Featured TCKs

Featured Parents: Why boarding school?

Ever wonder why some missionary parents opt for boarding school? Who better to ask than the parents themselves?

Below are responses from 5 parents I know who chose to send their children to boarding school when they were serving as missionaries in East Asia.

Note: This post is not meant to suggest one method of schooling is better or worse than another.  It is simply meant to offer perspective and insight.

1987 Feb Mishes and children at airport for Chefoo sendoff.jpg
Missionary families wait together in the airport for the flight that will take their children to their boarding school (1987).


So, Why did you choose to choose boarding school?

  • Homeschooling did not work out, we became [the] only people our son related to, we were his parents, teachers and friends. After a draining homeschool session he wanted to play lego with us. Every year we reviewed what the best option was for our family; we asked the people around our kids for input and later we asked our kids as well. Each year we concluded that boarding was the best option for us as a family even though it was hard on us parents.”


  • Home schooling with our oldest son was never easy. We never saw this as a permanent option. And by the time he was ten, most of his Thai friends were too busy to play, so our son was brimming very lonely. International School and mission boarding home became the best option for him. He wanted to go.”


  • “1. There was no English medium school in the area where we were serving/living. 2. We were happy to find a Christian school (GIS) taught by missionary teachers in 4 hours drive from where we lived. Fortunately OMF has a dorm where our children could live, a safe place where we do not need to worry so much”


  • “We chose Chefoo School for the boys because it seemed like such an awesome fun place for a superior quality education where they could also learn and enjoy life with all the kids of our Thailand missionary co- workers, and it was the only option for schooling we knew of. We also felt our kids were safe with their various sets of dorm parents, whom we respected and trusted to be awesome, loving, surrogate Christian parents in our absence as we would have been with their kids. Sending our kids away was the absolute hardest thing about missionary life, being willing to trust God to care for them and educate them away from us”


  • “We did home schooling until high school started, the reason we chose a boarding situation was because we believed our kids were missing out socially (all the Thai kids were busy with extra curricular activities), then we weren’t teachers ourselves so a ‘proper’ school would round out the kids education much better, (in hind sight it may have been more healthy to send our kids at the start of high school (meaning year 7 in Aussie lingo-the start of middle school) but who knows? so the social aspect was the first reason and then for a better education (even though the home school stuff was excellent that we were using)”
These comments only represent the experiences of 5 parents.  I hope to learn from more parents in the future about their experiences sending their children to boarding school.
Stay tuned in the next month to hear more about boarding school for Third Culture Kids, including testimonies from those who have attended boarding school themselves!

3 thoughts on “Featured Parents: Why boarding school?”

  1. Good article Harm….obviously we were the oldest of the parents with minimal access to other types of education.

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