When I was very young (oh-so-long-ago), every August I would begin dreading school. A new grade, bigger kids, harder school work - was I prepared? Could I handle it? Would I fail? My mother would have to sit me down and remind me that everyone else in my class would be in the same boat as me, and that learning was part of growing, and though it could be scary, it was not insurmountable. And every year during the month of September I would dread going to school...until November. When, after a few assignments and a few tests were under my belt, I would see that my mother was right.
What my mother didn't have during my August school blues were materials to help convince me that it was going to be okay, and that I was not the only one feeling scared, inadequate, and small.
So, as an homage to my mother during this month of pre-school preparation, here are some books to help you and your little one transition to a bigger, scarier, more difficult school year...that won't be so big, scary, or difficult afterall. As always, stop by the Saddletowne Library and pick one of these, or any other books!
1. I am Absolutely Too Small for School
by Lauren Child
A wonderful book for children entering school for the first time, like pre-school or Kindergarten. Lola is absolutely convinced that she is absolutely too small to go to school. But her older brother Charlie knows better, and offers sage (and hilarious) words of advice to his younger sister.
2. First Grade Jitters
by Robert M. Quackenbush
Moving up the scary scale to Grade One, this would be an excellent choice for any child going into....Grade One. In First Grade Jitters, Aidan freely shares his fears about staring "real school", and seeks solace from his friends and family.
3. Chu's First Day of School
By Neil Gaiman & Adam Rex
Fantasy, fiction, and graphic novel superstar Neil Gaiman lends his humour and imagination to a creative story about the first day of school. A wonderful option for any first day of school, whether for a new year, a new student, or a brand new school!
4. Back to School, Weird Kids Rule!
by Dan Gutman
A funny story for older children (7-10) and part of the Weird School series, AJ and Andrea are sent to a back-to-school camp after a hurricane ruins their summer vacation. But in typical Andrea & AJ fashion, they are determined to make the last days of summer the best they've ever had!
5. It's Back to School We Go: first day stories from around the world!
by Ellen B. Jackson
The ultimate source in expanding your child's perspective, It's Back to School We Go has eleven true stories from children all over the world. Whether it's a child in Kazakhstan, China, or Kenya, your young person can share in back to school stories and gain an empathetic understanding that everyone from anywhere has back-to-school fears!
Additional reading for parents:
Helping your child cope with back to school anxiety
Back to school blues
Kid's Health: Back to school
5 tips to get your kids up for school
Help your child prepare for back to school