With a move on the horizon, you understandably want to square away all the details as they pertain to your children’s new school. This can be an exciting time for your family but it can also be terrifying and stressful for kids and teens faced with having to start over again in a new school.
The key is to be prepared. There’s a reason why summer is the most common time for people to move, especially for families with kids. This helps with the transition into a new school, as kids can start a new school year fresh rather than having to leave halfway through. This is the ideal situation, of course, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
Hopefully, you’re able to schedule your move for the beginning of summer, but either way, here are some tips to helping your kids adjust to a new school after moving to the Grand Rapids area.
The best way to ensure a seamless transition is to be prepared. There are a few tasks you will have to do before they start classes in the new school. These tasks include getting them registered, taking a tour and meeting the principal (if you can), and gathering all their school and health records as well as immunizations.
Prior to the first day of school, take a test run. Get up early like you would if school were starting, and go through the motions of the day. Drive the bus route or drive to the school parking lot to familiarize yourself with the drop off and pick up lanes.
If you can, go inside the school and have an administrative assistant, vice principal or aid take you and your children to their classrooms, lunch rooms, gym and more. Check out the location of their locker and make sure they can work the combination. Getting acclimated to the school layout beforehand is imperative in easing fears.
Get a list of school supplies from the teacher so your children will have everything they need to start the first day.
Today.com says one of the best ways kids can get acclimated to their new school and meet new people is to get involved in a sports team or club. It can be intimidating to walk into a club meeting or sports tryout for the first time, but remind your child it’s well worth the effort to belong to something that’s worthwhile and healthy.
From chess club and math club to soccer and lacrosse, sports and other clubs are a great way to bring kids of a similar interest together. Plus, this involvement will keep them busy and occupied in a constructive way.
Outside of school, you can do your part to get your kids involved with others. If you have small children, set up playdates with other parents and their kids. Meet at a park, go get ice cream or just invite them to your home. You can connect with others parents online, such as in school or classroom forums, or on social media sites such as Facebook parenting or town groups.
Listen to Their Concerns
Having fears and anxieties about starting a new school is common. Don’t shove aside those fears and tell them they will be fine or they’ll get over it. Chances are they will be fine, but pushing aside their concerns will only heighten their stress level.
Give them a comforting forum to tell you their concerns without interruption. Just listen and let them talk. Offer advice only when they are done. Tell them similar stories of what you may have gone through as a kid switching schools. Tell them what you did to cope, and how you came out the other side just fine.
Listening and then giving them constructive coping mechanisms is a healthy way to deal with fear rather than sweeping things under the rug. The more you know how they are feeling, they better you can help them push through it.
Take action and let them know how you can help ease the transition, such as help them with homework, adjust their course load, tweak their schedule, etc. This requires constant communication with your child, so be sure to sit down with them regularly to check in and see how they’re doing.
Sometimes parents and kids get so busy that it’s easy to let things go by the wayside. Before you know it, it’s been weeks wince you’ve had a real conversation with your kids — especially so with teens – and something may fall through the cracks.
Give the Teachers a Heads Up
No one will understand the stress your child is going through more than their teachers. They see it all the time. They have to welcome a new child into the classroom and help them get acclimated. If your child has a special concern, such as being bullied at their last school, or difficulty making friends because you move around so much, let the teacher know ahead of time.
This way, they can keep an eye out and make sure your child is adjusting well and navigating the classroom experience in a positive way. They can also stress the importance on the rest of the classmates to be warm and welcoming to the new student. Having someone working for you on the inside is always a helpful idea.
Contact Big Lake Movers
Moving with kids in Grand Rapids? Worried about making a smooth transition for them? You got this! And we can help with the logistics and details which will free you up to ease your kids into the transition. Call us today at 616-319-4478 for a free quote and to ask any questions you like. We are here to make the experience positive and stress-free.