I’m reading a book right now that is centered around an elite boarding school in the Northeast. From my knowledge (that is all from pop culture) it seems stereotypical. Mostly wealthy kids. Lots of sweaters, khaki pants/skirts, uniforms, lots of sports that are different from the South (squash, crew, field hockey, lacrosse, etc.), rebellion, lots of drama, old buildings with lots of wood and cool architecture,and good story lines for movies.
Sometimes I wonder if I would have ever liked going to a boarding school. I mean, if money were no issue. Some of these boarding schools have tuition for one year that probably rivals what my 4.5 years of college cost. Part of it seems really cool. In some ways almost like going away to college as a 9th grader. I mean, think of some of the movies. Dead Poets Society, Toy Solidiers, School Ties, Rushmore, The Emporor’s Club, X Men, Harry Potter, Taps. And books like Jane Eyre, A Catcher In The Rye, and A Separate Peace.
Would I have enjoyed that? I know it would have been completely different from anything like Amory High School. I think I could have gone one of two directions (at least). But I could have been the guy who ended up being very quiet and just tried to take everything in, or I could have been the one who everyone knew because he talked too much a lot. It seems that there’s various moral pathways to choose too. Lots of opportunities for “new” experiences. Part of me looks back and thinks I would have really enjoyed the experience of being away and on my own like that.
But then I think to my own kids. What if they wanted to and somehow had an opportunity to go? Would I want my 14 year old daughter or son moving out of my home to live at least a day’s drive away for a semester at a time? Would I be willing to give away the responsibility of continuing to shape them and mature them in our own family ideals and beliefs? Give it away to strangers? That’s a heavy question. One I’m sure my wife would say “Heck no!”.
I’d say I think that I could handle going away to a school like that, but not sure I’d want my own kids to handle it. Plus, as a parent, I’d be giving up some fantastic years of sharing life together (even though I’d miss out on a lot of the teen drama.) And them sharing life w/ each other too.
So…if you’ve read this far: Would you have gone to a full time boarding school if you could? AND Would you consider sending your own children if they could attend?