Preparing your child for a new school

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

Skip to:

Going to a new school in a new country can be hard for your kids. They will be in a new environment. They will also need to cope with a new language and culture. Here are a few suggestions to help them:

Learn about the school

Visit the school. Talk to the teacher or guidance counselor. Tell them that your child is a newcomer. They can suggest ways to support your child. Bring a friend to help you if you can’t speak English (Note: Call first before visiting the school).

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 likes. This will help them look forward to going to school.

First day of school fears

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

Your teenager may be scared too. They may be worried about talking 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

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 their worries.

Let them know that they can always talk to you about anything. Always ask if they are ok. Listen well and stay positive. Tell them that this is a part of new adventures and it’s alright 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 the teachers, classmates and other parents. Talk to other parents to share experiences and get tips. Being active is good. It will encourage your child to become more outgoing.

Always be supportive. Be patient when they complain. Don’t ignore them when they say they have a problem. This period is temporary. You will hear those complaints change into exciting stories when they feel more at home.
Article updated July 25, 2023.

Back to top

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.

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.