Whether your child is entering preschool, elementary, middle, high, or simply a new school, there are several ways to make the transition easier.
We’re on the countdown for the school year to start. During August and September, I’ll be sharing lots of tips on the back to school season including clothing, back to school supply shopping, lunches, homework, meetings, parent-teacher communication, and more.
A few years ago, we moved to a new school district. We were two months into the school year, so we got permission to keep our son at his current school for the remainder of the school year. It worked out because I still worked in the same city and he was able to continue went to the same inexpensive after school program we LOVED.
In the Spring, I contacted the new school and made arrangements to meet with the Special Education Department to discuss my son’s current Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and visit the school ourselves.
Research the area, offerings, teachers, students. Whether you’re moving to a different school district, moving up to middle or high school, or changing school types, it’s always imperative to do research. What is the curriculum like? What is the school’s accreditation status? Who are the teachers? Who are the administrators? What type of record does the school have?
Ask family, former classmates, sports team members, etc. if they know anyone that attends that particular school. My son was fortunate that one of his former classmates had moved to the same area and would be attending the same school. This was very comforting to both of them to have the other to lean on.
There’s nothing like seeing it for yourself. We met the Special Education Coordinator, potential teachers, principals, and saw the student mix. We were pleasantly surprised by their accommodation of his current IEP. I had concerns when my son changed school districts because we were moving to an area that is not as culturally diverse as the area we previously lived in. My son did not feel (nor did I observe) any partiality among the students at that school, which was a huge relief.
If you prepare for your worst fears, you will likely be pleasantly surprised. My worst fear would be that my son’s academics may suffer or he would experience partiality from other students. But, after we had the opportunity to visit, we found that neither was the case. (I am happy to report that three years in, we are still very happy with our move.)
Books to Help Soothe Back to School Jitters
In a funny twist, a school building is worried about the start of school, in “School’s First Day of School,” by Adam Rex.
Now that her baby squash, Bonnie and Baxter, have grown, Sophie believes they’re the perfect friends to join her in her first day of school in “Sophie’s Squash Go to School.”
In a match between a dinosaur and getting dressed for school, who will win? You and your preschooler will find out in “Dinosaur vs. School” by Bob Shea.
Don’t forget to read our Back to School Guide – which covers everything you’ll need to prepare.
The Berenstain Bears Go to School. All the cubs in Bear Country are ready for the new school year . . . except for Sister Bear. She is about to start kindergarten but can’t stop worrying about what it will be like.
Have you ever had to prepare your child for a new school? How did you make it easier?