Tips for Moving During the School Year: How to Help Your Kids Adjust to a New School
Most children (and parents) get a little nervous when they have to transition to a new school in the middle of the school year. There are worries over making friends, who they will sit with at lunch and if they will feel “cool” enough. While you can’t magically take away all the worries and bumps, here are nine tips to help your child with a positive transition.
Schedule a Practice Run
Make sure you can tour the school and walk your child’s schedule with them. At summer orientation, other students have this opportunity, so speak up and request it for your child. Knowing where the cafeteria, gym, lunchroom, and locker are can add a boost of confidence to the first day.
Discuss Other Successful Firsts
Think back over all the first your child has tackled with ease. The first day of preschool, the first day of sports practice, the first time they rode a two-wheeler — there are sure to be plenty. Discuss how they felt before each of these activities and talk about the positive outcomes.
Some children may only be excited, but the majority will have some worries about diving into a new school. Allow them to talk through them. You can also offer some opportunities for role play or read some books about what could happen on the first day.
Get Involved Yourself
Involved parents are generally better informed and connected to what’s going on with their children at school. Jump in and see how you can help the PTA, the teacher in the classroom or the administration in the office. You can build a strong relationship that will only help your child’s transition.
Assume there will be an adjustment period and some bumps along the way. It can take a few weeks for your child to find the right group of friends for them, and there may be some hurt feelings due to being the new kid. Encourage your child to talk about their feelings and brainstorm ways that the next day could be better.
Chat About the Positives
Do some research on the new school and make a list of the positive things. Is your child excited to be a part of the Rubiks Club? Or maybe drama club and fields trips are what gets them excited. Take some time to focus on what’s unique and exciting about their new school.
Get a Healthy Start
Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep the night before and heads out of the house after a healthy breakfast. Don’t forget a nutritious snack!
Celebrate the Day
While you may typically only have special traditions on the first day of the actual school year, go ahead and observe those traditions after the first day at the new school, too. You’ll give your child something to look forward to and provide time to reconnect and chat about their day. Whether it’s going for ice cream, a round of mini golf or popcorn on the couch after a long day, it will be time well spent.
Chris Colgan is the CEO and Team Leader of the Chris Colgan Real Estate Team. Chris was born and raised in Gainesville, Virginia and has been in real estate for 10 years. He is a member of the Re/Max Hall of Fame and is in the top 25 for sales in the state of Virginia out of all Re/Max agents. He has been recognized as one of the United States’ and Canada’s Top 500 Marketing Experts by the National Association of Expert Advisors.