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Moving to a different school: Tips for parents

Moving to a different school is an important and often difficult step to avoid due to a change of address for example. There are also situations where parents can decide they are not satisfied with their child’s current school and have to make the difficult decision to request a change. In this situation, we strongly recommend that you first talk to someone at your child’s current school about their reasons for considering a change, as any issues may be resolved without having to change schools.

Two weeks is, in my opinion, long enough for a school to prepare for the farewell of a classroom child. Since it’s best that your kids don’t have a chance to say goodbye to their peers for too long.

Changing schools is a complicated issue, so what’s the best way to deal with it? It’s a paradox, but what never changes in life changes: change just happens. While you can’t prepare for every change that’s going to happen, you can learn how to improve change management in itself. Changing schools is the challenge now, but big changes will happen over and over again (nothing stays the same), so acquiring skills to deal with change will help you for the rest of your life.


Change of school for moving reasons

It’s quite common for children to change schools. It’s also normal for children to resist change and feel stressed about going to a new school. And if your child is in the process of changing schools, the best thing you can do is prepare him or her for that change.

You can do this by engaging your child as much as you can in the process of choosing a new school. This will help you see the exciting and positive aspects of the future new situation. You’ll be much happier if you know your needs are important.

Here are some tips to engage your child and make it easier to change:

– If possible, discuss moving in with your child well in advance.

– Ask her to talk to you, draw or make a list of things she hopes to be able to do at a new school.

-You can also draw or make a list of things that concern you. Take the time to discuss every concern.

-Find out in advance about schools in the area you are moving to. You can list schools and show them to your child. If you are old enough, talk about the pros and cons of different schools. If possible, you can visit the new location and schools together.

-One idea is to find out if there are other children moving to the same school as your child. Encourage him to talk to these children. They may be able to stay for your child to arrive at school with these children on the first day.

-If you’ve met family or friends who have recently changed schools, encourage them to share their experiences with your child, so you know it’s part of the changes that can occur in all families.


Before you move out of school: some practical tips.

Writing a checklist of all the things you need to do as part of the school change plan is helpful, and marking them when you do them. Here are some suggestions.

Your child’s old school and community.

– Talk to the principal and teachers of the current school.

– Request and prepare a portfolio of your child’s work to take to the new school.

– Make a digital diary or scrapbook of people, activities, and memories from your child’s old school.

– Make a contact list of friends from the old school and neighborhood.

– Share the new address of your home with your child’s close friends. You can give them envelopes with the address and prints so they can write to him. Older children can stay in touch by email, text, or social media.

– Plan a farewell meeting with close friends.

Your child’s new school and community.

– Talk to the principal of the new school. You might ask about school strategies to help new kids adjust to school, such as a friends system.

– Buy the new uniform and books if necessary.

– Take a walk in the new school area with your child. This will help you know where the important things are. If possible, you could even spend a day at school before moving out.

– Visit after-school facilities if your child is going to use them.

– Make sure your child knows how to get to and from school if he or she is old enough to do so, for example, where you’ll pick him up and leave him or her, where it’s not dangerous to walk or where bus stops or train stations are.

– Talk to the new neighbors or the new teacher. Maybe you can meet some classmates before your first day at the new school.

Return trips

If they can come back in a few weeks, even if it’s a fairly long trip, then assure your child that he or she will see his friends again. (Hopefully, by then they’ve settled down and made new friends, but if you tell them before moving in they can’t come back, they’re probably very upset.)

Of course, if you move abroad, it’s hard to promise a return visit in the near future, but as I said earlier, you might suggest keeping in touch by letter and postcards. If you’re old enough to use your phone or email, then be sure to exchange details with your friends so they can stay in touch.


Change of school for reasons beyond a move

Some children spend little time at school because their parents change jobs regularly and obviously moving in is inevitable. However, if you have the option to change them or not, you should consider the decision carefully.

The first thing to keep in mind is that younger children, in particular, can be extremely inconstant with the school and its playmates. One day they have best friends and the next they’ve had a fight and they don’t want to go to school.

Sometimes a child has been happy at school, but then he changes classes and starts pretending to be sick to avoid going. Often, this is because they are missing the familiarity of their last teacher, and will probably get used to it in a short time.

In some schools, classes are “mixed” as children progress through the level, and sometimes the problem is that their close friends have now gone to a different class. Again, you’ll most likely find new friends to play with, so don’t make any decisions about moving to a new school until at least the first trimester.

Bullying is one of the most common reasons parents choose to change schools, but quite often it is not the solution for them to move to another school. If your child is shy (or possibly a little different from the others), it might also be the target of bullies at his next school.

Contact the school

The best course of action is to contact your current school and explain that your child is being bullied and not happy. Most schools have a policy of dealing with bullying and will always want to be told about the problem. If the problem is a teacher, for example, then make an appointment to discuss the situation with the school. As all teachers also comment on mistakes and that in most cases can be solved by talking together, but some children are afraid of those situations and get frustrated.

The reason for the change of school maybe because it’s not progressing well and you think it will do better at another school. This might be the case, but you need to talk to the school before making a decision.

It could be that the problem is with your child, rather than school, in which case you’ll have him or her trauma from a new school for no reason.

Children can be affected by all sorts of things like stress at home, bereavement, or just laziness. Sometimes they sit next to a friend and get distracted, in which case the simplest and most practical remedy is for the teacher to move them to different tables.

If a change of school is inevitable, then try to be vigilant to do everything possible and make sure your child doesn’t feel that too distressing change.


A different education system

The strongest change, when it comes to the academic area, is to adapt to the new school’s education system.

Each institution has a specific style for its dynamics during classes. The new school may ask for greater demand during class hours, or leave more homework to its students; may also require the use of new technologies, or on the contrary, have a more traditional style.

No matter what the educational customs of the new school are, at first, it will be somewhat difficult to attach to the new requirements.

To get used to a new school, you just need time. Staying in touch with the teacher and other members at the school is a good way to know how adaptation evolves.

While a change of school can lead to frustration in children, you can help him see that it is the best option and that thanks to this he will live new experiences, meet new friends and have a new opportunity for school education to be an incredible stage in his life.

All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.


Carolina González Ramos

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