11 tips for adjusting to a new school
Make your child's first day easier by getting organized and staying positive.
By GreatSchools Staff
Whether your child is moving to a new neighborhood or making the leap to middle or high school, the first few weeks may be filled with anxiety as well as excitement. These 11 tips will help your child make a smooth transition to his or her new school.
1. Make it a team effort.
If you're choosing between a few schools, talk with your child about what each one has to offer. When it comes time to select specific classes, make sure your child is part of the process.
2. Keep a positive focus.
As the first day draws near, begin talking to your child about her expectations, hopes, and fears for the upcoming school year. Reassure her that other children are having the same feelings and that she's sure to have a great year. Present school as a place where she'll learn new things and make friends.
3. Encourage school involvement.
Though you don't want your teenager to become over-committed, it's important to encourage participation in one or two activities that particularly interest him. He's more likely to engaged academically if he feels connected through a school activity, club, or sport. Talk to him about his goals for the school year and how he might like to be involved in school outside of the classroom.
4. Get enough z's.
If your child has enjoyed a vacation of late nights and lazy mornings, getting him up for school on the first day can be difficult. Help make this transition easier by starting his school-year sleep routine a week or two in advance.
5. Take a trial run.
Take some time before the start of school to make sure you and your child know where to go and what to do on that first morning. Show your child where the bus stop is, or, if she walks, map out the safest route to school, avoiding vacant lots and places where there aren't a lot of people. Warn your child to always walk with a friend and scout out safe houses to go to in case of emergency. If you can find out what classroom your child will be in, visit the classroom ahead of time so she knows exactly where to go in the morning. You may even want to call the school in advance to find out about any special first-day procedures.