Tips & Tricks for Moving during the School Year
Having to move house with children is already hard. Add to that moving in the middle if the school year and that becomes a whole different ball game. You not only have to deal with yourself adjusting to the new normal, you have to worry about helping your children transition smoothly as well. Here are a few tips to assist you make the move a little more smoothly:
Let everyone know that you are moving
You obviously can’t wake up one day and tell your kids you have to move. Especially if you have teenage kids or those in college, you are likely to get quite some resistance when you spring that news to them. Best way to go about it would be to call a family meeting and tell them early to allow them time to process. Make sure you help them to adjust by perhaps telling them how much better the new place, the schools, changes of making new friends. You could even tell them they can visit their friends (although they will likely make new friends at your new location and somehow move on from their current friends).
Research and check out your new neighbourhood (and schools) in advance
Your new neighbourhood will definitely be your home for the next few months or years. It is best to ensure that it is workable for everyone. Is the neighbourhood safe for your children? Are the schools good enough to move your children into? How close are the other amenities? Can you access the hospital quickly if you needed to? Once you are sure that everything works best for everyone and is mostly within reach, the thought of moving won’t seem like too much to do.
Gather necessary documentation from current school
You will definitely be asked to present some of your child’s records to the new school during admission as part of the application process. Notify your child’s current school early so that they can begin the process of transferring or preparing records for you to present to the new school. Consider talking to former administrators, teachers, and counselors who know your child well to write letters or recommendations to be included in the file. It is most probable that your child’s new school will require that your child be up-to-date on all immunizations and necessary shots. Along with academic records, ask that your child’s current school forwards all your child’s medical history to the new school and also follow up to ensure they are up-to-date too.
Identify any curriculum differences
Find time to talk to the teachers and administrators of the new school about the current curriculum and classroom rules. Curriculums often vary by state, or even by school district and you should find out whether is in tandem with the new school’s coursework, ahead or behind. If your child’s new school curriculum is more advanced, you can hire a tutor for the first few months to bring your child up to speed. Make sure you talk to your child for them to buy into the idea by explaining to them why it is necessary. Going over the new school’s coursework with your child could also help them understand early enough what to expect from the new school.
Host a goodbye party for your child and their classmates
Your child will likely have a very hard time saying goodbye to friends, classmates and even teachers. To make the sting hurt less, you could plan a going away party to help them with the transition. That way, your child will be able to say proper goodbyes before you get moving.
Take your child on a tour of the new school before their first day
After you move, it will be nice to take your child on a tour of their new school some days before the first day of school. Make sure they know how to find their new classroom, and their way around the school compound. Introduce them to their new teachers if possible just so they have a familiar person next time they report to school without you. If you can also introduce your child to the new school’s guidance counsellor to make sure your child lands in classes that best fits their needs. The counsellor can also help your child to adjust emotionally and mentally with the new school.
Help your child prepare for the first day of school
As part of the final preparation for the new school, bring your child with you to shop for their items for the new school. Allow your child to pick out the items they like: from book bags and binders to notepads and pens as this will make them a little more excited about the change. Help them prepare them for the first day at their new school. Apart from shopping and going through the new school’s coursework, you can encourage your child to sign up for after-school extracurricular activities. Taking part in these activities, e.g.: whether it’s sports, the arts, or any other, will help your child interact with other people and make new friends.
Help them stay in touch with friends and classmates
Your child is leaving a life and friends that they were used to, and you should try to make them not feel so bad about it. To help them take it easier, you can help them keep in touch with their old friends by assisting them to mail letters to their friends, call them or and send them emails to remain in contact with their past friends.
The transition when moving to a new house is destabilizing to your children more than you may think. They will need constant reassurance that everything will be okay. They will definitely have many questions and you should always be ready to answer them. Make sure you keep them comfortable and secure knowing that although they are moving and may be around strangers for the most part, they still have you.