5-day boarding and 7-day boarding are two important terms for families beginning their boarding school searches. The introduction of the terms usually prompts a head shaking moment followed by some reading- concluding with an “I see.”

Much In Common
Keep in mind that, both 5 and 7-day boarding programs are rooted in the benefits of boarding education and share almost everything in common.

In both approaches, students live on campus in residence halls, houses or dormitories. The school’s daily schedule of meals, classes, athletics, activities and study time provides a structured routine.

Boarding school structure drives the day- every event in a boarding school day has a time and a place. Whether it’s an all school meeting in the morning, a meal, and extracurricular club meeting or extra help appointment.

All activities have places in the schedule. Learning to move and transition from appointment to appointment is one of the great boarding school lessons.

No matter 5 or 7 day- boarding students receive the classic boarding school opportunities- full, busy days, adults involved in their living and learning, access to faculty and school resources as they need them- all wrapped in the chance to develop life-long friendship that come from living and working together.

7-Day Boarding
7-day boarding programs usually have classes 6 days a week- Monday through Saturday. On Wednesdays and Saturdays students attend classes until around noon with athletic events scheduled during these afternoons.

Weekends in a 7-day boarding program consist of Saturday night and Sunday concluding study hall Sunday night.

Most students are on campus and involved in school life all the time. Athletic and extracurricular commitments keep most students on campus during the weekends.

A programming board, activities director or dean schedules weekend trips and activities for Saturday night and Sunday during the day.

The campus tends to be quiet on Saturday night and Sunday. This quiet down-time give boarders time to rest, visit and catch-up on housekeeping and work.

Off campus weekends for 7-day boarding students tend to be infrequent. Scheduled school vacations provide time at home.

By function and necessity, students in 7-day boarding programs come to feel and think of their schools as a home.

5-Day Boarding
5-day boarding programs developed as nearby boarding families desired more weekend time together.

A hallmark trait of a 5-day boarding program is the five-day class week (no Saturday classes).

Students are free to leave Friday after classes, spending Friday and Saturday night at home with their family. If you play on an athletic team or have a weekend commitment as student, you are often free to go home for the weekend after the event.

A 5-day boarding program provides the opportunities of a traditional full-time boarding environment with the chance to remain connected to family and local friends.

The Difference is the Weekend
It comes down to the weekend and how close you live to school.

If you live close to school and want to participate in boarding life but still have the weekend at home, then 5-day boarding presents a great option.

If you live a great distance from school or want to the chance to be little more independent and dedicate yourself to boarding life, a traditional 7-day boarding program might be best for you.