We hate to mention it, but the new school year is not far away. If your child is nervous about starting for the first time or worried about moving up to the next level, these books can help settle that back-to-school feeling.
Some kids love preparing for the new term; I used to adore shopping for stationery and supplies, and even today get wildly enthusiastic at the thought of a new notebook and pen.
Others, though, find it more of an ordeal; maybe they’re worried about fitting in or being able to cope with the work. And if your child is starting school for the very first time, they’re also likely to have mixed feelings.
Luckily, there are plenty of books around to help you get your child excited at the thought of going to school, so take a look at these for some ideas. As a bonus, you’re developing their reading skills and hopefully their enthusiasm too!
1School’s First Day of School – by Adam Rex & Christian Robinson
What a wonderful idea – to tell the story from the school’s perspective, and how nervous it is worrying whether the teachers and kids will be kind to it. The school talks about a new child who didn’t want to go inside, but who is happy to be there by the time the day is over – a great way to calm your own child’s fears. It talks about a typical school day, so your child will have an idea of what to expect.
2Back-to-School Rules – by Laurie Friedman
The long summer holiday is a time to relax – so it’s no surprise if your children have forgotten a few school rules. This is a great way to get them back in the habit of self-discipline. Meet Percy, head of the class, who has ten simple rules to make school life enjoyable for everyone – including no running in the halls and no spitting!
3Teachers Rock! – by Todd Parr
Wondering what your teacher is like and how you’ll get on with them is often a major worry for children as they start each school year. This book seeks to set their minds at rest, giving all the reasons why teachers are great – they teach you new things, they make you laugh, they help you make friends. There’s even a page that can be personalised for your child’s teacher so it can be given to them as a gift on Teacher Appreciation Day.
4Miss Daisy is Crazy – by Dan Gutman
Kids think their teachers know everything – but Miss Daisy tells her pupils at Ella Mentry School that she can’t read and doesn’t understand maths. There’s never a dull moment as the kids end up teaching her, as well as each other. The format is ideal for reluctant readers, as well as helping them understand that teachers are human too.
5A New School: Stories in Six Voices – by Sally Derby
A group of six fictional students – ranging in age from kindergarten to fifth grade – share their worries, hopes and successes as they each offer their unique perspective on life at school. Meeting new teachers and classmates, settling into a fresh routine – it’s not just little ones who feel nervous about the start of a new school year. This book is especially good for helping re-settle your child each time they move up a class during the early years at school.
6I Am Too Absolutely Small For School – by Lauren Child
Charlie and Lola remain firm favourites with young children, and this adventure sees Lola unsure about starting school. Why does she need to learn to count higher than ten? After all, she never eats more cookies than that in one go! Charlie’s there to help her realise it can be fun, showing his usual patience. If you’ve got a younger child starting at the same school as their older sibling, this is the one for them.
7Ally-Saurus & The First Day Of School – by Richard Torrey
Ally can’t wait to start school and meet other kids who love dinosaurs as much as she does – but it turns out none of them do. Worse, she’s snubbed by a group of would-be ‘princesses’. This is a brilliant book for any child who’s worried about making friends, showing them that not fitting in can be just as much fun.