CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Pocono and Lehigh Valley Real Estate Blog

First Day of School in a New School

August 14, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Starting school is always an adjustment for children of any age, but starting a new school in a new town after a move is a much bigger adjustment. In fact, according to psychologists, moving and starting a new school is the third biggest and stressful transition for children after death and divorce. But, with a little preparation, parents can make this major transition easier on their children (and themselves).

BEFORE THE MOVE
Tell children gently and with much understanding about the move. Put a positive spin on the news, but be sure to answer your child’s questions honestly and with empathy. Remember, they may be afraid and sad to be leaving their very best friends and enter into the unknown. They may not ask many questions at first but be sure to be prepared to answer questions when your child is ready to ask.
Spend time with old friends and say goodbye in a special way – Having positive goodbye time with old friends will help children transition from one life into another. Ask other parents to speak positively about the move. Provide small trinkets that can be keepsakes for the children to exchange.

Ask your child to help with choosing the new home. Have them search the listings and read and discuss information about school districts in the area in which you are planning to move.

Investigate school districts. In the Poconos, visit www.creyourway.com for links to all Monroe County school districts. Conduct searches online on sites like greatschools.com to learn more about the schools in the towns you are researching. Don’t forget to review the newspapers and the township web sites to learn as much as you can about the schools and the administrators of the regions you are interested in living.

AFTER THE MOVE
Unpack in a timely way and get your new home organized. Starting a new school and new extracurricular activities will be hard enough for your child. Make sure their room and their home are organized and settled to help the adjustment.

Meet your new neighbors as fast as you can and help your child meet the other youngsters in the new neighborhood that may be attending their school. Starting a new school will be easier even if they have one new friend.

School Days

  1. Visit school before with child. Introduce your child to their classroom and the environment so they are comfortable when school starts. Get a school map and  study the school map with your child before school begins. Tour the school – locate their new classroom, any additional classrooms, where the gym, cafeteria, bathrooms are. Have some fun working together to get “lost” in school and “finding” your way back.
  2. Meet the teachers – Make an appointment to meet the new teacher(s). Have a  meeting with each, ask what their expectations and style of teaching is. Ensure that your the teacher understands clearly that the child(ren) are new to the area and may not have made any friends yet.
  3. Ride the bus – if your child will be riding the school bus, see if you can get a copy of the route and show your child the neighborhoods they will be seeing when they get on the bus on the first day of school.

Make sure student medical records are available and up to date. Be sure to have your child’s entire medical and dental history for the new school, new doctor and new dentist. Immunizations may be different in the new school, particularly if you have moved to a new state, so make sure you give yourself enough time to find and visit your new doctor.

THE WEEK BEFORE
Get organized – Things in a new school and new town will be hard enough, so getting organized is your best bet for making sure your child acclimates quickly and with little chaos. Create a central family calendar with children’s school, sport and extra curricular activities as well as which parent will be responsible for the execution of the calendar for the day.

Get on a sleep schedule – Starting the week before school starts, start getting children to bed on the schedule they will keep during the school year. Create the same type of school-year routine – come home from sports (a day at the playground); cook and eat dinner, create some sort of project each night that might be considered homework, pre-bed hygiene routine and off to bed.

THE NIGHT BEFORE
Work with your child to prepare school supplies, backpack, lunch funds, class schedules and a first day outfit. If there are locker locks involved, work with your child to memorize the number. Ensure your child has easy to use and find supplies and that your child is wearing clothing that is comfortable and makes them feel great.

THE FIRST DAY
Provide a special first-day breakfast for your child. Check on outfit, backpack and supplies one last time, kiss your child goodbye and wish them well. After saying goodbye, cross your fingers and wait until the final bell rings.

ONGOING
Check in with your child on a regular basis. Even if they seem fine, ask them how they like school, make sure there is no major change to their grades, extracurricular activities, mood, etc. You will still be adjusting to your new neighborhood and possibly job, so be sure to check on your child to make sure their adjustment is smooth too.


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