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Should I transfer my child to her new school toward the end of the school year so that she can make friends?


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Anonymous January 5, 2009


We are relocating and I am trying to decide if I should keep my 1st grader at her old school for the rest of the school year or move her to her new school toward the end of the year so that she has a little time to make some friends before summer. She is very outgoing and makes friends very easily, but I just want to make the transition as easy as possible for her.

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MagnetMom January 5, 2009


Hi Anon and welcome to GreatSchools.

This is such an interesting question. It's always been conventional wisdom to let kids finish the school year with their friends and move in the summer. But I have actually read about doing exactly what you're suggesting for the following reasons:

1. Being the new kid is actually easier in the middle of the year. Often new kids are assigned a buddy to help get them acquainted. And plenty of kids go out of their way to meet or be nice to the new kid. New kids on the first day of school are often left to their own devices and since everyone's new to the teacher, they're not given as much personal attention.

2. Friendships. Kids who move during the summer have to find friends on their own. In some neighborhoods, that's not the easiest to do. By having time at the end of the school year, the kids can make friends before school lets out and then have playmates for that long summer.

3. Placement. By putting her in a classroom for a short period of time, teachers will be able to assess her abilities and personality and put her in the best possible classroom for next year. Moving mid summer means that she'll get placed in a classroom that may or may not meet her needs.

Only you can make the decision on what's right for her, but truthfully, if she makes friends easily, you can move her and get her into some groups/sports/activities before the summer lull.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

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healthy11 January 5, 2009


I concur with Magnetmom, especially since your daughter is so young. It's not as if the academics she's being exposed to in 1st grade are "highly structured" so if the new school isn't at the same point in the curriculum, or doesn't use the same textbook series, she'll miss some critical concepts. (In fact, I'd doubt they use any textbooks at this stage.) Perhaps you'd want to consider the move to coincide with spring break?
For general info and support, I'd also like to invite you to join Greatschools Elementary School Parents Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11527

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roobndeb January 7, 2009


Hi there, We're in exactly the same situation. We're moving from Australia to NY mid to late April and I've been tossing up whether to homeschool for those last couple of weeks of school (until the summer break) or put them in to school. My eldest would go into year 3, my middle into K and my youngest into PK... Lots of food for thought.

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jane02 January 8, 2009


I would think moving your child at the beginning of the school year is best because everything is new in their eyes except the school appearance. They'll be in a new grade, with a new teacher and with around new kids. It's easy for kids to make friends. She might be playing alone for 3 to 5 minutes but other kids will have the same interest as she does (i.e Monkey bars, hop-scotch, etc...). Therefore the kids start sharing their own opinion of the interest. Kids are kids regardless your ethnicity. I think kids look at the grade level they're in which is okay because that's the start of having things in common.

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slayfan January 9, 2009


My daughter is also very outgoing and we decided to move her to her new school in march and it worked out she got to make friends before the summer and we got a chance to make friends with some of the parents and teachers too. You know your child best but it worked well for us. Good luck



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