If your family has relocated to a new town this summer, your child(ren) will likely be heading to a new school in a few weeks. Moving can be tough for kids. Leaving friends, a school and teachers they know behind can be difficult. Here are some tips for helping them to get comfortable with their new school.
- Visit the school. The school office should open a few days before school officially starts. Take your child on a tour of the school. Let them see their new classroom, the cafeteria, playground etc.
- Verify transportation. If your child will be walking or taking the bus, show them where they will be going or getting picked up and figure out what time you will have to leave the house to be on time. If you will be driving, practice the route.
- Meet neighborhood kids. It is likely that there will be some kids nearby that will be on the same bus and attend the same school. Host a housewarming party for your neighbors to meet everyone or go door to door to introduce yourself and your family.
- Find activities. If your child played a sport or did an activity in their old town, find similar things to do in their new town. Join a sports team, take a dance or art class, join a community center, attend church. Getting involved will help them meet kids with similar interests.
- Encourage talking. If your child is upset about the move they may be quiet or withdrawn. Ask them about their day and encourage them to share any concerns, worries, nerves, stresses that they may be feeling.
- Allow social time. Once they meet new school friends or friends at their activities, encourage play dates or sleepovers.
- Enjoy treats. On the first day of school surprise your child with a special lunch, sweets after school, or a fun note in their backpack.
- Be prepared. Make sure they have everything they need for success. Go shopping for new clothes, purchase school supplies and get everything organized and ready for the first day.
After a big move, it will take time for the whole family to adjust to their new home, school and life. Continue to support your child during the adjustment and do what you can to make them feel at home.