Parents always want the best for their children. From how to discipline them to choosing the best education, there is no shortage of decisions to make (or drama to endure) when you’re a parent. Particularly when it comes to education, the future implications of that choice can be enormous. The way you choose to educate your kids will affect every other aspect of their lives, from their circle of friends, to their career, spouse, and values.
The importance of education to their kids’ future leaves many parents stressed out and confused over how to go about it. Because of the difficult environment today’s kids are forced to grow up in, many religious parents choose to send their kids to religious-based schools that support their beliefs. For many Christians, this means sending their sons or daughters to a Christian boarding school for at least part of their education. If you think this might be the right decision for your family, how do you know which Christian boarding school is best? Here are a few steps you might consider going through:
1. Find some schools. You may choose to stick to schools in your geographic area, or you might decide to look further out. Find school websites, read the FAQ’s or take an online tour. Look for testimonials and make sure you understand the programs for both academics and religious study. When you find a school, bookmark the website or jot it down.
2. Start filtering. Grab your list and discuss each school with your son or daughter. Look at how academic and religious subjects are taught. Let them see the locations, facilities, and extra-curricular options. Also consider school size, whether you want a gender-specific or co-ed environment, and whether your student has a good chance of being accepted. You should be able to narrow the list down to a handful of about 5 schools.
3. Pay a visit & interview. Visiting the schools on your short list is important to get a feel for the location, meet some of the people, and have your child go through the interview. This step will help you discern whether the schools you’re considering are really an appropriate fit. Be sure to write down plenty of questions you’d like to ask beforehand.
4. Take the tests & apply. Your student may be required to take the SSAT and/or ISEE. There may also be an essay or other writing to do. Help your child prepare to do well on these tests. Keep in mind that each school you apply to may administer their own religious test or have other admission requirements. When considering tuition costs, think about for financial aid or scholarships, both of which are most likely available.
Overall, staying organized and doing your “homework” early can be immensely helpful in your search for a Christian boarding school.