Macdonald House


Homesickness, Contact and Other Tips For the Parents of New Macdonald House Boarding Students:

Enrolment at a boarding school is often a boy’s first extended stay away from home. This first step into the unknown world is of great importance and must be a positive one!


Both you and your son should be aware that homesickness should be expected. It would be unusual for a boy not to miss his parents, his home, his pets, his room, etc. You may, therefore, expect his initial contacts with home to sound a bit unhappy. You should not become alarmed at this. Usually a child only connects with his family when he feels lonely during a lull in activity, and he often fails to convey to you that during the other hours of the day he has been busy and happy.

If your son is homesick, please notify us immediately. When speaking to him at such times, do not mention how much you miss him, nor how much fun he is missing at home. Please encourage your son to speak to his Housemaster, his Advisor, or one of the staff in the Admission Office if he if unhappy about anything at school. We will help him to straighten out any problem or worry…but he needs to tell us about it!

Contact with Home

It will likely be several days before you receive your first phone call, e-mail or letter from your son. You should at all times assume that no news is good news. (If anything were wrong, we would inform the parents as soon as possible). If anything upsets you in a letter or phone call you have received, please give your son’s Housemaster or Advisor the details so that they can do something about it. If you wish specific information about your son or his progress, please let us know what information you desire and one of the faculty or staff will give you an appropriate report.


A nurse is on call at the Health Centre on Campus at all times. Your son’s health history should be sent to the Health Centre before school begins. The more information you give us, the better we can handle a health concern (attach a note providing more detail if necessary

Things to Avoid:

Some parents are prone to make rash statements:

If you don’t like school we will come and get you. Even if you feel like this, avoid making such a promise.

You will probably be homesick. You should explain to your son that he can master his feelings and that the achievement of this is one of the reasons for going to boarding school. Please assure him that there will be people at the school who will look after him during his spell of homesickness, notably his Housemaster or Advisor.

We are going to miss you very much; we don’t know what we will do without you. Your dog goes to your room looking for you. You may telephone us any time you wish and reverse the charge. None of these statements encourage a boy to make the best of his new situation and should be discouraged.

While your Son is at School

Write frequent letters or postcards. It is more important to ‘get’ mail than to receive lengthy letters. Please do not include any unsettling news in your correspondence. Your son can do nothing about a crisis at home except worry about it. If there is an illness or death in the family, please call your son’s Housemaster or Advisor to let them know.

If you visit your son at school, do not be offended if he feels embarrassed or runs up to you and says: Hi! I must go now. Deep down he is very pleased with your visit. As you leave, make your departure quick and time it to coincide with the beginning of some activity or meal. It is best to leave your son in the care of his Housemaster or a family member if you think he may be upset after your departure.

The Role of the Housemaster and Advisor

If your son should experience any problems or needs to talk to an adult, tell him to go and see his Housemaster or Advisor as soon as possible. They are never too busy for him. You may rest assured that your son’s well-being is a top priority for all of us.



Director of Residentail Life:                              Mr. David Galajda at

Assistant Housemasters:                                   Mr. Jeff LaForge  at

                                                                                          Mr. Paul Totera at