Frequent Moves: How Does That Affect a Child?

For today’s blog post I wanted to give a little introduction of my field placement. I am placed in a Head Start program classroom working with diverse Pre-K students. I did not have much time to spend with the students in my field placement, however, I found one student in particular that caught my eye. He is four years old and his name is Simon (pseudonym). Simon is quite different from what I was when I was his age and that peaked my interest. Because Simon is placed in this head start, I can assume that he comes from an underprivileged family financially. I first noticed Simon when he was supposed to be playing on the black top, but he was sitting in the center crying. I asked the teacher if he does this often and she said yes, that sometimes he has a hard time playing with friends. I became more interested. During a transition I asked for more information on him and she informed me that he has moved from Head Start program to Head Start program due to multiple family moves. This teacher has had the chance to experience him on other schools because she is a substitute teacher for this district that migrates to the different programs.  This inspired the question I would like to focus on. How does multiple school moves affect a child’s education and social skills?

I decided to break this question down focus on the social skills part of the question for this week. How does frequent moves affect a child socially/emotionally? After doing some research on the topic I came across the article titled Is Moving During Childhood Harmful? by Rebekah Levine Coley and Melissa Kull. In this article, authors Coley and Kull say that when moving between the ages of birth to around five, it can affect children socially and emotionally. Each move creates a decline in their social ability. After spending some time with Simon, I could tell he had a hard time using his words to express himself. Often times if he was upset, he would cry or get angry. He didn’t talk much if at all. He mainly showed you how he wanted to play with you. For example, instead of him asking me to use a cookie cutter with the playdough he tapped me and put the cookie cutter in my hand. When I asked him what he wanted me to do with it he demonstrated on his own playdough. I wonder if this is his way of sociallizing as a result of his frequent moves.

I am looking forward to learning more about him. Some questions I hope to explore and possibly answer next blog post is how many times Simon has moved, is there another underlying cause to why he doesn’t use his words. I look forward to doing more research to make connections to answer and explore these questions.


Coley, R. L., & Kull, M. (n.d.). Is Moving During Childhood Harmful?[Pdf]. MacArthur Foundation.