What can I do to help my kids get off to a good start at school?
Getting off to a good start in a new school is important both academically and socially. The best way to help children start well is to register before school starts, if possible, to be sure any curriculum problems can be ironed out ahead of time.
- Before school starts.
For children with special needs, or those coming from gifted or other special programs or magnet schools, communication with the school administration should start as early as possible by mail or while visiting the destination area on a house-hunting trip.
- During the school year.
If the move is during the school year, parents should check back with the school and monitor their childrens work to be sure they are adjusting well and are in the correct levels or classes. But dont expect disaster. Often "new kids" are a popular novelty during the year, and nothing beats the bus for making new friends.
- Making friends is important.
A good social adjustment at the start is just as important as academic adjustment especially for junior high or middle school students. While a teacher may assign a buddy for the new child for the first few days in elementary school, junior high students are often left to fend for themselves, and often suffer some days of eating alone in the lunchroom. Parents can help by making a point of finding at least one schoolmate for their child and arranging a meeting before starting school.
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