Moving is stressful enough, but moving with kids can take the stress level to an entirely different level. It is important that your final destination/new home be located in a good neighborhood, with safe and accessible recreation options, plus in-district or near decent schools. Sometimes, it can even be beneficial to find a desirable school in the area and work backward to find a house near that specific location prior to moving.
There are more options for schooling than ever before, and it helps if you can at least narrow down the type of school that would be the best match for your child. Private and public are two common options from which to choose, but independent and charter schools have also been gaining in popularity more recently. Once you have determined the best classification of schooling for your child or children, visit the school websites of those located in your desired neighborhood to get a rudimentary understanding of the school’s policy and procedures. If you like what the school has to offer, you will want to follow up with determining the education quality and student performance. There are many educational websites that can provide you with standardized test scores and even rankings that may aid your decision. If class size is an important determining factor, find out the ratio of students to teachers, and see if it conforms to your standards. Sports and extracurricular activities may also be important to your family, so be sure to research what options are offered to ensure your child’s needs are met.
Finally, if you feel like you have found a good match, set up a phone or webcam meeting with the principal. A lot can be garnered from an actual meeting of sorts during which your specific questions are answered personally. This is also a good time to follow up on finding information that was not listed on the school’s website. Many people like to take this time to find out about security measures and what is done to ensure student’s safety while in school.
If you do have the opportunity to visit the school with your child, definitely take advantage of a tour. Because your child will be the one actually spending time there, a visit can help to support and reinforce your decision, as well as let your child feel more comfortable in the new surroundings on his/her first day of school. It will also allow you to view the chemistry between teachers and students, and know what to expect once your child does begin to attend.
Finally, making a move that benefits your child should not be ALL about academics. Check out the neighborhood you are considering and make sure there is a bevy of accessible options for recreation prior to committing. Local parks can appeal to kids of all ages, provided they are well-maintained and safe. Shopping malls and restaurants also offer safe destinations to convene for teenagers, and can provide a welcome respite for family outings. Above all, listen to your child! Moving is not only hard on you, so you must take into account the rest of the family’s feelings when determining a location.
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