When is the best time to move? During the school year or summer vacation?

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If a client has the “luxury” of deciding when is the best time to move the children, when should that move take place, during the school year or over the traditional summer break?

For example, I have a client who is most likely moving in September for work but is not going to move the children until their school year is over in 2008.  This client is moving from Irvine, CA to Dallas, TX and will commute until the remaining family can move in 2008 at the end of their school year.  My personal experience would lead me to advise the client to move the children during the school year for a couple of reasons.  Summer is very, very hot here in Dallas and many people leave for extended vacations.  I often relate that the summers of Texas are much like the winters of the Northeast,  except that everyone stays inside to keep cool rather than warm.  Recreational sports teams take a break over the summer, parks and playgrounds are empty by late morning, and pools and waterparks are fun but expensive, and how much fun after the second week of constant  swimming?

If a client moves during the school year, I understand that the children are interrupting their school year, but they do move into an environment that has organized activities already in place.  As difficult as a move can be, maybe jumping in feet first is a good choice.

Of course there are many factors to consider  when planning the timing of a move with children.  School calendars, climate, community, ages of children and their activities are just a few.

What are other experiences that consultants have had?

Regards,

Doreen

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3 Responses to When is the best time to move? During the school year or summer vacation?

  1. findingschools says:

    I have moved (4) times with our school-aged children – from pre-school years through middle school. We have always had the luxury of “picking our times” and have chosen to pop into our new location just a week or so prior to beginning of new school year.

    I recommend that the bulk of summer holidays should be spent in “old” location – enjoying friends, camps and/or family vacation – and of course, there are the many details of an impending move that consume the summer weeks.

    Encourage saying the good-bye’s at summer’s end and planning for a week or 10 days – maximum – at new location before school begins. This gives time to adjust to new time zone – with an international move – and scope out one’s new surroundings, taking in the sites and attractions. Then, school begins promptly with opportunities for new friends and activities. Eliminates weeks of loneliness in new home without friends, when the move occurs in the beginning of the summer.

    Perhaps others share this experience or have a different opinion?

    Best regards,

    Sara

  2. Melissa says:

    We have experienced moving with children both during a school year and during the summer, with children in elementary, middle and high school. We found moving in the middle of a school year very disruptive. The teachers had to accomodate another student when they finally had adjusted to their class. Different schools teach things in different orders within the same school year. We found that our children repeated some areas of study and entirely missed others. It is often harder for children to break in socially after the groups and friendships of a school year have been cemented.

    I feel strongly that when possible, it is best to wait until the new school year is starting. There is a fresh start mentality at the new school among teachers and students, so they are at their most receptive and accepting to a new student.

    I agree it is best to arrive only a week or so before school begins. We have found just enough time to get over jet-lag and see all the exciting new sites and unpack is enough time. In the US sports and music try-outs usually start about a week before school does so it is important to arrive early enough to be fresh and ready for those activities. That is a great way to ensure some familiar faces and maybe even a friend to eat lunch with on the first day of school.

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