A new school year is always promising. A fresh start, new teachers, different classes…like the New Year itself, the start of a new school year holds plenty of potential. So much in fact, that you may be tempted to think it even holds the answer to your child’s pattern of academic or behavioral problems. You may even decide to postpone enrolling your teen in a boarding program in order to “wait and see” how they do during the first few weeks of the semester.
While this approach can work (a teen may make extra effort if he/she mistakenly perceives boarding school as a threat rather than a solution, for example) most of the time it only prolongs the inevitable. Worse still, it could even prevent your child from getting the help they need to make some positive life changes.
If you’ve considered enrolling your teen in a therapeutic day or boarding school, here are five reasons to enroll now – not wait for mid-semester:
- Same school, different year. Your child will certainly have matured over the summer, but if your teen has been labeled a “problem” in the past, they are likely to continue having difficulties as long as they are enrolled at that institution. After all, for all intents and purposes, the school’s policies and academic approach will remain the same.
- Escape the pressure of peer pressure. Just as the school’s philosophy and approach won’t change just because your teen is moving into a new grade level, neither will their peer group. And if your teen seems susceptible to unhealthy peer group influence, that’s probably not going to change until they are able to distance themselves from that group. And while that may sound simple enough, shifting social ties is an emotionally difficult experience for the most well-balanced teen.
- The chance for change. A new school year may promise a new start, but a new school environment (complete with new staff and new peers) can give your teen the space to be themselves – and to deal with specific academic or behavioral challenges in an environment specifically designed to offer the emotional, personal and classroom support they need. A caring boarding school community is designed to provide that support 24/7.
- Start the year on the right foot – and stay there. Boarding schools that cater specifically to the needs of students struggling with social, behavioral or academic problems provide support for parents and families, not just the individual student. Boarding schools also work hard to provide thorough, timely and consistent communication, progress reports and updates. They also offer the resources to foster a stronger, healthier, more positive relationship between you and your teen. Starting this process as soon as possible will help you and your teen start the new school year feeling positive and optimistic rather than trapped in a stereotype they feel unable to shake.
- Postponing enrollment could mean missing enrollment. Boarding enrollment fills up fast. The longer you wait before deciding to enroll your teen in a boarding program, the less chance you have of getting them into the program of your choice. By the time the school year starts, most boarding programs find their enrollment full – often with a waiting list. In fact, access to the best programs can be next to impossible once the school year has begun.
If you would like to talk to a counselor about how a boarding school could benefit your child, please fill out a contact form call (888) 972-7736