually starts then. Thus, boarding schools in India aim at making this early plunge that learners take, a memorable, fruitful and rewarding one.
The child learns to deal with real life situations on his/her own terms and is not scared of new things in life. While to some it may seem that eventually everyone will get over these fears, but even some middle aged professionals are drudging away at unhappy jobs just because they are afraid to change cities or departments or their circle which career advancement will force them to do. Management of pocket money importance of choosing the right friends, deciding what clubs to join are just some of the decisions that they make early which in turn have a reflection on their future.
Schedules and Routines
The children at boarding school also get more time to learn and study as compared to home as their routines are quite regimented and controlled. Also, as they do not have to waste time commuting to school and back and are not disturbed by sudden appearances of relatives, neighbors or other distractions which make life at home so interesting.
Boarding schools generally have good sports programs and facilities. This is done in order to give the children a kind of outlet for their juvenile energies. Children heading back home after a long day at school rarely get to participate in such activities.
Children from boarding schools are also good at making friends outside their immediate circle and better judge of people they don’t know, as they learn at very early stages that everything a person says or does cannot be trusted.
Children living alone learn about financial independence and planning. They learn to save money to achieve goals and spend wisely to last them through the month as most of the boarding schools are quite strict with monthly allowances the children can have.
2. How to overcome the accompanying challenges
However, beyond these benefits lies a thin layer of ambiguity influenced by what we sometimes hear or see movies and serials depicting. But that comes in at a new school, college, job or even in family set ups as we grow up. What is so delightful about the boarding experience is that it prepares you for a lot of challenges that come in later very early in your life.
Firstly, no matter what the school administration will have you believe, there will be some sort of an ice-breaker between newcomers and existing students of one kind or the other. The children in most cases do learn to deal with these independently and in other cases the motivational conversations with wardens and other staff often helps in students dealing with these with a lot of maturity as opposed to what is depicted on television.
Each school carries an approach and philosophy. This underlines how the social environment of the school is going to be for the years to come. As a parent, you need to try to match this philosophy with your own. If a school offering a blend of weekly and full boarding is something you would like please opt for it. If a school focusing a lot on academics is your goal try to find one like that. If a school where most students come from outside the country is not what you are looking for, try a different school option. If a school has a single gender student approach and you are looking for co-ed, find that option. While the boarding school will definitely be responsible for shaping your child’s future, choosing the right school is your responsibility.
Homesickness is another aspect which needs to be thought about. While eventually most of the children will get over the homesickness, it will be the first major festival after they have joined which will be the hardest. Treating them with letters or savories by courier or visits by local guardians can help overcome this feeling. While all boarding schools give an annual schedule, planning visits in and around this time is a great thing to do.
Emotions with family
Family disaffection can happen and is a very real possibility. Children who are sent to boarding school might eventually feel disconnected to their families and become separated. You need to be very clear about the reasons you are sending your child to a boarding school. The calls made home are very crucial for the children, as they are controlled by time and availability of the shared phone. Ensure these calls are not missed and emails that are exchanged are heavy in content reiterating how much you love the child and how fruitful this boarding experience is going to be.