Preparing your child for a new school

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Going to a new school in a new country can be hard for your child. He will be in a new environment. He will also cope with a new language and culture. Follow these tips to help your child:

Learn about the school

Visit the school. Talk to the teacher or guidance counselor. Tell them that your child is a newcomer. They will suggest ways to help your child. Bring a friend who can help if you can’t speak English.

Ask about programs for newcomers. Some schools will have tours and orientations. Others assign a “buddy” or partner for new students. A school tour will make them feel comfortable in their new surroundings. They will see the classrooms, playground, bathrooms and cafeteria so they won’t be lost on the first day. Know about special programs like sports or arts that your child might like. This will help them look forward to going to school.

First day of school fears

Do you have a young child going to kindergarten? Watch this video from Parents Magazine for tips:

Your teenager can be afraid too. They may be anxious about speaking in English, fitting in, or coping with school work. Watch the video below with your child. It shows newcomer kids talking about their experiences and how they adjusted to school.

“New Moves: An Orientation Video for Newcomer Students” by Frameline Productions for the Settlement Workers in School Program (SWIS) in Ontario. Watch this video in your language at Settlement.org.

Talk to them

You are going through the same adjustment as your kids. Share how you feel. Tell them what you do to cope. They will feel that they are not alone. Let them know that there is a solution to everything.

Always ask if they are ok. Let them know that they can always talk to you about anything. Be a good listener and stay positive. Tell them that adjusting is a part of new adventures. It is ok to have fears and anxieties. But they will also have many exciting activities soon. They will have new friends and learn new things.

Get involved

Volunteer at your child’s school. Meet teachers, classmates and other parents. Talk to other parents to share experiences and get tips. Show your kids that being active is good. Encourage them to become more outgoing.

Always be supportive. Be patient when they complain. Don’t ignore them when they say they have a problem. This is temporary. You will hear those complaints change into exciting stories when they become more adjusted.

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Everyday Conversations

Do you want to attend parenting and family programs or English classes? Go to Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network for free programs. They also offer child-minding.

Learn about child development, safety, health, and behavior from Nobody’s Perfect Manitoba. It is for newcomer parents with children aged 0-5 years.

Is your child 10-14 years old? Go to My Child in the Middle Years for great information. It has suggestions on how to help your child succeed.

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