If you are moving your child from a public school to a new place to get a private education, making the switch can be challenging for them. Even when you are switching them to one of the best day schools in your area, change can often be scary. There are things you can do to make the transition easier for them and for you.
- Keep your child in the loop. When you start looking at the best day schools, get your child involved in the process. From finding different schools to look at to making a selection, if your child is actively involved in the process and has a say in where they go for their education, making the move to the new school will go a lot smoother.
- Try to maintain a positive attitude. As the day they start at the new school draws near, try to talk about the positive aspects of the change. For example, the best private schools have more options for sports, arts, and other extracurricular activities. If you have picked a school based, at least in part, on the activities they offer, focus your conversations on that. It is never a good idea to talk about the friends your child will be leaving behind.
- Support them getting more involved in the new school. In the same way that it is easier to get used to cool water in a pool when you jump right in, becoming active in activities at the new school can be a great way to make the transition to going there easier and more fun. This way they will get to know more people and feel more at home sooner.
- Get your child back on a regular sleeping schedule. It is easy to let bedtimes and wake up times run late through the summer. A few weeks before the school year starts, getting back to a normal bedtime can help your child experience less stress. This can help them deal with the anxiety of starting at a new school.
- Visit the new school. Before the school year starts, take some time to go over to the school and allow your child to get to know the lay of the land. The best day schools will have no problem letting students and their parents go in and meet the staff, the teachers, and walk around so the child has one less thing to worry about on their first day at the new school. Knowing where their classroom is, how to find the cafeteria and gym, and just the basic layout of the school can give your child more confidence from the get-go.
- Get all of the supplies your child will need. The best day schools will give you a list of what your child will need to bring to class. If you do not get a list from the school, take some time to find out what will be needed by asking. When you get everything your child will need to start at the new school, your stress level and theirs will go down. The fewer things you and your child have to worry about on that first day, the better.
- Do as much prep the night before school starts. Some of this will depend on how old your child is and what the school policies are. If your child is younger, you can help them set out their clothes. If there is a uniform, this is easier. If your child is older and there is no uniform, they may not want you to pick their clothes for them. The more you can get ready the night before, the longer you all can sleep the first day of school.
- Do your research into the school. The more you and your child know about the school, the less daunting the first day will be. In this case, knowledge is really power.
Switching schools can cause you and your child a lot of stress. Even when the switch is to one of the best day schools, the change itself can bring a lot of stress with it. These tips can help everyone get through the transition.