Back to School: 5 Ways to Help Kids Transition After a Move
By Shannon Steinberg
Sep 1, 2021
Back to school season comes swiftly, oftentimes before the first leaf even hits the ground. Getting your child ready for a new school year comes with feelings of excitement and stress -- especially if you’re in a new school district because of a move. After a school year of trauma and uncertainty due to COVID-19, families that have recently moved will need to work extra hard to prepare their children for the first day of school.
Acknowledge the Challenge
Moving to a new neighborhood, city or state is stressful on adults, let alone children. It can be easy to get caught up in the logistics of a move or the responsibilities of a new job but it’s important to also acknowledge the anxiety or trepidation the child might be feeling towards a new school. Recognizing this is a big change in your child’s life is one of the best ways to support them.
Is Remote Learning an Option?
Some states adopted distance learning or a hybrid version for the 2021-22 school year. In a recent National Parents Union survey of 1,006 public school parents, 56% said they want a choice between in-person and remote learning, with the rest saying they were ready to go back to full in-person instruction. This means that families might have more flexibility this year, making the transition to a new school less daunting for the kids.
Educate and Connect Yourself
Families can go even further with the transition of moving to a new school by connecting with the teachers, following the district on social media or joining organizations in the community. By staying abreast of the latest news, parents will be able to help their children adjust to the new school environment. If possible, families should tour the school with their kids ahead of the first day and figure out where their classrooms will be.
A Box of Favorites
With the first day of school looming and parents still unpacking, it can be difficult for kids to feel prepared for school in an unfamiliar environment. Even before the move, children should be encouraged to pack and label their own box of their favorite things they can open immediately after moving day. Be sure to add school supplies and their favorite backpack, too!
Keep in Touch
While the point is to help your child during a stressful transition, make new friends and adjust with ease, parents can also help their kids keep in touch with the friends and community they left behind. It’s a useful lesson to learn how to continue nurturing relationships with friends and community no matter where they live.
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