Starting a new school can be very intimidating. You leave behind your friends and the school community you already knew. You get thrown into all new classes, all new people, and a brand new building where you don’t know where anything is.
Being the new kid is never easy, but there are ways you can help make the adjustment easier! Here are the best tips to prepare to start a new school after a move.
Talk about it:
Make sure to talk to your child about how they are feeling before and after a move. You want to make sure they fully understand why you are moving and why they have to change schools. They still might not be excited about it, but you’d be surprised how much better they might feel after the talk. Listen to how they are feeling and try to help them work through it. Being mentally prepared for the first day of school is just as important as being psychically prepared.
Try to Move During the Summer:
Starting a new school in September with the rest of the other kids is a lot easier. Why? Because it’s a lot easier to blend in with everyone on the first day back after a long summer break than it is to just jump in during the middle of the school year. Moving during the summer lets your child finish the year at their old school and then start fresh in the fall at their new school. If you move at the beginning of the summer, it also gives you the chance to send your child to summer camp in the area which might result in them making some local friends that might ease the transition.
Encourage them to keep in contact with their old friends:
Be open to helping your child stay in contact with their old friends. Technology has made this a lot easier than it used to be. There are so many ways to stay in touch with people today from video chats, phone calls, texts, and emails…. you name it. Think about fun ways to try and get them talking to their friends. If you only moved a few hours away, maybe plan a weekend visit for your child’s friends to come over for a visit. Sometimes showing them how easy it really is to get in touch with someone will make them feel better.
Help them make new friends:
There is always a lot going on in your home right after a move. You have a lot to unpack and it takes time to get your home looking and feeling the way you want it too. It’s easy for you to not want to have to entertain playdates or have teens coming to hang out in your home, but it would help out a lot. If your child has started to make friends at school and wants to try to set something up, make an effort to make it work. If you really don’t want anyone in your home, plan a trip to the park, the movies, or the mall instead!
Find out about local teams and clubs:
You can help your child find other kids that share the same interests that they have. It could be as simple as signing them up for your local travel soccer team or art class, but it will help them get introduced to some more local kids. Before you know it, they might have a whole support system of friends behind them.
Talk with their school about the transition:
Schools deal with these kinds of transitions all the time and might have some helpful insight on how to make things easier. They will make sure you and your child have all the information they need to comfortably start on their first day. Something as simple as going on a school tour prior to actually starting class might ease your student’s anxiety for the first day.
Starting a new school in a new town can be hard, but with a little bit of planning, you can help make it easier!
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