J2 Content – Perspectives

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How Moving Impacted My Kids’ Schoolwork

Buying and selling a home is one of the more wonderful yet stressful events in a person’s life. Recently my family did both.

The stress was made even worse by the timing of the move, in the middle of the school year which increased the impact on my children

My kids, as many do, are most comfortable and do their best when our life follows a routine.  Frequent or significant breaks in the routine often impact their ability to succeed in school, and this move was a significnat example. Homework was one the hardest hit areas, especially for  my 9-year-old son. Leading up to the move and after, I saw him leaving homework unfinished (or sometimes was just lost), watched his spelling test grades decline, and witnessed him become increasingly apprehensive about all aspects of school. Despite being a bit older, my daughter was also thrown off of her routine, and this straight-A student suddenly let her algebra grade slip to a C+.

I tried to point out to them that the move itself was a temporary disruption, and that soon we would reestablish our routines. Unfortunately, the quickness of the move can seem like an eternity to a kid.

We only moved 5 miles from our original house, but the move put us on the other sound of the boundary line and  placed us into a new school district. My children were frustrated that such a minor change of location required a change in schools, and they were concerned they did not know anyone in the new district.

Since both of my kids had less than 8 weeks of the school year left, I sought to find a way to allow them to finish the year in their old district. I was able to make that happen, but there was a lot of paperwork and a rigorous approval process we had to go through. The reasons for making it difficult for someone to attend one school district when they reside in another are understandable, but when you combine the anxiety we felt through this process with the stress of moving and you can imagine the family was tense.

Today, the move is nearly complete. The kids are now excited about the new house, and they are adapting to their new surroundings. Their grades are improving and we are reestablishing a routine. Making the teachers aware of the move also helped because it gave the teachers insight on why they might see behavioral shifts during the move.

Going forward, I am confident my kids will be okay. However, if I could go back in time, I’d have for moving during a winter or spring break, or preferably during the summer.

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