How to Help the Kids Adjust to a New School

Moving is fraught with perils. You have to worry about getting all of your stuff to your new location, disconnecting and reconnecting utilities, and in some cases dealing with your new state’s DMV. The last thing you want to worry about, though, is how your kids will adjust to their new school.

General Tips for Switching Schools

One of the best things you can do for your child when switching to a new school is to start off at the beginning of the school year. Even though the other kids have probably known each other for quite some time, they’re adjusting to many new things – new teachers, new focuses in their studies, and their cool new clothes.

If it’s possible, plan your move at a time that allows your kid to start at his or her new school at the beginning of the school year. It will make the adjustment much easier.

Tips for Kids in Elementary School

Kids transitioning to a new elementary school usually have it the easiest. They’re still young enough to quickly and easily make new friends, and they probably haven’t become too attached to their old friends. The best thing you can do for kids in grades K-5 is to help them get excited about their new school, and to be on the lookout for opportunities for them to hang out with their new friends.

Tips for Kids in Middle School

If you have kids in junior high, you’ll find that the transition can be a little more traumatic for them. Make sure you encourage your kids to get involved with any after-school activities they might be interested in. This will help them find other children with whom they share interests, meaning they’ll make friends that much sooner.

Tips for Kids in High School

Good luck! In all seriousness, though, there’s little you can do to console your high-school-aged children when it comes time to move to a new school, especially if it’s the first time they’ve ever moved. They’re already fondly attached to all of their old friends, and this move may seem like the end of the world to them.

As with kids in middle school, encourage your child to get involved in any after school activities they might be interested in. Be supportive in helping them make new friends by allowing them to invite their new friends over after school. This also gives you an opportunity to get to meet their new friends and their parents.

It also helps if you work with your child to pick his or her classes, focusing on those classes that seem the most exciting. Many high schools offer plenty of classes outside of the “core four” (math, English, science, and social studies) that your child will be excited to take.

Ultimately, your goal should be to help your child identify all of the positive aspects of moving to a new school. Let them know that you understand just how difficult the transition can be, but reassure them that they’ll adjust to the new school in time.

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