Delphian School: Should You Choose Day or Boarding School for Your Child?


“Day or boarding?”

This is one of the more difficult questions facing any parent getting ready to enroll a child in private school. It’s a deeply personal one as well, and one that only parents themselves are qualified to answer.

We asked Delphian School, which offers both options, for advice to help parents pick what works best for their child.  

Benefits of Day School

“Day school” refers to a non-residential K-12 program where the student returns home at the end of the school day (including any extracurricular activities). The benefits of this approach include:

  • Your child can stay at home each night. Sooner or later, most children leave home for good, but some parents wish to delay that reckoning. And that’s okay.
  • Lower travel expenses. With the average cost of a domestic plane fare soaring to almost $400, flying your child (or yourself) to school and back home multiple times per year gets expensive quickly. Day school greatly reduces travel expenses to and from school.
  • You can participate more in your child’s learning. Hands-on learning strategies are increasingly in vogue at boarding schools, but perhaps you’d like to take a lead role in your child’s learning at home as well. This is easier to accomplish when they’re home each evening and weekend.

Benefits of Boarding School

“Boarding school” refers to a residential K-12 program where the student lives on campus during the school week, and in many cases on weekends as well. Students may return home for breaks throughout the year and over the summer.

The benefits of boarding school include:

  • An opportunity to build character and independence. It’s okay to feel nervous about sending a young child off to boarding school. However, many parents find comfort in the knowledge that doing so helps build character and independence at a young age. These attributes will serve them well as they grow. 
  • The chance for a more immersive curriculum. Boarding school programs may offer more immersive learning opportunities, including day and overnight trips to places your child wouldn’t be able to visit from home.
  • A stepping stone to college. Sending your child to boarding school could be an important first step in preparing them for college, even if that’s years in the future.
  • More time to focus on supporting younger children and other family members. If you have several young children at home, sending older ones to boarding school can help free up resources to support them as they develop.

The Best of Both Worlds?

A significant number of residential schools, including Delphian School, offer a day option for students who live nearby. While “mixing and matching” generally isn’t allowed, individual school policies may allow for students who live nearby to switch from day to boarding (or vice versa) before the start of a new school year. 

If this flexibility is important to you as a parent, or you want your child to have the experience of attending a boarding school without actually leaving home for weeks at a time, a combined day and boarding school could be the best choice for your family. Keep in mind, too, that your child’s needs and your preferences as a family may change as your child grows up. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing your child’s school feels like a big deal because it is. It’s a choice every parent hopes to make as few times as possible for each child. In an ideal world, once before kindergarten or pre-kindergarten, perhaps perhaps once before high school, and once before college.

The “day vs. boarding” question is an important one to answer early in this process, but there are others to keep in mind as well. So, if you feel overwhelmed by the process itself or by the sheer number of school options available to you, reach out for guidance to parents who’ve gone through it before. While no one parent has all the answers, there really is wisdom in crowds. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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