Starting a new school invokes a myriad of emotions. Your child may be anxious, excited, nervous, stressed — or a combination of them all. These are all normal feelings to have before a big transition. The good news is, there are ways to prepare your student for their new school journey, making the change as natural as possible. Whether starting in the fall or midyear, these tips will ensure a comfortable start in a new school environment.
Let Them Help Choose
As the parent, you will ultimately decide which school is the best fit for your family; however, there are many ways to involve your child in the process. Open house events and campus tours are great opportunities to expose your student to the schools you are considering. Let them make their own observations then talk with them about what each school has to offer. If the tour goes well, ask the school if there are student shadowing opportunities or buddy programs, giving your child the chance to explore on their own while meeting new friends.
Prepare Well In Advance
Nothing makes a new experience more stressful than scrambling to prepare at the last minute. Thankfully, this pitfall is easily avoided. Be sure to ask what school supplies are required so your student has everything they need on the first day. Get organized at home by designating a study area for your child to store his or her book bag and other supplies. When the night before arrives, lay out clothes, lunch boxes, and a healthy breakfast to ensure a successful start!
Talk With Current Families
Do you know any families who are currently enrolled at your child’s new school? Schedule a playdate or invite them over for dinner. They can provide inside tips on how to prepare, what to expect, and ways to get involved. What’s more, your child will have a chance to spend some time with a current student, giving them the benefit of a familiar face on campus. If you don’t know any families enrolled, ask the school if there are parents who would be willing to connect with you and answer questions over the phone.
Sign Up for Activities
You may think a new academic schedule is enough for your child to handle, but enrolling in some extracurricular activities at the school can actually make the transition even easier. Students who participate in sports, art programs, or clubs tend to be happier and healthier overall. They are given opportunities to connect with others based on shared interests, making new friends in the most natural way possible, and feeling like a true part of the school community.
Be Patient & Positive
If your child comes home from the first day feeling less than energized, don’t worry that you’ve made the wrong decision. Understand that it takes time to settle into a new routine and different attitudes are to be expected. You can ease the tension by providing encouragement and reminding your child of other times when they tried something new and eventually loved it. Stay focused on the positive and maintain a steady routine at home to lower stress and soothe your student. Before you know it, they’ll be back to normal.
NCA Makes the Transition Easy
At Northside Christian Academy, we are committed to making the school transition as easy as possible. Our teachers, counselors, and staff provide extra attention to new students, making sure they are thriving in their learning environment. In a close-knit, Christ-centered community, your child will be welcomed, known, and loved. Interested in learning more about our school? Schedule a tour today!