Changing your child’s school can be a daunting mental and physical task for you and your child.
Moving, like all other major transitions, can be tough on kids, and it is no different if the move requires a change in schools.
Looking for ways to help ease the stress and anxiety that goes with changing your child’s school and helping your child adapt to a new school more quickly? Enjoy the read!
1. Take A Tour Of Your School
Before the proposed starting date in the new school, take a drive with your kids to visit the school.
Find out where their classroom will be, the cafeteria, library, auditorium, the bathroom, and other important places.
This will help them jumpstart the process of familiarising themselves with their new school environment.
Also, it will help ensure the change will now throw them off-balance especially on their first day there.
2. Give your kid(s) some control over the situation
The major reason for the uneasiness around changing your child’s school is often a function of lack of control and fear of the unknown.
Having such little control over your environment is one of the most difficult parts of being a kid.
It is more difficult when your your child doesn’t like, understand, or support the changes.
Deal with this by providing them with an opportunity to make choices and control some aspect of the process.
Depending on the reasons for the transition in the first place, if there’s an option of which school to attend in your new neighborhood, let your child visit each of them and make the decision themselves.
If there’s only one school choice, give them control in smaller ways, like letting them pick out their new backpack and school supplies, for instance.
Any amount of control you let them have in the situation will show your kid that their voice and opinion matter, in turn giving them some stability and calm.
3. Meet With Their Teachers (If Possible)
Meeting with their teachers before you start school will also help them have a seamless adjustment into the new school.
Being friendly with your teachers will help them feel more at ‘home’ and less like strangers.
Have them find out some key facts about them, such as their name what subject they teach, the classes they teach, etc.
4. Go Through The School Handbook Together.
Getting acquainted with the school’s policies ahead of time will help make it easier for you and them to better fit in with the school culture. Because every school has its own set of rules to help students stay safe and learn well. Learning the rules of the new school will put you at a vantage position, help you adjust more seamlessly, and keep you out of trouble.
If they have a functional school website, download the handbook from there. If not, get the handbook physically from the school.
Read through it with your child/ren and explain policies that might sound confusing to them.
The school handbook might also have some interesting facts about the school, which can help them get acquainted with its history, the students and the teachers.
If all in all, the new school doesn’t have a handbook, read the rules and school diary to get used to what is expected.
5. Shop For Their School Supplies Together
Get a list of the necessary school supplies from the school and set a date for the grand shopping. This makes them happy and excites them about their new school.
The last thing you want is them getting awkward stares on their first them and being remembered as the child who did not have their school supplies complete.
6. Leave Early For School
Arriving early will give them the chance to chat with a few other students and hopefully make a few new friends.
The last thing you want is to have your child rushing into the classroom after the bell rings, on their first day in a new school.
So, especially on the first day in their new school, ensure you home leave very early, to get to school early enough.
7. Encourage Them To Do Well In School
Ensuring that they keep up with their homework and making a solid effort to see to it that they do well in school, will no doubt help with make the transition easier for you and them.
Everyone is already under enough stress with adjusting to a new school; adding the stress of confronting poor grades is not in your favour.
8. Teach Them To Introduce Themselves
Introducing oneself and starting a conversation with strangers can be intimidating, especially for introverts.
Once they can learn to break the ice, however, they may find yourself in the middle of a bunch of friends.
Rehearse the conversation, practice with them or have them do so with a sibling.
They can start by smiling and saying “hello” or talk about something related to school, such as, “We’re in the same Literature class,” or “When is the assignment due?” You can also tell them of other ways to start up a conversation, such as complimenting someone on their clothes or noticing a cool new notebook.
9. Encourage Them To Participate In Afterschool Activities
Encourage them to sign up for after school activities like drama, dance, sports, or some other club of interest.
This will put them in smaller groups and closer contact with people who have similar interests as theirs.
It will also give them a chance to demonstrate their skills at a particular sport or other activity.
Who knows? They might even be able to teach some other kids about how to do something in a unique style, perhaps how it was done in their former school.
It also helps, if you get involved in the activities of the school.
Ask how you can contribute your knowledge and interests, and make conscious efforts to actively participate in PTA meetings of the new school.
Becoming actively involved in your child’s new school benefits you and your child.
Indeed, such involvement makes your youngster(s) more comfortable and successful.
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