How children cope with moves: Advice from real-life teachers.

Slates' parenting advice column on Care and Feeding. We feature a variety of educators from all over the country every Thursday to answer your questions about education. Do you have a question for one of our teachers?, or send it to the Slate Parenting Facebook page.How much will I be a failure to teach my child in kindergarten? My family was planning to move to a new place at the end August. Our son would start kindergarten at a charter school. We assumed it started in September. It turns out that it starts August 3, which is a full month earlier than we expected.AdvertisementThis is obviously poor planning and would mean that we would need to substantially ramp up our plans in order to move to the new location a month earlier than planned. We were assuming that we would have three months to coordinate, sell some of our stuff and say goodbye to friends. We now have less time than we thought to coordinate the move, sell some of our stuff, and say goodbye to friends.AdvertisementAdvertisementIt is worth moving things quickly so he doesn't miss the first months? Some states don't even require kindergarten. Or will he be that weird kid who turned up one month late?It's better to be late than neverDearer,If I could convince all parents of one thing it would be that it is extremely difficult to screw up a child so young. They are amazingly resilient and if you have good intentions and are loving and kind, your child will bounce back from setbacks.AdvertisementIf I could convince parents of one thing, it would be the first. Kindergarten is not college. As Mr. Hersey pointed out, kindergarten helps children get ready for school. This includes how to walk in line and how to raise your hand rather than calling out. But most 5-year-olds are unable to learn these new skills in one week. Or two. Or five. They will need to practice these skills for the majority of their first trimester. You child will not lose his ability to learn the school behavior you expect, just because he is absent for a few weeks.AdvertisementThis is also true for academic skills that they start to learn in kindergarten. In the first few weeks, they must teach number recognition, counting, letter names, as well as letter sounds. Kindergarten teachers must assume that children are not ready to learn. Preschool is not mandatory. Your child will miss the first few weeks of school, but he'll catch up.AdvertisementYou might be able to speed up the process so it doesn't take a whole month. However, if you feel stressed and rushed, it won't make things easier. This will have a greater impact on his school experience than missing just a few weeks. As Mr. Hersey suggested, I would give him the opportunity to meet his teachers and to take advantage of any Zoom offerings. But, if you want to make the transition as smooth as possible, it is better to aim for speed than to rush. Good luck!Ms. Ms.Slate is in dire need of your support. Subscribe to Slate Plus to receive the advice and tips you desire every week.AdvertisementAdvertisementI have a simple question that needs some background. Is it possible for teachers to check their emails after the end of school? Background: My daughter switched high school this year at the very end of her school year. She was a cheerleader since childhood and had been able to make it on the high school cheer squad at the school she was zoned for. We learned a lot about the school we were zoned for and decided to switch to a better school.I spoke with the cheer coach at her school and she told me that my daughter could still try out but that she needed to submit a virtual try-out video by the last day. The coach told us that we had to send it in early because there were administrative tasks on her end before she could view the video.AdvertisementThe paperwork was completed and sent to the teacher. This all took place the day after school ended. The school is now officially closed. The coach has not yet reached us. I am wondering if I should go to great lengths to reach her, or if she will just check my email. We appreciate any assistance you can offer.AdvertisementYou are ready to take the next steps?Please follow up.Normal year teachers may check their district email for several weeks after starting summer break. What happens after this year? An educator could be excused for throwing their laptop in the ocean as the clock strikes twelve, and then walking off without looking back.AdvertisementMany teachers, whether newbies or veterans, have found the last year and a quarter to be the most difficult, laborious and demoralizing in their entire career. Teachers are desperate to get some rest and recharge. Next Steps: I strongly recommend that you do not contact the coach during her vacation to inquire about your daughter's cheerleading audition. Your school transfer and attempt at securing a spot on the cheer squad was not in line with the end-of-year procedures. This is not your fault. However, it does mean that you should have realistic expectations about how much accommodation and response you can expect. Your requests were completed and the documents you submitted had timestamps. I don't think there is any reason to believe that the coach will drop your daughter for some paperwork issue when cheer season starts. Teachers usually get back to school at least two weeks before the start of the new year, if not sooner. You can check in again once August rolls around but not until then. Let the coach end this school year in peace.AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementMs. Ms. Bauer (middle- and high school teacher, New York).The rising first grader had difficulty coping with the pandemic. He also had severe behavior problems that required medication and continued therapy. Although he doesn't have a clear diagnosis, he believes he has some form of emotional dysregulation. Boredom was a major trigger in his class last year.He was bored and he became addicted to Prodigy through school. He is now in second grade, according to the game. It doesn't seem to have a complete math curriculum. I believe he is getting an unbalanced education, but he does show an aptitude for more difficult mathematics.We should try to finish his education this summer so that he can possibly advance in math. I worry that he is also prone to boredom and overestimates his ability to know things. He gets frustrated when he has the to do something he doesn't know. We might be setting him up for failure by his advanced math knowledge. He may not know all the basics of math and get bored easily. However, he does have some gaps in his knowledge and will still need the first grade math curriculum.AdvertisementAdvertisementDo we need to try and figure out how math advancement might look (and if so how), or do we let it be as is and watch how things play out in the first grade?Prodigy LoverDear ProdigyFirst of all, congratulations for finding a way to relieve your son's boredom. It's fine to look for opportunities that will help your child grow this summer. Keep it light. Kumon and Sylvan are two programs I recommend. Sylvan is a great program for children who are looking for a challenge. I have tutored there in the past. It is important to allow him to explore as many topics as possible, but in a more relaxed manner. He can choose which skills or topics he is interested in, while still being exposed to new concepts and adults who can fill in any gaps.AdvertisementYou don't really have to worry about his teacher next year. Teachers are used to teaching children at different levels. It doesn't seem like your son will require any extra enrichment. It would be helpful to have honest and open conversations about his math experience last year. This will allow his teacher to create a support plan and flag it for you. It is also important to share any self-regulation strategies your son learned in therapy with the new teacher. This will give your son a few tools in case he gets bored during class.AdvertisementAdvertisementMr. Hersey, second grade teacher in WashingtonMy fifth grader has ADHD and is moving to middle school. This year we have had a great relationship with her teachers, team members, and I would like to create the same environment for middle school success.I have her IEP Transition Meeting coming up. I don't often have questions but I want to make sure my spouse and I spend as much time as possible with the representatives of the child-study teams at the middle school.What are your top five questions for parents participating in an IEP Transition Meeting? Middle school teachers: What information about my child/my IEP would be useful to you? This will allow us to work together, and not just at cross purposes throughout the year. I thought about making a kind of face-sheet (as suggested on an ADHD resource website), but am unsure if it is too much.AdvertisementMaking the most of your timeDear MakingThese are excellent questions. I'm not sure if I can recommend a set of five questions that will guarantee a successful meeting. I believe the best IEP meeting will be personalized to your child, her teachers and the school she is entering. There are some topics you can address to help your daughter understand her strengths and requirements as she transitions.AdvertisementFirst, the transition from elementary to middle school will be a huge undertaking. It will likely involve multiple structural changes to the system that your daughter is used to. Shell will have multiple teachers. Each teacher will have different expectations and work schedules. Every forty-five minutes Shell will change her mental focus and location. At the end of each period, a bustling transition might see Shell moving around the building. Middle schoolers must also adjust to a smaller home base than their elementary school classroom. They will need to be more responsible for managing their own belongings, such as backpacks, binders and planners. Many children find these new skills and elements overwhelming. However, if your daughter has executive functioning difficulties, it could hinder her academic success and confidence. With that in mind, I would bring some ideas about which parts of the transition may be too difficult for my daughter and then use the meeting to discuss how we can support her. Do they provide a structured learning lab or study hall that offers guidance and support in time and task management? She can have regular check-ins to organize her storage space with a resource teacher. Are visual calendars and schedules available from her teachers?AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementYour daughter's IEP will be followed from elementary school to middle school. However, the language used in the document can often be very generic and standardized. Students with ADHD need to be accommodated in a variety of ways. These include frequent breaks, preferential seating and checks for understanding. It is helpful to be able to interpret your daughter's history using these accommodations and then add your perspective about how teachers have successfully applied them. Preferential seating is a requirement in almost every IEP for students with ADHD. But what does this mean for your daughter? Is she required to be near the teacher? Is she better to be away from the teacher's window or door? Is it best to be alone? Sitting in a group? Your daughter and your teacher will be more successful working together if you share how to make accommodations that are most effective.AdvertisementHelping teachers to get a sense of your daughter's personality is a great way to help them. What are the most challenging tasks or times of the day? How does she respond to teacher interactions? Socially, sixth graders are all over the place. How is her relationship with her peers? Are you unsure if she is accelerating into teenagehood or if she still seems childlike? You can also share your thoughts about her personality. Are you interested in horses? Kpop? Dungeons & Dragons You can help them to get to know her as well.AdvertisementYour last question is that while I don't think the one-pagers or face sheets you see online have made it into practice. However, I don't see them as an effective tool. I do recognize your good intentions to represent your child. But! They are an excellent idea, and I've heard from other teachers that they are a great idea. These are pretty much a matter of personal preference.I wish you a productive and positive meeting and that your daughter's transition to middle school is smooth.Ms. Ms. Bauer (middle- and high school teacher, New York).Slate has more adviceCan you please explain to me the importance teachers attach homework to kindergartners? Will his teacher consider me a bad parent if I don't make my child do it?