Ben Lippen Stories

Switching Elementary Schools? 5 Ways to Help Your Child Adjust

After much prayer and discussion with your family, you’ve decided to change elementary schools. You’re hopeful, but you recognize that this is a significant change. Whether your child has outgrown their previous school, you’re looking for a more robust academic program, or you’re searching for better alignment with your family’s values, you anticipate that they will need the time and space to adjust. How do you equip them for what’s ahead?

At Ben Lippen School, we emphasize support for both rising and transitioning elementary schoolers. Below, you’ll find some helpful advice on how to help your child adjust during this season.

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Transferring Elementary Schools? Tips To Help Your Child Adjust

Help your child get a picture of what they can expect at their new school.

It could be the first time your child is changing schools, or perhaps they’ve gone through a similar experience. Either way, setting clear expectations around what may look different is important. This can help your child envision what the day-to-day will look like, setting them up for success in their new learning environment.

Consider talking to your child about:

  • The campus. If you’ve visited the campus, tell your child about the spaces that will be exciting, such as enriching classrooms, hands-on learning labs, athletic areas, playgrounds, common spaces, and more. Or, better yet, bring your child along to campus so they can see for themselves and begin to get excited about their new school.
  • Teachers. Have you met an elementary teacher in the new school? You can share what subjects they will teach, your first impressions, and anything else that comes to mind to make your child feel more comfortable. If you’re switching to a school like Ben Lippen School, you may find a faculty and staff directory online, where you can preview teacher information, educational background, and featured stories to get to know your child’s teacher better.

Community. You can familiarize them with available extra-curricular opportunities to join, such as clubs, sports, fine arts, Bible studies, and other events. If you’re searching for schools mid-year, bringing them to watch sports competitions, theater productions, or other open-for-all events in your school of choice can be a great way to make them comfortable as part of the community.

Listen to your child’s concerns.

Your child likely has concerns and hesitations about their school switch. Make sure that they know that the door is open for them to express their excitements, fears, and concerns. Are they worried about building new friendships? Are they thinking about trying to balance new schoolwork and activities? Do they feel like they have enough opportunities to pursue their passions? Take the time to listen, consider, and encourage.

At Ben Lippen, we recognize that elementary schoolers need to know that their concerns are heard and that their thoughts are valued. We take the extra step of fostering open communication with our teachers who model Christlike values — helping students understand that mentorship comes from a place of acceptance and understanding. Encouraging parents, teachers, and school administrators to discuss issues that students and families face is also part of our culture.

Integrate the old with the new.

Ease into the transition by keeping some parts of your family’s existing routine intact while adapting to the new school. Some examples include:

  • Your child’s routines. They may be expected to wake up or leave the house at a different time, but you can keep morning routines such as prayer, breakfast, and preparing bags so your child has something familiar to look forward to.
  • Study spaces. If there’s a dedicated space at home for your child to finish projects or schoolwork, make them feel comfortable by continuing to reserving that space for studying and schoolwork.
  • Drop-offs and pick-ups. First-day jitters are real and very common! Bring a sense of comfort and safety by having the same people (parents, grandparents, guardians) handle drop-offs and pick-ups for your elementary schooler on their first few days.

Talk to teachers and fellow parents.

As your child gradually eases into their new school,you will also become a part of a new community! Immersing yourself in the school community and culture is a simple but effective way to support your child.

Start conversations with teachers or fellow parents during school events, conferences, or pick-ups. Ask questions — what are some academic resources that parents recommend? What’s a popular enrichment class where students have fun, according to teachers? Building your own community within your child’s school will give you the tools to help your child adjust.

At Ben Lippen School, your child will experience a vibrant student community where they’ll feel celebrated, recognized, and valued. Elementary schoolers grow as they explore Youth Development Sports, music lessons, after-school clubs, and discipleship opportunities. Our supportive culture extends beyond how we care for students — conferences, family events, volunteering, and service programs all foster the healthy community we’ve built for parents.

Give your child the time and space to grow.

In other words, it pays to be patient! Simply allowing your child to experience everything fully while being a safe space for them to share concerns is vital to how they’ll adjust to changes.

The first few days, weeks, or even months of switching elementary schools may have some bumps along the way. Still, with your patience, understanding, and encouragement, your child will successfully adjust in the right learning environment.

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