Choosing the Right School for Your Kids When You Relocate

Moving to a new city can be something of an adventure for the whole family, what with the prospects of meeting people and discovering fun, new places and activities in the local environs. But as adults are well aware, this period of upheaval can also be extremely trying for children, who tend to thrive on stability and routine. Even young kids have already become familiar with their home, their school, and other often-visited locations. They know the doctor and the dentist, their teachers, and other adults in your support network, and they’ve established a peer group. For older kids it can be even harder since they’ve likely been going to school with the same group of kids for years. Leaving all that behind for the unknown can be a shock to the system, no matter how great you make it sound. But you can help them to transition to their new living situation by taking pains to select a school where they’re going to find acceptance and success. And here are a few things you’ll want to consider in the process.

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Chances are you will find yourself in a certain district when you move, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to confine yourself to this small geographic area when it comes to choosing the best schools for your kids. Often there are ways to get your children placement within other districts. For one thing, you might want to do something of an exploratory foray into local schools before you settle on a house. Some school districts are bound to be more desirable than others based on academics, class sizes, extracurricular activities (sports, art programs, etc.), feeder programs (which schools they feed into), and other factors, so you need to do your homework before you settle on your new living accommodations. It could save you from a lot of headaches when it comes to getting kids into the choice schools in your new city.

Another thing to consider is the prospect of sending your kids to a private school. For children that are entering a rather stressful situation, going to a school that is able to offer more individual attention could help them to acclimate. Whether you prefer a religious institution that will offer them spiritual guidance in addition to academic tutelage, you’re a fan of charter schools where the parents have some say over the way money and programs are managed, or you like the idea of a Montessori-type setting where alternative methods of teaching are explored, choosing schools that are not strictly “public” might help kids to make it through the tough transition brought on by a move.

Of course, you should also take the time to visit schools, talk to teachers and administrators, and perhaps even sit in on a class or two in order to get an idea of what your kids can expect to encounter at a new school. You could also take your kids with you on these excursions so that they can have some say in the matter. Giving them a voice in the decision-making process could help them to feel like they have control in a situation where they might otherwise feel powerless. You’ve no doubt got a lot to juggle in the moving process, what with securing a job, finding a home, and checking interest rates. But your kids are priority number one and you want to do whatever you can to ease their transition to a new city, a new home, and a new school.

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