So you moved this summer while school was out, and you’re getting settled into your new life, but now starting your child at a new school is creeping up. Between the move and starting at a new school, this is an exceptionally stressful time for them. How can you make the transition easier? Follow these few tips and get off on the right foot.
Practice and Play
Take your child to their new school one day this summer and let them play at the playground. Practice a school day by showing them how to get to the bus stop, and how to get back home. Get them some time to familiarize themselves with the route to school, and the playground itself. Walk through their school if possible and go from class to class just as they would during their school day. This can ease their stress getting to school and give them a start for playtime with their new classmates.
Confirm your registration status
Check in with the school to make sure you have all the requisite paperwork filled out. Do you have immunization record and medical forms turned in? How about emergency contact information? Make sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed ahead of time.
Meet the teachers
Some schools offer a “meet the teacher night” to allow you and your child to get a preview of the upcoming school year. If yours does this, take advantage! If it doesn’t, reach out to the school when you find out who their teacher will be and explain that your child will be a new student and wants to get a lay of the land. Meet with the teacher to introduce your child. Have them give you a tour of the school so your child can feel comfortable about where to go. Having a familiar face and a little knowledge of the school’s layout can make the first day—and the days leading up to—more comfortable.
Talk about curriculum
Different schools have different goals and expectations, so take a chance to talk with the new teacher about the differences. Get a gauge of any gaps there may be in the difference, and educate yourself so you can help your child overcome any difficult subjects. By informing the teacher of any differences, they can better utilize their resources to make sure your child is given every chance to succeed. Together, you can make a plan to maximize your child’s education.
This is perhaps the toughest part of changing schools. Chances are, your child left friends behind at their old school that they will miss, and new friends can make transitioning so much easier. Get involved in the neighborhood, or get your child involved in summer camps they’re interested in. This will get them connected to potential friends with similar interests and will go a long way when school starts.
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