Make Changing Schools Easier for Your Child
Moving is an adventure for families, but it also brings challenges. One of the biggest challenges for children when making a household move is changing schools. Here are some tips for making changing schools easier for your child.
Become Excited Rather Than Anxious
Often outlooks change when we change our perspective. For example, anxiety is essentially excitement, but with the extra fear that something will go wrong. Sit with your child and talk about their fears and how you'll work together to help the transition go smoothly.
Talk with your child about all the new opportunities the new school can offer. Work to change the images in your child's head from what can go wrong to what can go right. Tour the school with your child before they begin to gain familiarity and relieve anxiety — research the extracurricular activities at the new school that your child may find exciting and anticipate.
Make Space for Grief
Create a space to grieve what has been lost. Leaving behind old teachers, friends, routines, and schools is sad. Encourage your child to discuss their sadness with you or their friends. Often children will be able to move forward only after they grieve what has been left behind.
Move During the Summer if Possible
Adjusting to a new school is easier if you move before the academic year starts rather than mid-year. If you must move mid-year, be sure to sort your paperwork ahead of time and find resources to help your child deal with being the "new kid." If you have back-to-school traditions you typically do before a new year begins, do them before this new experience, as well.
Prepare for the Learning Transition
Talk with teachers at your child's old school about where they are academically and socially. What skills and knowledge have they mastered? Where will their new school expect them to be? Finding out what gaps exist ahead of time will help you know what support your child might need in the new school.
Be Honest With Teachers About Needs
Have candid conversations with your children's teachers about the support your child might need to perform well in the new school. If the new school understands what gaps exist, they can provide the necessary support. Also, ask for any feedback from the teacher about how the child is progressing.
Keep the Communication Lines Open
Constantly communicate with your children about how they are doing in the new school. Empathize with their feelings. Prioritize spending time with your kids doing activities as a family.
Keep Paperwork Straight
Research the school ahead of time to find out what records you need. Often schools require immunization records as well as copies of current school work and curriculum. Give these to the school ahead of time so that your child starts off right the first day.
Maintain Old Friendships
Let your child know that you will help them maintain the friendships they made at the old school. Plan a visit back to your old neighborhood after the move, if possible. If children are old enough, reaching out on social media is one way to maintain connections. Encourage your child to make friends at their new school, too.
Focus on the Family
Let us help ease moving stress while you focus on helping your children make the transition. Contact us for a free moving quote.