We offer English language family homestays with the chance to explore Scotland, for children aged 10 to 18.
We also offer longer homestays for children people who would like to attend school – either state or private. If you are interested in a long homestay, please send an email or enquiry form.
We accommodate a maximum of 3 children. If your child is happy to share a room, they will share only with a child of the same sex.
We aim for total English immersion during your child’s family homestay.
Our English language and activities programme
We offer a two-week programme. This includes:
- Daily trips or activities around central Scotland
- Your child will be treated as part of our family, eating all meals with us, etc.
- English lessons are available – it is your choice.
It is sometimes possible to offer a one-week family homestay – please ask.
We aim for:
- a significant improvement in your child’s confidence in understanding and speaking English.
- a really enjoyable holiday, which will give your child an insight into Scotland and the British way of life.
- your child may well gain independence and pick up some new skills along the way.
We recommend 10 hours of English lessons a week. But this is not right for every child and they do not need to have English lessons if they don’t want to.
If you want to book English lessons, then when you fill in our Enquiry Form, please specify the number of lessons and tell us about your child’s level of English, and any aspects of English that you would like them to focus on during their stay.
When your child arrives for their English family homestay, we will give them a short test to check their level of English and any areas of weakness. English Lessons will be adapted to suit their level of English and any requests that you have made. Lessons will only be shared (maximum 3 children) where ability levels are similar.
English lessons are designed to be different from the textbook method that some children may be used to at school, to take advantage of the small number of learners, and the many resources we have available. The focus is on having fun with English, in order to develop the confidence and ability to communicate effectively. There is plenty of time for one to one help, tackling difficulties with grammar, etc. Language learning is of course not restricted to lesson times, but continues throughout the day.
Lessons and homework that we choose from include:
- researching the answers to a general knowledge quiz
- writing a letter home in English
- preparing for and taking part in a debate or role play
- preparing a presentation
- the film of the book – read the book, watch the film, discuss
- listening comprehension based on tv and radio programmes and audio-books
- performing a monologue or duologue
- reading a play together
- learning a famous poem
- writing an application for a summer job or university entrance, then taking part in an interview
- playing our large collection of language focused games.
- children are encouraged to read a book during their stay.
Trips and activities
When you book your child’s English family homestay, please let us know which trips and activities your child would prefer. We aim to provide at least one trip or activity every day.
Every two-week family homestay includes a full day in Highland Perthshire. Under an hour from where we live, this is one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, and a great introduction to the Scottish Highlands. Hills, lochs (lakes), rivers, moorland. Enjoy the famous Birks Walk (great waterfalls). There’s the chance to swim in a river or lake, or for an extra charge to take part in a whitewater rafting trip.
We also spend a full day visiting the beautiful city of Edinburgh. There are a lot of interesting sights and activities to choose from there. For instance, the popular Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, the National Museum of Scotland. If your child’s family homestay is during the three-week Edinburgh International Festival in August, we will take them to some of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe events. This is the largest arts festival in the world.
Other possible trips and activities will be chosen based on children’s preferences and the weather, and can include:
- A Highland Games (dates dependent, but once seen never forgotten)
- Stirling Castle and Argyll’s Lodging
- Stirling Ghostwalk
- Climb the Wallace Monument – Stirling’s equivalent of the Eiffel Tower – and learn about the great William Wallace
- Linlithgow Palace
- Doune Castle
- Drummond Gardens
- Comrie – pretty riverside village with spectacular hill walking and famous waterfalls
- Comrie Croft – to hire mountain bikes and try out the purpose-built runs
- Red kite feeding (birds of prey)
- Fire building, cooking supper over the fire on a riverbed
- Wild raspberry picking (July to August)
- River or lake bathing
- Ice skating
- Pottery painting
- Mini golf
- Real golf for those who know how
- A golf lesson – various locations, including the world-famous Gleneagles
- Crieff town quiz
- Swimming pool with flumes and currents
- Cinema trip
- Theatre trip
- Scottish Evening – cook and eat a traditional Scottish meal, and enjoy the songs and poems of the great Robert Burns as you eat
- Chinese Banquet Evening – cook and eat a delicious Chinese meal, and see how you score in our chopsticks challenge
- Games evening
- Demonstrate your national cuisine – if you’d like to bring a favourite recipe with you, and to cook it for us, or show us how
- Traditional English birthday party with games and races in the park, if anyone is celebrating a birthday (or just for the fun of it)
- There are often one-off events, e.g. local concerts, ceilidhs (Scottish country dancing evening), or talks
- If you play an instrument and can bring it with you, we will organise an informal family concert