Have you ever considered sending your kids to Boarding school ? I could not imagine ever sending mine, but after my recent experience of visiting a top-notch boarding school in India I have to admit, I am not completely closed to the idea (Well not exactly sold out, but 5% open to the idea)
My husband is a boarding school product. He does have a lot to complain about his early experiences away from home, however, he is of the strong opinion that boarding school to a great extend fosters unique social/personal development, a culture of collaboration and responsibility. I am one who was raised and nurtured in a well-protected loving home, hence the 'boarding school syndrome', presence of bullying and related issues worries me enough not to ever consider it for my kids.
My recent visit to Kodaikanal International School, a prestigious co-ed IB curriculum school in the hill ranges of South-India , opened my eyes to a new breed of Boarding schools. Set in many acres on a beautiful hillside, with stone structured architecture, excellent facilities for Academics, Arts, Drama, Sports and Music. This space aims to develop well-balanced adults who would go into the world to conquer and lead fulfilling lives.
We stayed in the campus and experienced hospitality of dorm-parents, staff and students. I could not believe how lovingly involved each dorm-parent was with the 12 kids they were responsible for. The kids had just returned back to school after their summer break and they ran into the loving arm of these parents and could not stop telling them stories of their trips and letting them know they were missed (I shed some secret tears. After all these amazing folks are filling in the shoes of parents in the best possible manner) We also got to experience a dedicated camp sight for the kids in the hills of Poondi. The place was one of the most scenic locations I have visited and was brimming with opportunities for adventure.
This school has good academic reputation and puts real emphasis on activities such as Arts, Drama/Music and Sports. What captivated me most was the fact that there were responsible people involved directly with the daily realities on campus understanding/meeting the needs of the kids.
The best part being the young ones entrusted to the school actually experience a warm family experience during their most impressionable years. If I ever change my mind and consider boarding-school for kids, this would be my first pick.