Parent Handbook, Transition Tips
1. Submit an Application
2. Be contacted by a HCAP Head Start Family Advocate
Parent Handbook > Transition Tips
Is your child entering a new school this fall? Starting preschool, kindergarten, middle school, or high school? During transitions, children often need a little extra time, attention and support from their parents. School transitions also signal a new stage of family life for everyone.
Children may feel...
- Sadness at the loss of the old school, friends, neighborhood (and if a preschooler or kindergartner, separation from parents)
- Anxiety about the unknown
- Fear of not making friends, being accepted
- Apprehension about their ability to do the work or master the logistics involved (getting lost or on the wrong bus, getting lunch, learning the rules, finding the bathrooms, etc.)
Parents may feel...
- Sadness about their child growing up and moving on to the next stage
- Anxiety about whether the new school and/or teacher is the best for their child
- Uncertainty about what their own role should be in the new setting and how the new school views parent involvement
- Awareness that their child's growing up is linked to a new stage of life for parents too, and that family life will change
Here are some things you can do for a smooth transition.
- If the school has scheduled an open house, orientation, welcome day or other opportunity for parents and/or children to get acquainted, be sure to attend.
- Take the time to talk. Ask your child what he would like to know about the new school. Write down the questions and find out the answers; or if it's an older child, suggest ways he can get the answers himself.
- Take the time to visit the school. Call ahead to get an appointment or get permission for you and your child to take a self-tour of the building. Practice the walk to school, or the walk to the bus stop.
- Talk about what will happen during a typical day. Go through the schedule with your child. Help your child anticipate possible trouble spots and discuss what to do if these problems occur.
- Let your child know it's normal to feel apprehensive. Share childhood memories of times when you were apprehensive about a new situation and it worked out okay.