School Survival Guide: Easing a Child Into a New School


And there goes summer vacation. With the start of the new 2017-2018 school year just days away, students may begin to feel a bit nervous about starting a new year, surrounded by new students.

Graduating from elementary to middle school, or middle to high school, or starting the new academic year in a completely foreign zip code can bring a bout of anxiety as the first day back approaches. Whether your family has recently moved or your student graduated into the next level of learning, use these tips to ease their transition during the first week back in the classroom.

1. Create Class Schedule Together

Make that first week back an uplifting and exciting experience with a rockin' class schedule. Create it as a team by talking with your child about the curriculum they’re interested in learning and what the school can offer.

2. Keep Positivity Flowing

Have a chat with your child on their school expectations and long-term goals, as well as their first-day-back fears. It’s important to let them know that everyone experiences the first-day jitters and they’re not alone. Have your child assign a goal to his- or herself every day for one week.  These goals can be small, like sitting next to someone at lunch they’ve never met and making friendly conversation.

3. Encourage After-School Activities

Whether it’s trying out for band, joining the soccer team or enrolling in an engineering club, after-school activities help students connect and engage with others. Encourage them to go out for a team or program they’ve never tried before – it’s a great way to learn about a new school and meet others.

4. Attend Open House/Orientation

Just by attending open house at the school, you and your child will already be ahead of the curve and more prepared for the first day back in the classroom. You’ll meet the teacher, locate your child's locker and classes, and learn your child's bus or car rider number. Be sure to scope out the fastest routes from the bus to the classroom, classroom to the lunch hall, lunch hall to the gym and so on. Treat the open house like a trial run by walking your kid's schedule.

5. Get Plenty of Rest

The night before school, make sure your child has plenty of energy the next day by getting plenty of rest. His or her transition will be easier when they’re fully awake and alert. Do you have a child that constantly struggles getting up in the morning? Make it a routine to set an alarm a tad earlier every night about 8 days out from the first day. That way, they’ll be used to the early morning wake up call.

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