How to Prep Kids for a New School
Switching schools can be scary. Be positive about it and she'll take her cues from you.
Do help her break the ice. Get a class list from the school office and arrange some playdates with your child's new classmates. And once school's in session, stay involved. Michelle Gwin, from Durham, North Carolina, did some social networking for her 6-year-old daughter when they moved: "I volunteered to help with class trips and other special days -- it meant I met other parents and was able to set up more playdates for Mackenzie."
Don't wait until the school year starts to get informed. Inquire about the curriculum, lunch program, and after-school activities so you can help your child get excited about going to school. "You can even plan the route you'll be taking," suggests child psychologist Anita Gurian, PhD, executive editor of AboutOurKids.org.
Do take a tour of the building. If you move during summer vacation, your child's new school may have a "meet the teacher" session before the school year starts. "If you enroll him during the middle of the semester, ask if an older kid can show you around, "suggests Jane Winn, guidance counselor at Taylor Ranch Elementary, in Venice, Florida.
Don't let your child stay home all summer. See whether your child's school offers day camp; if not, check at the library for info on local camps. It will give her a chance to meet some classmates before school starts.