Moving is a big change for every household member. It is often an experience of loss as the family is losing their daily interactions with the people and places of the old neighborhood. Moving during the school year can be particularly challenging for school age children. Taking the time to make proper goodbyes will help set the stage for making proper hellos. Proper hellos will bring comfort to families as they move into new homes, maintain important traditions, and connect to their new community in meaningful ways. Here are some tips for moving during the school year.
Family Meeting: It is important younger family members are aware of an upcoming move. Time is needed to process emotions and concerns. Your school age children will benefit when permitted enough time to say goodbye to friends and teachers at their current school. Hosting a goodbye party with friends and classmates can be helpful.
Be patient and listen to your children. Change is stressful for everyone. Answering questions your child has about the move will help to ease the transition. Welcoming difficult feelings is challenging, but an important step in the process. Letting your children know they are allowed to have all kinds of emotions will better prepare them for life, and may better relax some of those negative feelings and keep them from making an untimely return down the road.
Keep in Touch: Have your child pick a few important people in the old neighborhood to keep in touch with. The people could be friends, neighbors, grandparents, or any important person. The idea is to provide several people your child can talk to occasionally about their new life in the new town.
Tour the New School: Before moving (several months prior would be best) tour the schools in the area of the new home. If there is a choice of schools to attend, it is wise to include your children in the decision making process.
Paperwork: You need to request that the official transcripts (including report cards and standardized test scores) be transferred from the current school to the new one. It is helpful to speak with key teachers and administrators to request notes and recommendations for your child, to be included in the official transcript. The recommendations are often required when applying to private schools but are equally helpful in making a smooth transition to a new public school.
In addition to the official transcripts, the new school will most likely require immunization records, medical records, and health history. Check with the school and have the required records forwarded from your health care provider.
Teacher & Administrator Meet & Greet: Meeting with the new teachers and school staff before your child attends their first day in the new school will benefit both parent and student. Your student will be meeting a lot of new people on their first day. Having first met their new teachers will alleviate some of the stress and worry of the first day. Having met the teachers and staff, you will better understand the dinner time stories your child shares about their school day in the weeks and months that follow.
Choices: Children can often feel they have no control over anything during a move. This can lead to rebellion or learned helplessness down the road. It is wise to include your children in decision making. Having a school choice is great when an option is available but other smaller choices are also beneficial, such as decorating their new room.
Tradition: You can ease the transition by continuing simple family traditions such as your Friday night pizza & Parcheesi party, Sunday morning pancakes and Pictionary jamboree, or the simple and well attended weeknight bedtime story. Keeping the traditions alive will give comfort to your family as the cultural and physical landscape unfolds in the new neighborhood.
Friends and Activities: Extra-curricular activities are a great way to make friends in the new neighborhood. Whether your child decides to join the soccer team, chess club, ballet company, hockey team, or drama club they will be enjoying an activity with like minded people. Friendships will follow.
Heney Realtors understands that moving to a new area is exciting and stressful. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home and community in Central Vermont and we’ll help make your transition smooth and easy. Contact us today!