How to settle children into a new school

Hi all – Laura here from First Two then Blue. Big Thank You to Kate for letting me guest post on her lovely blog! I am mummy to Amelie, 7. Lottie, 5, and my troublesome tot Kier, 18 months.
As my daughters have recently moved to a new School I would love to share some advice on how to help settle children into a new School.
Moving to a new school is a major change in a childs life. Some children will adapt really easily and make new friends right away, others may hold back and observe everything before they start to make friends and adjust to their new surroundings.
All children are different and have a different way in dealing with situations like this. My daughters are both very quiet, more so the older one, she is finding it very different and it having a hard time settling in.
When considering moving your child to a different school, for what ever reason it may be, be sure to talk to your child and help them to understand how the move will benefit them.
For younger children there are many DVD’s and Books available to help children understand that people sometimes have to move schools and house, and that it is perfectly normal.
Find out if it is possible for your child to meet their new teacher and class before they start at the School. It would also help them a lot if they could have a look around the school to familiarize themselves with important things like where the toilets are, where the school hall is, where the Library is? Little things like this may worry the child and having a look around the new school will make it far less scary!
If you are moving Schools because you have moved to a new area, try taking your children to the local park at the weekend.  They may meet some of their new class mates there are build friendships outside of the school which will help them more when they are in school.
Are there any Youth Clubs or After school clubs in the area? They will enjoy interacting with other children and build closer friendships the more they see their class mates.
Many schools have their own After school Drama Clubs, Football, Netball, Craft clubs. This is a great chance for your child to get more involved with the other children at their School.
If you live near to the school try walking rather than taking the Car. Many children walk or cycle to school now and they will enjoy spotting other children who are also on their way to school.
After a month or so of starting the new school, ask your children about their new friends. Learn the names of their friends and try to spot their parents in the Playground. Try to make friends with the other mums and maybe invite them around with coffee. Your child will love having their friends over to play.
Arrange a meeting with your child’s teacher shortly after they have started the new school. It is important that you know exactly how your child is getting on in their new school.  Parents Evenings are a great way to find out how your child is doing in their education and socially at School, but for new comers you need to know after the first few weeks how they are getting on. If there are any problems some children like to ignore it and not talk about it with parents.
Last of all – be Patient!  Some children settle in to new routines a lot quicker than others.
Your child will settle in when they are ready. It may take days, weeks, or even months, be they will get there eventually!
Good Luck to any new School starter parents reading this post 🙂

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