7 Tips to Help your Kids Adjust to Their New School (After a Move)
Moving your family to a new province, city or even neighbourhood can be stressful, especially for your kids. Not only are they moving away from their home and friends, but they’re also moving away from their school.
While change isn’t always easy, there are a number of things parents can do to make the transition easier. Here are seven tips to help your children adjust to their new school:
Plan to Move at the “Right” Time
Taking kids away from their friends and teachers in the middle of the school year can make the transition that much more difficult. If possible, allow your kids to finish off the year and move during the summer when they can take the opportunity to explore their new neighbourhood, meet new kids and mentally prepare for the upcoming school year. If this isn’t possible, visit the neighbourhood beforehand so they can at least become accustomed to the new environment.
Take a Tour
Request to take a tour of the school during the day to help your kids view where their classrooms will be, who their teachers are and even where the lunchroom and restrooms are. Seeing where and who they will soon be spending their days will help your kids feel more confidant and comfortable on their first day.
Make the transition as easy as possible by ensuring all necessary paperwork is filled out and submitted and your children arrive on their first day with all of the required supplies (notebooks, pens, pencils, lunch, recess snack, etc.).
Listen to Their Concerns
It’s normal for kids to feel anxious and scared about attending their new school. Keep communication open and let them know you understand their worries and concerns. Let them know this isn’t something they need to go through alone.
Talk about the positive aspects the new school has to offer with your kids. Have them identify the things they like such as nice teachers, fun activities, and the potential new friends. Focusing on the positive aspects of a new school helps to ease negative feelings and longing for the old school.
Encourage Extracurricular Activities
Encouraging your children to join extracurricular activities will help ease the pressure and fear to fit in. Your kids will have an increased opportunity to feel like a part of the school community and provide them the opportunity to meet and socialize with other kids outside of a classroom setting.
Create a Welcoming Home
Your kids have been uprooted from their home as well as school. The first day will be especially nerve wracking and so it’s important to ensure they have a welcoming home to come back to. If time allows, unpack most of the boxes, set up their rooms and have their favourite snack waiting. Make the first day more like a celebration and an opportunity to relax and talk about their first day.
Adjusting to a new school after a move can be a nerve-racking experience, but taking an active role to help ease any anxiety and fear your kids may have will help make the transition easier and less stressful for everyone.