Starting a new school is always going to be stressful. Your child will be missing their old friends, feel anxious about making new ones, and may be worried about their schoolwork. They might be ahead or behind their new peers in their learning. There’s a lot of adjustments to be made, and you, as their parent, can help them to make these adjustments and settle into their new school.
Talk To Them
Communication is one of the best tools that you can use to help. Make sure your child knows that you are there any time they need to talk to you and that you are happy to discuss any of their worries or ask any questions that they might have. Never dismiss any of their concerns as small and silly, as they will feel important to them.
If they don’t feel able to speak to you, make sure they have a support network of some kind, whether it’s an older sibling, another family member, or a friend. Books can help too, so they don’t feel alone. For example, the Newcomers books are designed to help teens who have moved from other countries.
Get A Tutor
If you’ve moved during a school year, your child might be behind their peers, if the new school has approached the curriculum in a different way or in a different order. Help them to catch up by getting a tutor to fill in any gaps they may have. This can help while they are adjusting to a new teacher and teaching style too.
Talk To The School
It can help a lot to have a good relationship with your child’s teachers. Talk to them about plans for the school year so you know what to expect, and chat about any concerns that you may have. The teachers are the ones who see your child at school so will often be the first to know if they are struggling academically, are struggling to make new friends, or are being bullied.
Encourage Them To Join Clubs
Most schools offer a lot of after-school activities, which can be a great way for your child to meet new students with who they already have something in common and start making friends. Encourage them to think about what they enjoy, and to join some after-school or lunchtime clubs, whether it’s a sports team, the choir, or the school newspaper. This could help them to feel a part of their new school a lot quicker and help them to settle in.
Talk To Other Parents
If you can, try to get involved at the school yourself. Doing something like joining the PTA or helping with a school event is a good way for you to meet some of the other parents. If you can befriend the parents of your child’s classmates, you are giving them more opportunities to meet and spend with children they could make friends with. For younger kids, you could arrange playdates to help them to meet people.