Why is Boarding School Good?

Student heading off to boarding school

This picture is the moment before my son and I left Asheville and headed for Arthur Morgan School a couple of weeks ago. It was another moment in my life where my heart broke wide open to make even more space for learning, growth, understanding, and gratitude.

Asa has just begun his seventh grade year and is transitioning to AMS after a challenging sixth grade year at the school he has attended since pre-k. It is not that the school he was attending changed. It is a place that we have all considered a second home for many years. It’s Asa that is changing. His love of being outside, his need to tinker and create and be busy, and the recognition that the pressures of a college prep school at the age of twelve were just too much for him all led me on the path to finding AMS.  

Students playing musicI spent the majority of last year asking myself why it wasn’t working for him in a more traditional school setting. Was it something I had done? What could I do differently? I spent HOURS with my stomach in knots thinking about him leaving home and what it would feel like for him to be away from me and his sister.

As I researched all of the potential options for Asa’s seventh grade year, I kept circling back to AMS. One of the main things that resonated with me was the emphasis on identity and finding your identity within a living, learning community of your peers. I am a single mom and adopted Asa at three months of age from Guatemala. Developing, understanding, and accepting his identity has been paramount in the past couple of years. 

Students in the garden

As I have searched to support him on this journey, I realized that the path to support lies in reaching out and helping him find his village. Now, I think he has.

It is all new and we are all adjusting to our new normal, but I can already hear in his voice over the phone how settled and at ease he is feeling. I can see in the photos the truth and depth of his smile. This transition is feeling right and I am grateful for Asa’s new village and the exploration and opportunity that lies ahead for him.

-Bess Bryan, Parent