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Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Old Aug 18th 2013, 4:44 pm
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Default Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Bit of an odd thread, and its not research, just purely personal interest.

I've always had an interest in the development of girls school stories - beyond the likes of Malory Towers I mean - into the realms of Elinor M Brent-Dyer, Angela Brazil, Jeanette Oxenham. still read the books today, as well as many critiques of them and how they fitted intio their era.

So while reading one this week where a mum had decided her daughter was now SEVEN and therefore more than old enough for boarding school I started thinking - what effect did this have on those kids years later? This isn't just the kids whose parents worked in India (for example) and sent their children home to school, but those in the UK in the 50s or even 60s who sent their small daughters away for months at a time.

An former partner of mine was sent to boarding school at 8, when his parents split up, he ended up being a "bad boy" of the school and never really knew where his home was - A - where his mum lived, B - where his Dad lived or C - the school - and the latter was the only stable place. He never knew where he would spend his holidays till the last minute, his parents moved, had new relationships etc, the school was "home".

I know we have a lot of posters who will have experienced the expat child lifestyle - we have a lot who have shared experiences of flying to various foreign climes for each school holiday, for instance.
Is anyone willing to share their views on the boarding school :"thing" - especially if you were sent away at a young age?
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Pollyanna, My experience may kind of count but maybe not. My late brother and I were placed into state when we were 5 and 3 for months. We were then told we were going on 2 week hol. Black taxi picked us up (remember it well was 1969) and I stayed in Harris Children's Orphanage/Home until 1982. My brother buggered off as soon as he turned 18. So if any more input and how affected us fits in with your topic. happy to write more..
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

I think there is a difference between being despatched to an orphanage and being shipped off to Cheltenham or Eton !
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

lol...
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Old Aug 18th 2013, 8:36 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

In my teens I had a boyfriend who was sent to boarding school at age 5 even though his parents lived about a mile away and didn't travel for work. He always felt like a 'mistake', seemed emotionally detached from his family and all in all quite disturbed. What a catch eh!

However a girlfriend of mine went at age 11 and describes it as the best decision her parents could have made. According to her, boarding school gave her bags of self-confidence and life-long friends.

I think it depends on the school climate and the child's family dynamics.
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Old Aug 19th 2013, 12:51 am
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

My siblings and I all went to boarding school in Europe. I was the youngest, and remember crying myself to sleep almost every night.

There was no sibling support in that my male siblings were in another 'house', and my sister had no interest in 'this snivelling kid'! I recall hearing an older student perving the head boy as he was walking across the quadrangle. I gained instant cred by pointing out that he was my brother!
I have no recollection of ever meeting with him at the school!

I suspect it was probably that experience that influenced how I think and behave today.

I became savvy: we used to get tuck boxes sent by parents. We were rationed this stuff. We decided to 'pool our resources' on a midnight feast-I as the youngest in the dorm was to be the wake upper. I got dragged out of bed at about 12.30 am with withering contempt!
Hold that thought...

We had a night Matron who was an utter harridan; she terrified me. She would point her finger toward me and bring it slowly down to right in front of her. When I got there quivering with fear, she would ask my name-even though she knew it. I could not remember it, I was so scared.

She caught us.
We all went to her office and were made to stand against the wall until we said sorry and we would never ever do it again. I recall the fear and the tears.
I don't know where my silent anger came from. One by one fairly quickly the others caved in. She seemed to delight in the fact that I was the one left.
It came to bite her on the bum!

We were discovered in the morning, she sleeping head on desk,-me slumped in a pile in my jammies.
I was taken to the sick bay, and cosseted and clucked over. We always had cocoa and sticky buns if we wanted them in morning break.
I had buckets of cocoa and buns until I nearly burst! it was luverly!

I played it to the hilt, and she lost her job because of so many incidents of cruelty.

Boarding school can be a good grounding or a bad one, as perhaps can the experience of those who have been in care. They have far more to cope with though.

EDIT: adding that our dorm was all 7-8 year olds.

Last edited by TheEmperorIsNaked; Aug 19th 2013 at 12:53 am. Reason: Clarify.
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Old Aug 19th 2013, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

My brother and I both went to boarding school for about 5 years. Started as full boarders as my farther serviced in the military. We would only see our parents at Christmas and the summer holidays. Cant say it was the best educational fertility, but we did have some amazing adventures. I think that's why our family find it so easy to live all over the world! Brother lives in Indonesia, parents live in Fuerteventura, Me Canada. If I had the money to send my girls to a good boarding school I would!
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Old Aug 21st 2013, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Originally Posted by scot47
I think there is a difference between being despatched to an orphanage and being shipped off to Cheltenham or Eton !

I actually lived in and worked at Eton, the boys were 13 years old (F blockers) when they came and had usually already been 'boarders' elsewhere since they were 5 years old.

The house holds 51 kids at a time, usually approx 10 of each age group, so the B blockers would be almost 18, terrifying to some of the littler kids!

The boys who hadn't been away from home before could be really clingy, which of course was like a red flag to some of the more confident kids!

The older boys were little gits at times, sneaking out of the house to go clubbin (my dog would bark from our cottage and the boys would have to climb back up the fire escape!). They had "Howlings" when they thought the were being unfairly treated - this always happened at midnight when all of the boys in every house would open their windows and Howl like wolves!

All in all, I think they were generally happy, some homesickness for sure but they're kept busy..
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Old Aug 22nd 2013, 7:33 am
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

We had our son's name down for boarding school at age 8 because at the time we thought we'd be living in remote PNG. Didn't turn out that way and neither did some of the other potential times when boarding school was a consideration because of possible work, however I'd have had no compunction about doing it and have every confidence that the boys would have done just fine.
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Old Aug 22nd 2013, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

My husband's family lived overseas, and they sent him to boarding school in northern UK aged 10- to get him in the right position for uni entrance at 18!!!

He did not enjoy it and being swarthy skinned he was a definite minority and so stood out like a sore thumb and not in a nice way. More 'foreign' kids joined as he was older but the foreigners were always lumped together.
He did not enjoy it and even today he does not deal with emotional upset well.
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Old Aug 27th 2013, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

Boarding School, British style is a relic of the days of the Empire when people were posted to distant parts of the Raj. No need for them ? Or do they continue in existence for other reasons ? Are they about ensuring the "Right People" run the country ?
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Old Jan 6th 2014, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Boarding school for young kids - 6,7,8 yrs old etc?

I went to boarding school from the age of 10 until I was 18. I did not enjoy it, I was teased and bullied a lot. As I only saw my parents at Easter, summer holidays and Christmas, I grew up not really knowing them and now even though 25 years have passed, I feel distant from my parents and even when I am away from home for weeks, I don´t miss them. Sorry to be harsh but that´s how I have felt for many years.
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