Moving in the summer just seems like the right thing to do. In fact, the time spanning May through August are peak moving months across the U.S. That’s primarily because school is out and it might be easier for parents to take time off work. But moving plans do not always work out so smoothly. Jobs get transferred. Aging parents need help. People get married and divorced. Life happens all year round. So there are times when families must wait until after school is fully in session to make their move to a new place. Although this sounds like a huge hassle, it does not have to be.
Are there benefits to moving in the middle of the school year? There can be. Here are some things to consider.
Many people will argue that with a summertime move, kids can make new friends around the neighborhood and at summer camp. But the opposite argument can be made that new friends are easier to come by once school is already in session. Once children are placed in their classes, that is where they tend to automatically make friends. And it never fails–everyone always wants to talk to the new kid. While summertime friends are great to have, those might not necessarily be the same kids that your children will spend time with in school. Thus, a mid-year move might be beneficial for your child’s social life.
In the summer, when a child knows that the new school year is approaching, they may experience a high level of anxiety knowing that they will be the new kid on the block. Mid-year moves are usually so quick that children do not really have time to overanalyze what may or may not happen. This saves them an entire summer of worrying and being concerned about those first day jitters.
Some things to be aware of…
If a school is already at capacity for the year, it is possible that they will not accept new students. Double and triple check this before you make any permanent decisions.
OK, so the task of making friends is not always so easy. By mid-school year–especially for older kids–cliques have already formed and that can make it harder for your child to fit in.
If your child is interested in sports and other extra curricular activities, it may be difficult or even impossible to join those clubs if it’s too late in the semester or school year.
The curriculum at your child’s old school may be very different from what’s taught at the new school. Will your child be left behind if the coursework is too advanced? Or will the assignments cover subjects that your child has studied and mastered already?
The school and/or teacher may not be fully prepared to accommodate a new student. Unfortunately, this is something you will not know for sure until the enrollment and registration process is already underway. All too often, teachers do not find out they will be receiving a new student until the last minute. This means your child may be without materials or even a desk to sit at. To avoid such headaches, check with school administrators as soon as you can to make sure your child’s transition will be as smooth as possible.
Your student’s welcome might not be so warm and fuzzy. Rules and expectations were already laid out in the first days and weeks. The teachers and students are already on the same page. Depending on your child’s school and teacher, it could be an uphill battle getting your child on the same level as everyone else.
To make a mid-year move as easy as possible, your best bet is to be honest, open and stay involved. Visit the school with your child and take a tour. Meet the teachers, staff and the students your child will be spending time with. Pay close attention to your child’s feedback–both good and bad. Your child will need your support during this time.