Preparing your child for a new school

You are reading the Original Version (CLB5+) Read Simple Version (CLB3-4)

Skip to:

Starting school can be a stressful event in a child’s life. This is true especially for your child who is going to a new school in a new country.  Your child be adapting to a new environment, new language, and a new culture altogether. Separation anxiety, especially for those starting pre-school or kindergarten, could also be a problem. To help ease the situation for you and your kids, here are a few suggestions:

Do some research

Before the school year starts, learn about the school. Don’t be afraid to visit and talk to administrators or teachers (Note: Call first before visiting the school). They will appreciate your involvement in your child’s welfare. Ask about programs for newcomers such as tours, orientations or even assigning a “buddy” to new students. A school tour will be helpful in making them feel more comfortable with the new environment. Go with your child on the tour and point out the classrooms, playground, bathrooms, or the cafeteria so that they won’t feel lost on their first day. Ask about sports or arts programs that your child may be interested in. This will help your child look forward to school instead of being anxious.

Watch this video from Parents Magazine for tips in helping your child face their first day of school fears:

Older children such as your teenager, may have different concerns.  They could be anxious about speaking in English, fitting in, or coping with school work. The following video entitled “New Moves: An Orientation Video for Newcomer Students” may be helpful for them. Seeing newcomer youth just like themselves talk about their experiences can help ease their worries:

This video is also available in various languages at the Settlement.Org site.  It was produced by Frameline Productions for the Settlement Workers in School Program (SWIS) in Ontario.


You are also going through the same adjustment as your kids. Sharing how you feel will help them. Always check up on them, especially when they are withdrawn. Be open to talk whenever they feel like it. Be a good example and always communicate positivity. Tell them that adjusting is part of new adventures.  They will soon be involved in exciting activities and have new friends. Your kids will eventually forget their fears and anxieties.

Get involved

Volunteering at your child’s school will give you an opportunity to meet their teachers, classmates and other parents. It will also help improve your communication skills. Networking with other parents is a great way to meet kids your child can socialize with.  More importantly, this will show your kids that getting involved is a good thing. It can encourage them to try being more outgoing through your example.

Always show your support. Be patient and know that this phase is temporary. Soon, you will hear your kids’ complaints change to excited chatter as they become more adjusted to their school life.

Article updated July 25, 2023.

Back to top

Community Resources

Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network has many parenting and family programs, as well as English classes, with quality child care for newcomer parents.

Nobody’s Perfect Manitoba is a parenting program for newcomer parents with children aged 0-5 years. Here you will learn about child development, safety, health, and behavior from a trained facilitator.

My Child in the Middle Years is a great website for parents of 10-14 year old children. Here, you will find useful information on the changes that your child is going through at this age, as well as suggestions and resources on how to help your child succeed.

Back to top


Please select the correct answer. Please note that some questions have more than one answer.

Back to top

We'd love to hear from you!

Please login to tell us what you think.

Related Learning Activities

Idiom Set: School & Learning

An apple and a stack of textbooks

In this idioms set you’ll find Canadian idioms relating to back-to-school, reading and learning. Click on each lesson for cool… Read more »


An apple and a stack of textbooks

Are you or your child involved in the education system in Manitoba? This course contains workshops designed for students of… Read more »

Back to top

CC BY-NC-SAText of this page is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA, unless otherwise marked. Please attribute to English Online Inc. and link back to this page where possible. For images and videos, check the source for licensing information.