Tips for Starting a New School After Your Move
Moving to a brand new city can be difficult for anyone, but especially for school-aged children. If your family has recently moved, these are great tips to help your kids acclimate to a new school.
Preparation for Moving with Kids
Start the conversation early with your children when you decide you are planning to move. Giving them as much time to process the change and having open and honest conversations about what the move means will help in easing the transition.
Provide opportunities for your child to make choices to give your kids some control over the situation. Even decisions as small as picking out their new backpack and school supplies can give stability in a new environment. If possible, take your children to their new school before the first day of school. Meet their teachers, the principal, and help locate important places they will need to get to during the day.
Is your move still pretty far away? Use this moving timeline to make sure everything is ready for your kids to start school.
Enroll your children in school as early as possible. You can obtain all the information you need by visiting a public school near you. If your records are not easily accessible from your child’s old school, bring as many of the following documents you have when you go to enroll your child:
- Birth certificate
- Immunization records
- Health records
- Records of district or state test results
For more important records and what to do if you do not have any documents of your child’s school and health history read here.
Help Children Adjust
Relocating to a new place can often “contribute to the social, environmental, and psychological stress experienced by your children and family”. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, children can be affected by the reactions of their parents and family members, the duration of the relocation, and their ability to stay connected with friends and familiar people and activities.
Advocate for your child in both educational and social settings. Pay attention to their body language in new social situations to make sure they are comfortable. If your child needs special accommodations during school, determine what services they need as soon as you enroll.
Once the move is complete, it is still important to make sure your child is adjusting and engaging in their new community. Sign your child up for extracurricular activities or schedule playdates with children from their school to help them make new friends. Schedule lots of quality time at home, especially in the first few weeks and months. Continue routines they are used to and encourage your children to talk to each other about how they are feeling. Make a point to keep in touch with at least one aspect of your child’s old school (friends, teachers, visits if possible) to refrain from minimizing the memories they have made.
Want to know more? Check out these additional resources.