Dragons Today Winter 2013-14 - page 6

6
i S S U e N O . 8
Not all Dragon boarders started out as boarders. For
many day parents there can come a stage when boarding
makes sense for the child and for family life – and with
the help of the school they make the change.
Dragons
Today
discussed the experience with some current ‘day
to boarding’ parents and children.
THE PARENTS’ VIEW
We hadn’t considered
boarding - our two older children
are day pupils at Oxford schools.
But our son is quite a bit
younger and loved the idea. We
both work full time, and travel
quite a bit, so the camaraderie
and constant activities in the
boarding environment appealed
strongly to our son. He became
a boarder after the Dragon
Pre-prep, and it has only been
positive for us all. We make
much more of the times he is at
home, he has some wonderful
friends and a new perspective
on family life through having
young children around in the
Boarding House. He is also
more self-sufficient and
organised as a direct result.
If and when to board is
totally dependent on the
child – some will be very
ready for it and some are
just not good candidates
for boarding. We would
say it must be a family
decision, including the
other siblings. For us, it
was a ‘no brainer’ and
our son has thrived.
John and Doulla Croft
We think boarding,
particularly at the Dragon, is
fantastic for children. It’s best
to start in Year 4 so they are
all in the same boat! Boarding
increases confidence and
independence as well as
learning to cohabit, compromise,
consider others and be
responsible for one’s own
belongings. Boarders absolutely
get the best out of the Dragon
experience and they become
busy, interesting and gregarious
people ready to grab any
opportunity with both hands.
Andrew and Genevieve Whipp
Our four children have been
at the Dragon since Reception.
The older two switched to
boarding in Year 6; we always
thought they might board at
senior school and wanted them
to try it in the cosier prep school
environment. Our instinct was to
wait but the school suggested this
might be a good starting point
because the houses are smaller;
it proved a good decision.
The change has been
really positive for our son and
daughter. We live close by and
are always bumping into them
when dropping off their younger
brothers or watching them in
matches. They
like spending their time with
their friends at school and then
coming home to slump.
The change was
straightforward and we soon
got into the swing of things. We
still have a very good family life
but a higher proportion of it is
quality time now. Boarding adds
to the children’s lives without
taking anything anyway - ours are
also so much more organised,
take fuller responsibility for their
belongings and their academic
work and are much more self-
reliant. Year 6 was the right time
for our children to switch but it’s
best to make individual decisions
- some could happily start earlier,
for others later or not at all.
Caroline and John de Bono
Boarding Dragons
Day To
Boarding:
Why Make
The Change?
Starting boarding in any
circumstances requires the
same things: the agreement
of parents, child and teachers
that it is the right choice.
Although boarding may
never have been considered
originally or been experienced
in the family previously, once
introduced to it (often by the
children themselves!) day
families come to appreciate
a host of advantages.
1,2,3,4,5 7,8,9,10,11,12
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