Moving During the School Year – If your move is going to require your child to switch schools during the school year you can expect the adjustment to be difficult on everyone.
Chances are very good that your child is already not thrilled about leaving their friends, classes, sports teams, clubs, and teachers. So, it is important that you take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth transition.
Get Them Excited Ahead of Time
Spend a little time researching the area so you know about parks, dance schools, sports leagues, etc., that they will have the opportunity to get involved with once you move.
You may even want to contact certain teams or classes to see if a new student or member can be added at the time of your move.
This will help your child make new friends right away when moving during the school year. If you keep them busy they are less likely to spend their days moping.
For example, if your daughter takes ballet classes, she may feel better about the move knowing she can join another class right away.
Visit the School
If you are moving cross-country, then physically visiting the school ahead of time may not be possible. As long as you are within driving distance though, a visit to the school is important.
Talk with the teachers and administration to find out if there is any work your child should do ahead of time to make sure they can get caught right up with the class.
There is nothing worse than joining a class and falling behind immediately because your teacher hadn’t gotten to that part of the curriculum yet.
If you are picking the school before you settle on a home then you should have a list of questions ready to ask each one.
It is also a good idea to find out if your child will be able to join any sports teams or clubs in the middle of the year. This is information your child will definitely want to know ahead of time.
Go For a Visit
One of the best ways to get your child excited about the move is to visit the area ahead of time, so it is a little more familiar when you get there. As you drive around, you can create a list of places you want to explore further once you’re settled.
You may also want to visit the school and create a little map of where your child’s classes are. Being lost on the first day just adds to the stress of being surrounded by new people.
Do you have it in the budget to splurge on a new outfit or backpack for their first day? You probably feel a lot more confident when you know you look your best, right? Your child feels the same way.
Maybe now is the time to buy those name-brand shoes or designer coats. If they “feel” like they fit in they may be a little more comfortable.
Don’t Let Them Slack
Just because you feel bad that they are upset about moving during the school year is not a good reason to start letting them slack, when it comes to schoolwork.
Not doing homework and falling behind will only make the transition harder. If your child typically has to work extremely hard for decent grades, you might want to hire a tutor temporarily, just to get through a couple of weeks before and after the move.
Some parents feel bad about moving their child during the school year rather than the summer. Quite honestly, it can almost be a little easier for them to adjust. In the summer they would have a lot of time to be bored, especially if they don’t have any friends yet.
When they can jump right into schoolwork, teams, clubs, etc., it keeps them busy so they adapt faster. It also gives them plenty of opportunities to make friends.