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Military Kids - Smoothing the Transition for Back to School

Some children have headed back to school, and some children will be heading back to school tomorrow after Labor Day. It’s always challenging to go back to school, but it you are starting a brand new school, it is a bit more frightening. This is something that Military Families can go through several times in their career and something the children get used to, but doesn’t necessarily make it easy. As a child that grew up moving from base to base and from school to school I have learned to adapt to my surroundings quickly and make new friends where ever I go. I was used to always being the new kid in the school. The first day was always nerve wracking for me. My first day usually went like this - I was liked right away, instantly disliked or it took a few days for people to warmup. This may be why I always carried a book, because I discovered a book kept me from feeling alone. With school starting I wanted to share some tips that may help your new student feel comfortable with their first day.

  • Tour the school over the summer.

  • Try and meet some of the local Mom and kids and find out tips about school.

  • Make sure you are available for your child the morning before school.

  • We always wait with our kids for the bus on the first day of school, even if we have to wait from a distance (think Middle School & High School students).

  • If you are able, leave work earlier in the day to do something extra special on the first day such as a special dinner or cupcakes.

  • Keep in touch with old friends to help your children feel connected.

It does take some time to transition to a new school, before long you will find your children will have new friends, become involved in new activities and they will start to feel at home again.

Don’t forget to smile when you are sending them off to school! Your children will pick up stress from you, if they see you smiling, they may smile and relax too!

Here are some great sites that can help with the transition:

  1. Military Youth on the Move is a great resource for all school ages to help with the challenges of moving because of a military move.

  2. offers its homework help services free to all K-12 military children.

  3. is the Military Child Education Coalition's website and a wealth of resources for military families changing schools.

  4. provides information about all schools, state policies, credit transfers, and graduation requirements in all 50 states.

  5. Operation Homefront Back-to-School Brigade - An amazing program to help military families in need. You can receive or donate backpacks, notebooks, notebook paper, pens, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers, calculators, glue, rulers, and other school supplies from your local chapter. Look for dates of this yearly event by searching for your local chapter online or via Facebook.l.

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