Moving Your Child to a New School
Moving your child to a new school can be a big decision. Moving? Switching from home school to public school? Has your child been accepted at a new private or charter school? Here are tips to make moving your child to a new school go smoothly.
First, should you move your child during school holidays to avoid disrupting their education? This is not always possible, and can actually be more detrimental to your child. When school starts again, everyone is excited and nervous, and that may make your child feel even more like a stranger. On the other hand, moving mid-year has the following benefits:
- Your child goes from one social atmosphere to another.
- The teacher and other kids can go out of their way to welcome your child.
- Your child has to adapt quickly to a new schedule and they will not have as much time to dwell upon what was left behind.
- There are more opportunities to make friends in a school setting.
But regardless of when you move, your child will likely be affected emotionally. Your child’s age may determine how they are affected. Children who are younger usually have an easier time transitioning. School-age children dwell on whether they will make new friends and if they will like their new school. Teenagers hate leaving behind friends. Some parents decide it is better to let their teenagers stay with family or friends to finish out school years or even high school careers. This is an individual decision but the following questions can help determine the correct path to take:
- Is there someone trustworthy your teenager can stay with?
- Will your teenager do better academically at the old school?
- Will leaving your teenager behind make it hard for other siblings?
Finally, prepare your child to move to a new school by being involved and making it fun. Here are some additional tips:
- Make the move an adventure. If you are excited, chances are they will be more excited.
- Talk about the move and what will happen exactly. Keep communication flowing so your child does not feel left out.
- Say goodbye to friends and classmates. Ask if the child can have a goodbye party at school.
- Visit the new school. Walk or drive the route to help your child become comfortable traveling to the new school.
- Get your child involved in extracurricular activities as soon as possible. Ideally put your child into the same activities they were involved with at their old school.
When you actually move, involve yourself in their school. If possible, volunteer at the school so that you will be a familiar and available presence as your child transitions into their new surroundings. Remember that keeping touch with old friends via email or mail can also encourage your child to feel loved and at home. Making new friends will then hopefully come easily and they will soon feel as comfortable at their new school as they did at their old school.