Tips For Helping Your Preschooler Adjust To A New School

Posted on: 17 June 2015

Many children attend both three and four year old preschool. If you plan on switching to a new preschool for next school year, make sure you spend some time preparing for the transition. If you allow your child to say goodbye to their old school friends, and allow them time to adjust to their new preschool, this transition will be a lot easier. 

Inform Your Child's Current Preschool They Will Not Be Coming Back

Let your child's teachers know that your child will be attending a different preschool in the fall. Ask your child's current teachers if they can provide you with information about your child's social emotional development as well as your child's academic development. Many preschools use a rubric to measure student's social and academic growth. They should be able to provide you with information about where your child falls on this rubric. 

You may also want to ask your child's current teacher if, besides the formal information they have collected about your child, they could also write a personal note to your child's new preschool teacher. Although you are the ultimate expert on your child, your child's teacher may be able to offer insight into their learning abilities and social development in large group settings. 

Let Your Child Know They Will Be Attending A New School 

If your child goes to a preschool that follows the local academic calendar, inform your child as the end of the school year approaches that they need to say good-bye to all of their friends because they will be going to a new preschool in the fall. As the end of school year celebrations approach, make sure you celebrate your child's accomplishments and discuss that they will get to go to a new preschool next fall.

If your child goes to a year-round preschool, you can count down the days that your child has left at their old preschool before they transition to their new school. You may want to talk to the staff and see if your child can bring in a special treat for the their class on their last day. This will give your child a sense of closure and a chance to say goodbye to all their friends.  

If your child seems apprehensive or scared at the idea of switching schools, go to the library and check out a few books about going to a new school or starting kindergarten. These books deal with the kinds of emotions and situations your child is in. Talk with your child about what happens to the characters in the book. Make sure you point out how the characters in the book ended up liking kindergarten or their new school, even though they were afraid at first. This can help put your child's fears at ease. 

Reach Out To Your Child's Classmates' Parents

If you'll be moving out of state, reach out to the parents of your child's friends and arrange a few play dates before you move.

If you'll be staying in the area, but just attending a new preschool, get their contact information so you can still arrange play dates. Having play dates with old friends while adjusting to a new school and new friends can ease the transition for your child. 

Tour The New School With Your Child

Before your child's start date, arrange to take your child to their new preschool and tour the facilities. Some preschools actually require you to come in, see the classroom and meet the teacher before the school year begins.

Let this visit be all about your child — allow them to explore the new play areas and interact with their new teacher while you are present. This will help your child realize this is a safe place for them to hang out, play and learn. A school like Sammamish Montessori School might be very different from the school your child attended before, so this visit will help you gauge your child's initial level of comfort. Make sure during this visit that you provide your child's new teacher with the information your child's old teacher prepared for you as well.

Transitioning to a new preschool does not have to be a scary or stressful process. Just make sure you take the time to help your child say goodbye to their old preschool and get acclimated to their new school.