10 Tips for Moving During the School Year

10-Tips-for-moving

Yes, we know that moving during the school year isn’t ideal for you or the kids, but sometimes putting your move off until summer just isn’t possible. Moving is difficult even over the summer, but moving while school is in session comes with additional concerns. Luckily, The Columbus Team has experience helping families move at every time of the year. So how can we help you make the move between homes and schools as seamless as possible? Here are 10 tips for moving during the school year that can ease transitions, keep you organized, and make everyone in the family feel more confident and happy about your move!

 

  1. Research. The Columbus Team knows Central Ohio. We can help you find the perfect home in the school district of your choice. We are happy to give you and your family the scoop on places to visit and things to do in your new neighborhood. Check online with your new school district, many have websites that tell you which school your child will attend and even have photos of the school, playground, and activities! Getting familiar with the big unknowns can make the whole family feel good about the move.
  2. Involve the kids. Take your whole family to visit your new neighborhood, tour your new home, and take a look at your new school(s). Not possible? Have your children write (or dictate) a few things they’d like to know about their new home or school. Photos of your new home are on our listings on our website, com, and our office is happy to answer questions about your new neighborhood. Call or visit the school office to ask the questions about school. School secretaries are a new family’s best friend, they are the welcome wagon and your help desk all in one friendly package! One out-of-state parent we know asked for a photo of their child’s new teacher to help their child prepare…the school sent a teacher photos AND a class photo with a welcome card!
  3. Contact the district. Many school districts have online forms for registration and more. You can print the forms and fill them out in advance, saving time during the registration process. This also allows you to check that your child has the correct immunizations and health information ready while you still have access to a familiar pediatrician. Don’t forget to check what documentation your new school district requires for registration.
  4. Create a registration envelope. After you know what you’ll need for registering your kids at the new school or district, use large manila envelope to collect all the documentation you’ll need before it gets packed for moving: You may need your new mortgage or rental agreement, to birth certificates, social security cards, immunization records, and even a current photo of your child. When you move, these important documents can become difficult to find amongst the boxes, so gather them early and keep them at hand.
  5. Contact teachers directly. As early as you can, get an email address for your child’s new teacher(s) and touch base before your move. Tell them a little about your child. Ask about what peers are studying: Is there a book your child should begin reading or a topic you can help them learn about during the move so they can be as up-to-date as possible? Ask for a supply list, too, as your current school supplies may not match the new school’s list.
  6. Give each child an ESSENTIALS box. Moving is stressful, even when you’re looking forward to having your own room, a great yard, and nice neighbors. It can ease your child’s mind to know that they have packed a box filled with their most important stuff that will be the first box to be opened in their new room. From toddlers to teens, kids have things that make a house a home. Stuffed animals, books, a favorite pillow, photos of friends, and for older kids – their computer. While items they can’t live a day without should go in a bag to stay with them, the things in the ESSENTIALS box are the things they’ll want once you’ve arrived at the new house. Let the kids choose the items, and mark the boxes in big letters so movers can easily see where they go. It’s surprising how excited kids get about setting up the new room when they plan what goes in it!
  7. Something new. Before or right after the move, consider allowing your child to choose something new for the new home. It doesn’t have to be expensive. A butterfly or football decal for a bedroom window, a basketball or box of chalk for the driveway, or even a welcome mat for the front door. One family we know chose a small tree to plant for each child! This helps your family focus on getting excited about the future!
  8. Take a breath. As important as school and work are, try to allow your family a little time to settle in before jumping right back into work and school. Even a single play-day can help you rest and reconnect in your new space. Then, reconnected, you’re all ready to greet your new neighborhood, schools, and workplaces!
  9. Establish community. As soon as you can, during or after your move, create a community around your family. Join a place of worship, sign up for a sport, find the local rec center or pool, get a library card…anything that allows you to join your neighbors in familiar activities can help your family settle in. We can help you find those resources if you like!
  10. Connect. Once you’ve unpacked and had a little time to recover, consider asking a neighbor over for coffee, or contact a classmate’s parent for a playdate. It can be hard to reach out, but creating a network of neighbors and fellow parents leads to friendships that can last a lifetime. Know that The Columbus Team is always here for you. We love that our clients become our friends and our neighbors!

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Top Ten Back-to-School Survival Tips for Parents!

school-girl-busIt’s time to think about school again! A little planning can make the back-to-school shopping less expensive and can reduce stress and last minute emergencies, too. Save money, save time, and even save the day with our tips for a smoother, happier first week of school!

1. Plan to save. Before shopping for school supplies, check out sites like Coupons.com and your favorite store websites and print off coupons and sale info on the supplies on your child’s list. (Most schools have the list on their websites if you misplaced it. Staples stores make an effort to have supply lists for schools close by, too.)

2. Before clothes shopping, have a fashion show at home. Buy only what you need: Have your child try on school clothes from last year to see what needs to be replaced and what still fits. If you toss the discards in a bag as you go, you can toss the bag in your car and donate the too-small clothes on your way to shop for new. Decreasing clutter and getting a tax break all in the same shopping trip!

2. Tuck all that back-to-school paperwork into one folder for each child. You can easily see what you still need to sign or pay, and you’ll have what you need for registration/first day, without a frantic search. Keep the folders for the papers that come home all year, too!

2. Update your calendar. Check your school website or parent letter for the academic calendar, and enter the important dates NOW for the whole year. Whether you use a paper calendar or your smart phone, you’ll be in-the-know about upcoming events all year!

3. Plan to attend your school’s first PTA/PTO meeting. Important details are discussed and new information is given out…and your child’s principal will remember you as an involved parent!

4. Bring your calendar to Meet-the-Teacher and the first PTA meeting. Ensure there won’t be a conflict with that class party or fundraiser you might volunteer for. Plus, those volunteer dates will be in your calendar for a much-needed reminder months from now!

5. Update your contacts or phone list. Add important contact info into your phone list, computer, or cell phone as it comes in. Principal, PTA president, class mom, teachers; all of them are people you’re likely to contact throughout the year. Never search wildly for missing phone numbers again.

6. Review or create an emergency phone list for your child. Even preschoolers have used these numbers to save a life! Place emergency numbers in your child’s phone, near your home phone, or on the fridge. Write down phone numbers for Mom, Dad, Grandma, the neighbors, police, fire, pediatrician, and poison control. Double check that none of those numbers have changed from last year.

7. Make a cheat-sheet for codes, passwords, and other school related info. Add EVERYTHING to the list that you or your child might forget; locker combinations, computer passwords, parent portal passwords, payment website user IDs and passwords, and lunch codes should all go on the list. Since none of the information is top-secret, store it on an index card or in your computer or phone. You’ll be the hero when that homework code or locker combo is forgotten!

8. Buy or pre-make heat-and-eat breakfast items for week one. Even if you’re a die-hard home cooked oatmeal family. Adjusting to new start times, school schedules, and bus schedules is stressful. Make mornings easier and happier for everyone that first week.

9. Do a test-run with backpacks. Help your children load up their backpacks two days before school starts. When your child realizes her calculator has gone missing over the summer, you’ll know early enough to replace it!

10. Consider cheating on the photos. First day of school morning rush is not always the best time to take back-to-school photos at the bus stop or mailbox. Stories of missing the bus and heading to school in tears are common. Getting dressed up and taking the photos the day before allows for a calmer, smoother first-day-of-school morning for everyone!