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Lessons Moving Can Teach Kids


It’s been over a month since we left Massachusetts! We drove across the country (more on that later), enjoyed a lot of family time with extended family, got the keys to our new home on Wednesday and finally got our boxes on Thursday. We are far from unpacked, and there is a lot to do, but it has been neat to see the kids grow and learn through this complicated move!

Lessons Moving Can Teach Kids

Change is hard, but possible. Our home in Massachusetts was the only home three of our four children had ever known, and the only one seven-year-old Emma remembered. We were all sad to leave, but we are finding things to love in California as well – blue skies and amazing weather, for sure!

A taste of just how big the world is. Driving across the country and through part of Canada was a great way to teach our kids that the world is a big place, with a lot of interesting things to see!

A taste of just how small the world is. Our kids were quick to notice differences in new places we visited, but they see the similarities as well. They have enjoyed finding familiar favorites like IKEA in different parts of the country – and they were AMAZED that it is possible to live less than fifty minutes from their favorite store!

Diversity makes the world beautiful. We have come a long ways from Emma’s cactus rant a couple years ago on a much shorter road trip! Now seven years old instead of five, Emma was our biggest cheerleader this time through – she thoroughly enjoyed learning about the country, and her younger siblings followed her lead.

All four of my kids have changed a lot on this trip. Anna is less of a baby every day, and the other three are all much more grown up. Part of it comes from the extra responsibility they shouldered with me parenting them on my own in a new place, and part of it comes from all the time we had to focus on learning together as a family. There is a lot we have to learn here in California, including how to get two kids to two different schools that start five minutes apart and sometimes finish at the SAME time (we were forced to overflow from our neighborhood school, which is conveniently across the street – into two separate schools, which are in opposite directions from our home) – or if we should just give up on public school for this year. This week is our trial run, so we’ll see how it goes.


MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

34 thoughts on “Lessons Moving Can Teach Kids”

  1. this post was really helpful for me. I never moved as a child. My family lived in the same house from when I was 18 months old to this day. My husband and I are currently contemplating a move and your post has helped me think about it from Goblin’s perspective.
    I’m sharing this on the Sunday Parenting Pinterest board and featuring this weekend.

    1. Thank you for pinning and featuring my post! I’m hoping to write another moving themed post soon as well – I’m very happy that you found this one helpful!

  2. Wow! A cross-country move. That’s huge! We moved a few hours away this summer and my kids are still adjusting to it. So are we.

    1. Moving is always hard! I know it will take us a long time to fully adjust to our new home, even though there are so many things to love about living here.

  3. What an adventure! We are moving AGAIN (at the end of the month) and I’m a little overwhelmed with it all. I need to focus on your 1st lesson so I can help my girls with it too:)

  4. Moving does prove the seemingly impossible possible!
    When I was 5 we moved from New York to Cape Cod. We made several trips and I remember seeing Kmart in both places and I tried to convince my parents to drive the Kmart way to shorted the long drive.

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    What an adventure! And those butterfly wings are gorgeous!! I hope you work out a wonderful schooling solution for your family soon. Welcome to California!!

  6. It’s interesting how changes like this can have such impact on children. I feel that way whenever we go on a long holiday – we all come back different!

  7. Christine M. (Cool Mom) - Tech Support for Stanley & Katrina

    Yay! You made it! Congratulations. I can’t wait to hear how it all goes once you are settled a bit. What a great way to spend a month. I bet you have given your kids memories they will never forget. My strongest memories as a child mostly come from long, cross-country trips in the car. :)

    1. I am so glad we made the drive! It’s a wonderful memory for me, and I think it helped us say goodbye to our old home and get ready to embrace this new one!

  8. Kim @ The Educators' Spin On It

    I feel so lucky that I got the chance to meet you the day you were moving into your new home. It was a true pleasure to chat in person with you and watch Anna gracefully fall asleep as we walked. Wishing you the best of luck as you try out their new schools, I can’t image how frustrating that situation is for you and your husband. Wishing you much luck and blessing in CA!

  9. This is totally crazy that they couldn’t accommodate siblings in the same school! Have you talked to someone in a school district? Yeah, I can totally see why you are considering homeschooling for this year, but welcome to CA and hopefully we can meet soon :)

    1. We have talked to everyone we can think of… Emma’s school is going out of their way to make things as easy as possible for us, given the situation, and I am hoping a spot opens up there for Johnny soon.

  10. I love your positive outlook – and those wonderful lessons that can be learned from moving. A lot of busy-ness and clearly some frustrations – but I hope you enjoy your new home and you all settle in quickly and comfortably. I am sure you will – home is wherever your family is :)

  11. What a frustrating situation with the schools. Will you be able to get in to the school across the street next year?

  12. It’s amazing what Ikea and other familiar stores can do to reassure you that things don’t have to be ALL too different lol. I remember feeling that way when I’d visit a new place but then see a Starbucks or see a familiar restaurant.

    I can’t even imagine how crazy your life is right now with all the changes and four kids and school… whew!

  13. Wow~ you’ve been busy! I moved so many times as a child and a few times as a parent with kids. It’s been interesting to see moving from both perspectives. I love the lessons for kids you listed~ very important! Hope you are enjoying your new place! Thanks so much for featuring our butterfly wings!

    1. We are definitely enjoying the mild California weather! I am discovering that moving four kids is a lot more work than moving one. My parents moved TEN kids, and I am in awe…

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