How to Get Your Child Ready for a New School Year After a Big Move
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Guest post by Joyce Wilson
Being the new kid at school is one of life’s roughest tasks. Moving to a new town is also hard. So when your child has to move and start fresh at a brand new school you can assume there is going to be an adjustment period, to say the least. There are ways to help the transition go more smoothly, however. Here are some tips.
Keep your child learning through the transition period
Whether you’re moving during the school year or during the summer, there’s going to be anywhere from a fews weeks to a few months of downtime between your child leaving their old school and starting at the new one. It’s important that you keep your child mentally engaged in learning. There’s nothing worse than being behind when starting a new school. Help get them ahead of the curve. Talking to your child’s new teacher about what lessons you can help with is one way, or you can try to sneak in some fun educational experiences that your child will love.
Give them a headstart on making new friends
We all know the feeling of walking into somewhere new and not knowing anybody. It’s a scary feeling. A new school is way more intimidating if you feel alone. That’s why it’s so important that you give your child opportunities to meet new friends as soon as possible. One way to do this, as Redfin.com, suggests, is to explore your new neighborhood with your child. This way, they can meet other children that live close by. Frequent local parks, playgrounds, and libraries. You can also scope out sports teams, clubs, and other social activities in your new town in advance and have your child ready to dive in as soon as you make the move.
Let them get involved in prepping for the first day of school
One way to instill confidence in your child is to let them play a role in the school prep. As Pathways.org says, letting them choose their own school supplies can give them a boost. Allow your child to pick out a new backpack, lunchbox, clothes, and supplies.
In the end it’s you that’s going to be responsible for managing your child’s school responsibilities, making sure they are invested and involved, and helping them transition quickly and smoothly. Get organized. Make sure you are signed up for school messaging services like newsletters and email lists. Know everything there is to know about your child’s new school by studying its websites and talking to administration. Know the contract info (email and phone number) of everyone important to your child’s success – teachers, principals, guidance counselors, coaches, and the parents of other children in your child’s classes.
Understand but don’t encourage apprehension
Your child needs to know that it’s perfectly ok to feel nervous about going to a new school in a new city, but this doesn’t mean you should try to protect them at all times. You can be understanding without encouraging behaviors that could make them more socially isolated. Don’t let them skip out on school or social events because they are nervous. Encourage participation.
Transition is hard – especially for a child. As a parent it’s your job to make sure they get a headstart on learning and socialization. You must also stay organized and involved. It’s on you to know everything that’s going on with your child’s new experience and to know what opportunities are out there for them. In the end, be patient with your child’s apprehension but do not encourage them to become isolated in an attempt to “protect” them. Encourage involvement in their new school and social scene.