Tips to help students transitioning to a new school

Parenting Tips

It is common for new students to be nervous and anxious on their first day at a new school. It doesn’t matter what level or class they are in. It can even be more stressful if they are living in a new town as well. Moving to a new city and going to a new school is daunting for any child.

The thought of adapting to new teachers, learning in new classrooms, and making new friends can cause a child to act out if they are not prepared. It is the teacher’s and parent’s responsibility to help children adapt when they are transitioning to a new school. Parents can prepare their children from home.

Read on to learn the tips you can implement to make a student’s new school transition a happy affair:

Tips for toddlers:

Toddlers need more time to adjust to a new environment than older children. It is hard for a two-year-old to express how they feel with words, so they usually act out instead. Whether they are transitioning from home to school or from one daycare to another, toddlers need structure and predictability. Before they become comfortable in the new environment, toddlers will cry and cling to their parents before class. However, there are a few ways you can help them with the transition.

1. Always say goodbye.

Don’t just leave the old daycare without making it memorable for your child and the other children there. You can plan a small going away party with their favourite snacks, fun games, and good music. The celebration will help them find some closure with their teachers and friends at daycare.

Make a habit of saying goodbye to your child when they enter the classroom. This will create a predictable pattern that will comfort the child. They will feel safe knowing that you will come back in the evening or noon to pick them up. If you don’t take your child to daycare, then tell your caregiver to say goodbye on your behalf to make them predictable.

2. Stay with them for some time before you leave.

It is essential for your child to know and feel safe in a new environment. Don’t just drop them and leave them there to figure it out. If you can, stay for some 30 minutes or longer as you interact with other children and teachers. You can do this for a week as you reduce the time you spend there each day. If you are comfortable, your toddler will be comfortable too. There is no book on how to help a child transition to a new school, but a simple trick like this can do wonders.

3. Share relevant information with the daycare.

Children, especially young toddlers, have a particular routine when they are home. This might change slightly when they go to daycare but even so, share what time your child has their meals, their allergies, the time they sleep, and how to comfort them when they are upset. This will help the teacher better understand your child and handle any issue that arises in your absence.

Tips for preschoolers:

Like toddlers, children in this age group don’t deal too well with a routine change. For some children, a new environment can cause them to go back to old habits such as baby talk. Like toddlers, preschoolers might also go through a period of separation anxiety while transitioning from home to school. Here are a few tips to help them adjust.

1. Take them with you from day one

Montessori Schools are the recommended preschools for preschool children. Look for them when selecting the right schools for your preschools. When you have decided which school to take your child, take them with you to tour the facility. Go to the classrooms, the playground, meet the teachers, let them get familiar with the place before they officially join the school. That way, when you bring them on their first day, the school will not seem as new or foreign, and some of the teachers will be familiar.

2. Talk to them about joining a school

If a child has older siblings, then the idea of going to school is not a new concept. However, if they are the only child, they need to be prepared mentally for this new chapter of their lives. You can make your child excited about school by reading them stories relevant to their situation. You can also help them relate with some of their favourite cartoons that go to school and find it fun.

Furthermore, you can go with them for school shopping. For example, let them choose the bag they want or a cool Ben 10 lunch box. Let them know that it is okay to be nervous the first time, but soon enough, they will make friends. Words of reassurance and mental preparation goes a long way in acquainting your children with what to expect and not expect from their school, making the transition a comfortable affair.

3. Make a routine.

Start preparing for school the night before and make it stick. This will reduce the pressure of waking up early and fighting against time to have everything right. Sometimes that morning pressure can make children resent school. Plan and arrange things the previous night, so your child can have it easy.

Tips for teenagers:

Leaving behind old friends can be devastating to a teenager. Children can be mean in this age group, and many teenagers are sensitive about their appearance. That said, first impressions are everything to a teenager who is changing schools. They need to be continuously supported and encouraged.

Here are some tips that can help you ease your teenager’s transition to a new school:

1. Learn about the new school beforehand

A lot of anxiety for teenagers comes from not knowing what to expect when they go to a new school. One way to get ahead of the situation is to find out all that you can about the school.

The school website is an excellent place to start. If possible, call the school and find out if your teenage child can take a tour or, better yet, talk to the guidance counsellor. Help your teenage son or daughter find this information, so that they get to know important details such as the school’s extracurricular activities and the classes they offer before joining. This will make them feel like they’re in charge of the new school they are enrolling in, making it a little easier for them to adjust to the new school.

2. Encourage communication with old friends

It is common for teenagers to feel disloyal to their old friends when they make new ones. Many of them also fear being forgotten by their old buddies, especially if they have moved to a new town. Thank God for social media and cell phones, your teenager can keep in touch with their old friends and share experiences. If you still live in the same town, encourage your children to stay in touch with their old friends while making new friends.

3. Keep the communication line open.

Teenagers often struggle with expressing themselves and communicating how they feel. But that does not mean that their lives are a bed of roses. Your teenage child can be struggling to make new friends in school or catch up with their studies. Whatever they may be experiencing, timely reassurance is a much-needed remedy that can help them overcome the personal struggles they are facing.

Tell them that you’re there to talk – whenever they’re ready. Doing this will help you bond with your teenage child and make them feel like they have a support system they can turn to, no matter how difficult things may be. Adjusting to a new school environment can be just as brutal for your teenager as it can be for younger children. So be there for them as much as you can.

Conclusion:

Helping students adjust to new schools is tough for parents, especially if you’re working a 9-5. Some of the school transition strategies that we have outlined here can help you bridge the gap between your child and their new educational facility – no matter how young or child may be.

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