If you've moved a long way with school age (older) children, I'd appreciate your input.(14 Posts)
Dh and I have been discussing possibly moving out of London. No definite plans, just thinking of the longer term scheme of things.
One of our major considerations of course is how a big move will impact on the children, especially new schools. Dh and I never moved as kids so never experienced the "new kid in class" thing. If you've done it with older children, 10+ or so, how was it for them and you?
As I said, its just a thought at the moment, but its something that would concern me.
My Dd moved recently with her 8 year old son and he is loving the new school. Obviously he's a little younger than yours but tbh, I think it depends on the school you send them too. My Gs's school made a point of introducing him to his classmates and making a little bit of a fuss of him.
I moved secondary schools several times (not expelled, all to do with house moves) and I don't think the move itself was ever a big problem - what matters more is the school they end up in. If this is welcoming, accepting and the right kind of school for your child, you won't have any problem at all. Moving to one school taught me - aged twelve - that school and learning could actually be fun. There on the other hand, turning up in a vast Manchester comprehensive with a southern accent and a foreign step mother was rather more challenging...
primary fine, secondary can be trickier. Depends on so many things though. How school welcomes new kids, individual personalities. I moved twice during primary - fine. Moved once aged 16 and it was awful.
At least you're thinking it through.
We moved when ds was 6, from Devon to Bristol, and then again when he was 8 from Bristol to another part of the country. So this is his third school since starting school at 5, he's 9 now. He's fine, has friends, has settled in well. He's in a better school, it's great, no regrets at all.
We're kind of thinking 18 months time, when dd has just finished y6, before starting secondary. That would be our ideal. Ds would only just be going into y1 so really wouldn't concern me so much.
should be ok right at beginning of secondary, I'd say. You know your kids. Make sure the secondary is aware she is new and not arriving already knowing a lot of primary kids.
we made a big move (south to north, town to country) at xmas in my first year of secondary school. so i'd already been through a term of settling in at my first new school before being upheaved to the second new one. (btw the first secondary school was a different one to all my primary friends because my mum taught at that one and thought she was doing the right thing sending me somewhere else - although presumably at that stage she knew we'd be moving in the next couple of months anyway. sorry, i digress)
i won't quite say it ruined my life, but i had a miserable next few years. never really settled into the area at all, or the school until about 5th form. it's a big deal a move at that age, although what you can do to make it better i'm not really sure.
As a child, we moved to another town when I was 9 and my brother 11... I settled in fine, but my brother found things difficult. Depends on the child/children I guess. I should point out however we were closer to family once we moved which was a good thing.
We've just moved with dd and ds in yrs 4 and 5. was a big thing and had a few wobbley moments, but a few months later and they're doing fine. They do still miss their old friends very much but have made a lot of new ones. Picking the area, if possible, in terms of friendliness is important as lots of the other parents have really made an effort to help my two settle, inviting them round etc.
I think though at secondary age they often have to go to different schools anyway. Could you perhaps move in the last summer term after sats. Then they could meet a few people so will see a familiar face when start secondary school?
Overall, when we first moved them (end sept) I felt extremely guilty and wondered what on earth I'd done to them. Now, I don't regret it and think you just sometimes have to do what you think is right for them.
Mine were a bit younger: 8 (going on 9), 7, 5 and 2. The three older ones, being at school, were all affected in some way or another. We had quite a few crying sessions for as much as a year (in the case of one) and it was definitely not something I would want to do again.
In terms of friendships, my children had mixed experiences: ds1, who had not had many friends where he was, suddenly gained a whole gang of friends and has never looked back; dd, who had only just started school and makes friends very easily, just swapped one set for another; but unfortunately ds2 went from being popular to struggling with relationships. He still does, 2 years on. So it was a very mixed experience on that front.
Educationally, I think my youngest school child, who was in reception, suffered for a few months, but obviously she had plenty of time to catch up and has done so. The others did not really suffer educationally at all.
I would say that moving when your dd is about to start secondary school would be the best possible time to move as secondary is always a time for new friendships and new routines anyway.
Thank you everyone. What you say makes very interesting reading and food for thought.
We are really just trying to decide whether it is a viable option for us to move and we have so many pros and cons to weigh up. A lot of the decisions (financial, being closer to family etc) are things we are more able to deal with, but I needed some help with how it could affect the children.
Thanks all so much.
I moved schools (from Uk to abroad and then abroad to UK) at secondary level. My move from Uk to overseas was nerve wracking but in the end, it worked out fine. It gave me a chance to start anew with teachers and friends and I really enjoyed that. My move back from overseas to Uk was alright and I found everyone very welcoming.
I think a lot depends on the school - both times, the schools went out of their way to be welcoming to me and it helped that my first move was away from a school that I hated .
It is a bit daunting being the new kid in class - also, it's a bit like university - the people you meet first may not end up being the ones you are friends with so you learn to be quite savvy!
We moved around loads when I was a kid so moving has never really been traumatic for me so another factor to consider is whether your kids (so far) have had lots of changes in their lives. I think it is definitely easier if you are used to upping and starting in new places all the time. I imagine it's harder if you're not so used to that sort of thing.
Thanks for that foxinsocks. We have lived in the same flat in the same place, same school (with more or less the same friends), same neighbours....for all dd's life. The only major change in her life was ds's arrival when she was 5.5!
I am grateful to all of you for sharing your own or your children's experiences of moving schools.
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