Smooth School Transition
‘Change is the only constant in life’
While the above saying by a great Greek philosopher might be something well-ingrained in our adult minds, it’s especially hard to comprehend for children who find it extremely difficult to break out of their comfort zones every now and then.
Moving schools can be especially hard on kids, no matter what their age. If you’re looking for what to do when changing schools, this article is for you. We have specially curated a list of the most valuable tips that will hold your child in good stead when they change schools.
Remember, that transition to another school might still not be all that smooth, but the following tips will certainly make it a whole lot easier!
What to do when changing schools: some valuable Tips
Here’s a look at some invaluable tips that serve for a (largely) seamless school transition.
Discuss the move in advance
You have to keep your child well in the loop, when it comes to having them change schools. Be open with them about that decision you have made. That will help them cope better with the stress associated with that big upcoming change in their lives.
Make new friends early on
It might be a really great idea to help your child make new friends before their term at their new school even begins! This is one of those school transition activities that will certainly hold them in good stead. Tip: To that effect, you could have your child join a sports team, or perhaps invite future classmates for a sleepover!
Give them tangible reason for change
You might be changing schools purely on account of academic reasons. No matter what the reason, you can make that school transition easier by simply sitting down with your child and pointing to them all the ‘tangible’ reasons why you feel their new school will be a better fit. The last thing you want is for your child to believe your decision is not based on concrete reasons.
Replicate those ‘First School Day’ traditions
Going to their new school on the first day should be as happy an occasion as the time they went to their previous school. You perhaps made a special breakfast for them when they went to their last school on the first day. Well, make sure you do it again on the first day of their new school! This one certainly makes for a happier school transition.
Include your child in the decision
You might be having a list of top potential schools in mind, before actually securing your child’s admission. Give your child the chance to choose their school themselves. If you feel another school is a better fit, gently assuage them into believing the same. When they find themselves involved in the decision-making process, children feel valued and will in all probability not get too stressed out about changing schools.
Do a Test Run
This is one of those school transition activities that is often overlooked, yet one that could play a vital role in that seamless school transition. If possible, arrange to have a tour of the school before it begins. You could even meet up with the teachers and administrators. Tell them about the last school your child went to, and ask if they might have any suggestions where it comes to helping them cope with the upcoming change.
There might be life-altering circumstances or even a forced relocation, that has led to your child having to change schools. You have to be as enthusiastic as possible about your child going to a new school, no matter what the circumstances. Limit any negative comments that you might have about the school and instead focus on the positives. The thing about enthusiasm is this: it is infectious! If you are excited about their new school, your child is sure to be.
Stock up on school supplies
The one thing you don’t want is for your child to arrive at their new school on their first day, only to discover that the backpacks other children have are way cooler than theirs. Let there be no excuse! Get them involved well in advance where it comes to choosing things like their backpack, lunchbox or even clothes. This sense of involvement will go a long way in helping them garner a sense of control on their first school day.
Encourage them to bid adieu to their old friends
Leaving their previous school need not be a sad experience for kids. Organize a farewell for their friends if you can. They can even make a Scrapbook that contains precious memories of their old school. While they will ultimately have to move on, make it easier by showing them all the possible ways they can always remain in touch with their old friends.
Be Patient with your children
No matter what you do to make that school transition as seamless as you possibly can, it’s a difficult time for your child. They might begin to question everything, or perhaps retreat into a cocoon of silence. Remember that they are only reacting to a new environment, and that they need time to adjust.
Validate their fears
In all probability, your child will have some fears in relation to going to their new school. Talk to them and ask them what they are feeling, from the things they are looking forward to, to those they are worried about. When they bring up the subject of their fears, validate those fears instead of rejecting them as outright baseless. Tell them that it is only natural to feel scared in these circumstances, and that they will soon get over it.
At EuroKids we are of the belief that an unpleasant school transition can negatively impact the mental wellbeing of a child. While changing schools can be most overwhelming for children, keeping a positive mindset and following the tips outlined in this article, will help make that transition more fluid.