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Moving is never an easy process for families, and as a military family, you are likely to move more frequently than most. As an adult, change is often better understood and the transition easier. However, for children, a military relocation move can be a fairly significant event.
One of the most significant obstacles military families face while moving is starting a new school, having a new social life, and cutting costs. School is where friends are made, and routines are set, so transferring schools and starting fresh can be a big disruptor in your child's life.
To help, below are some back-to-school tips and tricks for military children to help you during this pivotal time for you and your children.
Back-to-School Tips for Military Children
When moving to a new state or city, it is important to do as much research as you can before arriving. Part of this process is researching the schools available for your kids. Doing this can help make the transition to a new place much easier for children of any age to handle, as you and your children can be prepared for the change ahead.
Within the military, there is a particular program called Military Interstate Children's Compact Commission. It is designed to help military families transfer schools by aiding in eligibility or providing other assistance when placing children in school. Take advantage of this program to make the moving process a little less stressful so you can focus on other essential items during the transition.
While kids seem to have the uncanny ability to make friends wherever they go, sometimes the transition into a new social life can be difficult in a new place. Children go through approximately 12 changes during a move, including a change in:
For military children 3 to 18 years old, this move can happen 2 to 3 times a year, which can be a lot for anyone to handle when considering the list above. How can parents help? Try these three tips for maintaining a comfortable social life for your military children:
First: Let children say goodbye to their close friends. Remind them that they can stay connected to these friends, even if they are miles away. Make sure to exchange information with other parents before leaving so your children can stay in touch.
Second: Reach out to people in the new area ahead of time. Find friends or family currently in the area and set up playdates or activities to help with the transition. If you are moving to a new town with no connections, research activities and events to attend with your children to meet new friends.
Third: Listen and be patient with your children. Restarting in a new place, making new connections, and finding a new "normal" is not easy. Each child is different and will use different ways to cope with this move, but remind your children that they are not alone and that you are there for them.
Military Deals & Discounts for School Supplies
Lastly, to help out this school year, you might need to reduce costs. You might be looking for back-to-school tips for DIY projects, deals, or discounts to help with supplies or items kids might need during the school year. Before heading out to a name-brand store, check out the local commissaries or thrift stores for items that won't break the bank. Looking for some deals on some name-brand items or supplies? Take a look at this list of back-to-school discounts for military families to find deals on clothing, school supply stores, and other essentials that will help during the school year.
Moving from any place for PCS orders is going to have its ups and downs. To help make transferring schools and getting back to school supplies easier on your military children, keep the tips above in mind to help your kids start over at their new installation. Take the time to educate yourself and your children to prepare for the changes while transferring schools and starting fresh.