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OIT 5 ways for military kids to flourish at a new school article

5 Ways for Military Kids to Flourish at a New School

PCSing is inevitable in the world of the military family. For those who don’t know the acronym PCS stands for “Permanent Change of Station,” which is confusing because in the military we are nomads moving from place to place every few years. For adults the transition may be a bit easier because we are usually comfortable in ourselves and for the most part have a say as to whether we need to make friends or be a loner.

Military kids on the other hand don’t have that option because they have to go to school and socialization is part of the experience. It’s hard enough to be the new kid but having to be “that kid” every few years is even tougher.

With summer being the peak of military moving season many military children will be starting school in a new location. Here are 5 great tips to help make the transition to a new school an easier one.

1. Utilize the School Liaison

Most schools (especially military) have a liaison. Their job is to keep military commands informed of educational issues and schools issues on base. They have other important duties which include helping new students.

2. Attend the School Open House

Most schools do open houses which gives not only you but your child(ren) an opportunity to meet their teachers ahead of time and possibly even some friends. Seeing a familiar face on the first day of school is a great way to help ease uneasy nerves.

3. Get Involved in the Community Ahead of Time

Again the benefit of moving during the summer is having time to prep your child for the school year. Research local neighborhood programs for your kid to attend. This is a great way to meet other peers who will be attending the same school. Local camps and the YMCA make a great start.

4. Utilize the School Website for Upcoming School Events

In addition to the open house many schools hold programs and events during the summer. These can be found on the school’s website. Try attending some of these events with your child to give them a chance to not only meet other kids but to make them feel as if they are part of the school community too.

5. Keep in Touch with Old Friends

Let your child know that just because they are moving doesn’t mean they can’t still connect with their friends at their previous home. Allow them to responsibly utilize social media to talk to former peers a few times a month. This will help them to still feel like they have someone to relate to in case making connections at the new school is going a little slower than they’d like.

How do you help your military child flourish at a new school?