Rockbridge Academy Blog
5 Helpful Tips for Transitioning into Grammar School--Welcome!
A warm welcome to all of our new K-6 grammar school families! We’re grateful you’ll be part of the Rockbridge community this school year.
Whether your family is entering with a brand new kindergartner or transferring from another local school, a homeschool community, or a town far away, stepping into a new school brings significant changes. And as we all know from experience, even good changes can be both exciting and a little bit daunting!
Be assured that the staff and students at Rockbridge are eager to help, encourage, and pray for you both now and as the school year begins. Grammar School Principal Brooke Voelp, who has served at Rockbridge for 16 years (as parent, teacher, and administrator), has helped many families transition smoothly to the grammar school. Here’s some of the wisdom and helpful tips she offered for the months ahead.
Prepare your heart, mind, and body. Mrs. Voelp knows that preparation goes far beyond academic tutoring and shopping for school supplies. She encourages you to prepare your heart for growth: read God’s Word, which is at the center of all we do and learn! Pray constantly, taking your excitement and concerns to the Lord “because he cares for you” (Philippians 4:7). She recommends that you prepare your mind for learning by enjoying as many books as you can. Prepare your body for a healthy year by doing what you love as a family – getting outside to play in the fresh air and sunshine!
Step into the Rockbridge community. Once you have been paired with a mentor family, ask for their advice: how are they getting ready for the school year? Invite some of your new classmates over for a playdate—and consider inviting their parents, too! Pray for your classmates, your teachers, and the administration. As the Lord is answering your prayers, He’ll be knitting your hearts to those you pray for.
It’s the little things that count. Often, little things can make a big difference when you’re starting something new. Mrs. Voelp recommends buying a week’s worth of uniforms (which are available at a discount through Uniformee!) so you only have to do laundry on the weekends. Have your children pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables so you can make healthy lunches together. Also, familiarize yourself with some of the tools you’ll use regularly at Rockbridge! Log into ParentsWeb and practice navigating it. (Feel free to ask for help from friends and staff!) While you’re there, take a moment to fill out your family information and emergency form.
Plan for those busy first weeks of school. The first month of school is full of new classes, teachers, friends, and experiences – and all that newness can be exhausting! Routines may help to maintain peace and order in your family life. Designate a place for everyone to put backpacks, lunchboxes, water bottles, and coats at the end of the day. Create a homework space with plenty of school supplies on hand. Limit screen time and assign chores so that everyone is working together.
Most of all, encourage one another! God’s Word reminds us time and time again to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thess. 5:11), and Mrs. Voelp believes this is at the heart of a smooth transition. Consider having each member of the family set a reasonable goal for the month, and then encourage each other in your progress. Give lots of hugs andpoint out the many things your children are doing well. Above all, take every opportunity to remind them that they’re deeply loved – by the Lord and by you.
Note these important dates! Orientations are also a great way to prepare for the school year! We hope to see you at New Grammar Parent Orientation (August 26), Grammar Sneak a Peek (September 2), and Kindergarten Orientation (September 7).
Monica Ault serves as the Upper School Administrative Assistant at Rockbridge and has been a Rockbridge parent for 19 years. Being a mom is her favorite activity, but she also loves museums, theater, and coffee with a good friend or a good book.