Moving is a stressful enough experience for children when they are moving within their own country. When they are moving across the Atlantic to live on another continent entirely things can become even more difficult. Even if you are only moving to the UK, where there won’t be a language barrier, there are cultural differences that can be very stressful for your kids. This is on top of the time difference and the greater distance between them and their old friends.
Thankfully children are excellent at adapting, and as long as you follow this guide, you can turn your move into a great fresh start:
Make Home Homely
The first step to getting settled into any new neighborhood is to, of course, unpack. British homes can be very different to American ones, which is why getting everything unpacked and even decorating should be first on your agenda. The more it feels like home, the better you and your children can relax and start to feel at home in this new country.
Get Out and Explore
Chances are you will live within walking distance of something, whether this is a local pub or the high street. It means that you don’t need to pack up into a car to get to anywhere. Walk, bike, and explore your new home with your children. This is an excellent way to settle in, especially if you move during the summer before the school term starts. In England and Wales this will occur in September, whereas Scotland you can expect school to start in August, so be aware that the dates might not be what you are used to.
Enroll Them in a Great School
Children have an uncanny ability to make friends wherever they go, but that doesn’t mean that you should choose just any school. Like in the States, there are different kinds of schools available. There are free schools, academies, grammar schools, state boarding schools and private (or independent) schools. Free schools are funded by the government but not run by the local authority, meaning they don’t have to follow the national curriculum. Academic schools are publically funded, independent schools, allowing them more control over their curriculum and term times. Grammar schools are free for your child to attend but only if they are selected after passing the 11-plus entrance exam.
Then there are private schools, such as Quinton House Private School in Northampton which offers the most comprehensive curriculum, from smaller classes, a tailored learning program, and exceptional extra-curricular programs to help your child succeed. The smaller classes also encourage children to make friends, meaning this can be the best option for your child to excel.
What matters most when you move to a foreign country is that you stick together as a family. Your children and even you and your partner can only successfully branch out, make new friends, and settle in when you have a safe place to call home. Eat dinner together, watch movies together, go out together – the more you bond during this time, the easier you can all adapt to your new home and enjoy the new adventures that await.