Preparing to send a child to school for the first time next year? Prepare by purchasing books about starting school, and read them regularly. Talk about the experiences had by the characters, talk about the pictures of the schools, and talk about feelings. Some of our favorites include:
- This School Year Will Be the Best, Kay Winters
- The Night Before First Grade, Natasha Wig
- I Am Too Absolutely Small for School, Lauren Child
- A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade, James Preller and Greg Ruth
- First Day Jitters, Judy Love
- The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn
- Wow! School! Robert Neubecker
- Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes
- After reading about the kissing hand, start your own tradition for saying good-bye with your child.
- Read several books with your child and talk about the characters. Then, find a child who started school already and ask them about their experiences and feelings.
- Talk to grandparents about what it was like when they started school. It might be funny to hear how different school used to be!
- Make a plan for the first weekend so everyone has something to look forward to. It might just be to stay in pajamas all day and eat pancakes and read books!
- Visit the new school while it is still in session. Don’t wait until summer to start preparing for the next school year!
School fills children with anxiety and excitement. Spend time talking about it, reading books about it, and preparing for the changes. These are just a few suggestions for books, a librarian can help you find many more. Don’t forget to talk to the school and the teachers (if possible) to discuss strategies for preparing your child for school.