Combating Homesickness at Boarding School

Having recently returned to boarding school, some kids may be finding it hard to readjust to being away from home after the summer, or adjusting to their new environment if it’s the first term they’re to spend away.

Phone Calls

Many people make the mistake of thinking daily phone calls are the answer to homesickness. While this is advisable in the first week your child is back at boarding school, you should gradually start phoning less often to give them space and allow them to become more independent. Most schools also have rules regarding mobile phone calls.

Instead, arrange a set call time each week so your kid has something to look forward to and so that it doesn’t interfere with any other activities.


Your wee one is neither the first nor the last pupil to suffer from homesickness at boarding school. Therefore you should trust the staff to be able to deal with it in a professional manner. What you can do is to provide support and encouragement.

Boarding schools boast plenty of after school clubs and activities from debating to sports. Help your child pick something to match his or her interests, and this should make it easier to find likeminded people and form new friendships upon arrival at the school.

Close friends are guaranteed to be able to take his or her mind off home and the people left behind. Remember, given the opportunity, most children flourish in a new environment.

Ideas for Cheering Your Child Up

A simple but effective cure for temporary homesickness is to send a parcel full of home comforts you know your child will appreciate. It could be his or her favourite sweets, magazines, a homemade treat, or a piece of clothing. There are no limits to creativity and only you know your child well enough to know what to send.

If you think your child is really feeling down, you might want to consider paying them a visit. This should be arranged with staff at the school as other activities could have been scheduled. Make the visit memorable by treating your child to a meal or a spot of shopping. Many independent schools Scotland and the rest of the UK are set in picturesque locations outside cities so you could also just spend a day discovering the area on foot. A hike in the fresh air and a chat with mum or dad might just be the best cure for homesickness ever.

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