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Moving school & relocating at 4 years old

(27 Posts)
GoneAnonForThis Tue 26-Jul-11 08:41:21

My DD is enthusiastically looking forward to going to Reception with her nursery school friends. The nursery school is attached to the infant and junior schools. She is happy and settled at nursery and loves going to ‘school’ to meet up with her friends. She has been talking about going to ‘big school’ with her friends after the summer holidays. This infant school is outstanding and I have had no issues with the school at all. In fact, it’s a lovely school in a very mixed social setting. My parent’s live 2 mins walk from school and have been helping me a lot with nursery school drop off and pick up. My DD loves going to Granny’s house and seeing all of my brothers dropping in the afternoon for a play with her.

Unfortunately I was made redundant and have now accepted a new job 35 miles away. I am not sure whether to commute and keep my DC at the school that she would have gone to in September or to relocate to be closer to my job. I have rang the county council and there is currently a space available for my DC if we make the move NOW.

I’m torn and I just don’t know what to do! Am I being crazy to leave my friends & family behind and live in a much nicer area & live closer to where I work? Bear in mind in that with living so close to work I will be able to pick up my DC from school 3 days a week as opposed to having my DD at afterschool club 4 days a week if I commute (my parents will commit to pick her up from school one day a week).

Am I being selfish in wanting to relocate so that I have more time to spend with my DD? Or should I keep the status quo and leave here where she is happy and rely on afterschool clubs 4 days a week?

GoneAnonForThis Tue 26-Jul-11 08:47:11

Just wanted to add that she is now saying that she wants to live with Granny & Grandad and will not move to live with Mummy!

MigratingCoconuts Tue 26-Jul-11 09:11:57

I'd move personally.

For me, having at least one parent around at the end of the day beats after school clubs and you are moving to a nicer area too.

Your DD will make friends very quickly.

That's just me though.

LIZS Tue 26-Jul-11 09:16:05

Is the job a long term prospect ? Are you moving form the area you have always lived in and have other ties? It is n't too far to visit and dd would adapt but you may find it hard losing a local support network. Only you knwo how much of a convenience and reassurance you currently find that.

GoneAnonForThis Tue 26-Jul-11 09:26:49

migratingcoconuts I also think that being there for DD after school is very important.
I guess I'm worried about her emotional state more than anything. She is so used at being at my parents as they currently look after her during the week. Moving to a new school, new town and losing that contact with my family might be a bit too much for her? Or do kids cope with such a big change?

lizs The job is a long term prospect, well as long term as anything in this current economic climate! And I am moving away from an area that I ahve always lived in sad I think that I am slightly scared and nervous about making new friends and trying to establish a new support network all over again. I'm very conscious that I will have no support back up in the new area and that if anything was to happen, there is no that can help me out at all.

MigratingCoconuts Tue 26-Jul-11 09:34:14

I think you will find your 4 year old very adaptable. i remember moving at the age of 4-5 and I just kind of got on with it really. She'll very soon make new friends and you can arrange get togethers with grand parents at weekends for her.

I think you might find it harder than her really. Its hard to have to establish your firndships all over. The school will give you people you can get to know quite quickly.

MovingAndScared Tue 26-Jul-11 10:23:05

It costs a fair bit to move - and can take a bit of time - so would be you able to by september - or do you have something sorted
I would communte for a year and decide then - and couldn't your parents do 2 afternoons a week maybe?

GoneAnonForThis Tue 26-Jul-11 12:40:43

movingandscared I'm currently renting & will have to rent a new house if we decide to relocate. I've seen a property that I like but haven't taken the plunge to rent it out as yet as I keep changing my mind over whether I should move or not!!

I really don't want to commute for a year & then have to move my DD to a new school for Yr1. Plus she may not get into either school at Yr1. I'd rather do it now but I just can't decide whether to relocate or not confused

MigratingCoconuts Tue 26-Jul-11 13:03:45

toss a coin and if you feel disappointed with the outcome, then you know its the wrong choice....

chopchopquick Tue 26-Jul-11 17:53:37

I would move as you will have more time with you LO. Lots of children go to a different school from their nursery.

Good luck.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Jul-11 18:38:55

I'd move. At 4, the majority of children will adapt very quickly - of course she doesn't want to move from her friends, but once she's in the new school with 30/60 new friends, she'll be fine. As far as I'm concerned, the pickup vs afterschool thing makes it a no-brainer. Many (most?) children will go to primary school knowing few others, they make friends very quickly.

And 35 miles away is nothing, really, when it comes to getting back to see friends etc at weekends.

mrz Tue 26-Jul-11 18:47:02

Sorry but if you don't mind me saying it sounds as if you are using her as an excuse because you are unsure too She will adapt honestly ... but will you?

madwomanintheattic Tue 26-Jul-11 19:15:12

all of my kids have moved area and started at a new school for yr r without knowing anyone. (we were a military family). dd1 is going into yr 7 and starting at her sixth school in the new academic year grin.

each child is different and there are a very few children who don't react well to change (dd2 has cp and has been very routine driven, so we have to do lots of prep work prior to each move) but most children are extraordinarily resilient and cope with moving very easily. at 4 she will not know any diffferent, so as long as you make it into an exciting adventure rather than a disaster and emphasising loss (of friends etc) she will be fine. it's only 35 miles, she'll still see her grandparents a lot after all. (and she would be seeing them a lot less starting ft school anyway).

i agree with mrz tbh. it sounds like projection wink - only natural to be anxious about change, but maybe you need to think about how you feel, rather than about how your dd may feel?

mumofsussex Tue 26-Jul-11 20:49:41

I'm going to go against everyone else and say I'd be minded to stay put.
I have recently moved (3,000) back to the UK having been living in the ME for over 5 years. DD (who starts reception in September) was born there and her whole life has been there with the exception of a few holidays back to the UK. We have no family to speak of in the UK and all her friends were in the ME. She went to nursery there from 13 months and then went into F1 last September so was well settled and all her friends lived on the compound.

We thought it was the best decision to move back now so she could start in reception in September with everyone else and were lucky enough to get her a place at the local school.

We have been back less than a month and she has changed. My happy little girl is waking 3 or 4 times a night, sometimes just crying in her sleep and usually ends up in my bed. She is being very rude and cheeky and having temper tantrums. She is not herself. I'm hoping that this will soon wear off and my lovely little girl will return. She has started at a nursery next to the school and has made a few friends but is a long way off being the carefree happy little girl she was.

Please think long and hard before making your decision. You will have your little girl your whole life, you may not have your job for very long. Good luck

madwomanintheattic Wed 27-Jul-11 03:50:49

nothing to say she wouldn't have done that in the me too, mumof grin

lots of kids go through an interesting patch before starting school - needing more stimulation/ ready for the next step etc. not unusual to regress a little if becoming aware that grown-up school is looming either... but of course an international move (or any move) can stir it up for a while. we've done three international moves with kids from 12 mos to 10yrs, and they've all been relatively pain free. grin (not counting the domestic moves obv)

you can't make grown up decisions based on what a 4 yo might think.

ifink Wed 27-Jul-11 04:43:49

I agree with the whole adaptability of a 4 yr old. I think that as long as you are positive/excited/enthusiastic you can more or less 'sell' any move at this age. I sympathise with your struggle about taking her away from an organised set-up to the unknown - we recently moved overseas and our 4 yr old was SOOO excited about starting reception with her nursery mates in Sept and had been talking of little else all year. So I felt really sad and guilty when we not only moved her out of her beloved home but found out she couldn't even start school in this country for another 18 months! have had to do a major 'sell' on a daycare nursery setting as a different 'kind of big school' 'just as good as your friends in UK' blah blah (personally I think it's not particularly educational or school like) but you know she LOVES it.....amazing what a little imaginative talk can do

PatriciaHolm Wed 27-Jul-11 08:40:28

I think there's a huge difference between moving 3000 miles from the ME to the UK, changing every single thing about your life, to moving 35 miles down the road where you will still see your grandparents etc all the time! I feel for your DD, mumofsussex, but that move is a completely different thing.

mumofsussex Wed 27-Jul-11 09:23:06

Yes, of course my move was on a much larger scale, and my DD has left everything familiar behind. However the fact that the OPs DD herself is saying she wants to live with her nanny and grandad illustrates that the move will be upsetting for her. Of course children do adapt and I have no doubt that in a few months my DD will have settled down and will be very happy here. However, the OP's DDis used to her friends from nursery, thinks she will be going to 'big' school with them and is used to going to her grandparents house after school and playing with family members there. Obviously the proposed move will be a difficult and upsetting time for her. Not an easy decision OP and I hope you manage to make the right one for all of your family.

littleducks Wed 27-Jul-11 09:37:01

I would be tempted to commute at least for a year or two.

That said we moved beg Aug last yr before my dd started reception and she then changed schools in Nov. She coped just fine.

At both schools she has been at afterschool clubs, and again managed fine.
In fact it is only in the winter she has to go and since April I have picked her up from school every day and she misses the afterschool club where she gets to do HAMA beads and parachute games with her friends.

We also moved for a permanent/secure job for dh, deliberately waiting with him commuting (A hideous journey) till the probabtion was over. That job only lasted a year, and the company went bust everybody was made redundant. He managed to move onto another job no hassle......but I no longer view a job as permanent, however concrete it appears.

littleducks Wed 27-Jul-11 09:38:43

Oh, and would your parents have your dd on days when she is ill (lots of colds and new bugs in reception, as well as imo the odd absolutely knackered day just before xmas)? That could be a big bonus to staying put, while you make a good impression with your new employer.

hocuspontas Wed 27-Jul-11 10:08:17

Are you a lone parent? If so, moving away from your support network is something that needs a lot of thought as you are finding out! As littleducks points out, what happens if your dd is ill and you have to take time off from your new job? If I was you, I would commute, but to consider the move again at intervals. I expect places will come up further up the school so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Good luck with your decision.

MumblingRagDoll Wed 27-Jul-11 10:10:06

Commute. Unless the new school is outstanding too. You can't buy that and 35 miles isn't much.

GoneAnonForThis Wed 27-Jul-11 11:45:15

Thank you for your replies. It’s always interesting to see how others view my situation.

I am all for moving but I’m just worried about DD’s emotional state. She is so used to being with family & loves going to Granny’s. My parents have been looking after her since she was 18 months old and we often sleepover as well.
I have spoken to my parents and they are happy for me to drop DD with them before I leave for work. They will also pick her up 2 days week & I can pick her up on the other 3 days.

mrs & madwomanintheattic I am unsure of the move and just want to do the best for her. I don’t think that this quite means that I’m using her as an excuse though. I have had worked all over the world in war torn countries and I coped well. I’m sure that I will cope with the move but will she? She doesn’t react well to change either and I just think, well why can’t I just commute? But this comes down to your point in that should I let a 4 year old dictate my decision with the move?

mumodsussex I really hope that your DD settle down into her normal happy self. It must be heart wrenching seeing her like this. Good luck with the new school and I hope that she settles in well.

ifink Wow, good luck with your relocation & thanks for your advice.

littleducks I did think of that but I came to the conclusion that once a decision is reached I would like to see it through for the infant school stage. I don’t think I will be fair on DD in moving her half way through her schooling. She hasn’t even started school & I’m finding it traumatic…. Imagine how I will feel once she has settled in etc & then having to uproot her. I’m pleased that things worked out well for you & your DH.
In answer to your question, my parents will look after her if she’s ill and will pick her up early for inset days etc. But I don’t think that I am being fair in relying on them so much.

hocuspocus Yes I am a lone parent and hence the indecision as I really haven’t got anyone to talk things through with. I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility and feel enormous sense of stress in trying to reach the ‘right’ decision.

GoneAnonForThis Wed 27-Jul-11 11:46:38

mumblingragdoll the new school is good & set to becoming outstanding (2007). And they are having their new Ofsted inspection in September.......

BehindLockNumberNine Wed 27-Jul-11 11:51:42

I would stay put. You need the support of your parents when dd is poorly and off school, you need the support of your parents just for you. Starting a new job and your dd starting school is (ime) upheaval enough without throwing a move out of your comfort zone into the mix.

Stay put for a year or two. Get settled in your new job. See how you like it, and move later.

Don't do everything at once.

Plus, a 35mile commute is not the end of the world - plenty of people commute longer than that...

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