It’s interesting having four kids. They have the same parents raising each of them. They all live in the same place. They have a lot of the same experiences. But they’re so so different.
One of my children couldn’t wait to go to school. Some of them get really nervous, even to the point of getting stomachaches in the days beforehand. Even the kids who loved their class last year sometimes get a little unsure at the start of a new school year.
If you have a nervous new-to-school kid, definitely visit the classroom ahead of time if you can. Bring them along to shop for school supplies and maybe a new first-day-of-school outfit. Another great way to reassure kids and help them see what their day might be like is by reading to them. There are so many great back to school books to help kids prep — there’s a good chance their teachers may even read one or two of these! Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Wemberly Worried by Kevin Hinkes: Wemberly worries about a lot of things, especially the first day of school. It takes a new friend to help her realize she’s having too much fun to have time for worrying after all.
2. Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books by Diane DeGroat: Gilbert is excited and nervous for the first day of school. Will he make any friends? Will he make mistakes? He discovers one of the best things about the first day of school is that he’s not alone.
3. If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond: The troublesome, lovable little mouse is back…and if you take him to school, you’re going to find yourself having to help him with a number of projects. A silly but reassuring look at what may happen during the school day (though, perhaps, without a mouse buddy to get you into trouble!).
4. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn and Ruth E. Harper: Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to start school and be away from his mother, until she lets him in on a family secret called The Kissing Hand. Anytime he gets a little worried without Mrs. Raccoon nearby, Chester now has a way to reassure himself. You can read it and maybe start your own family tradition.
5. Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff: As Mrs. Bindergarten gets ready for kindergarten, the children in her class (whose names also rhyme — what a coincidence!) get up and begin to get ready for their big day as well.
6. Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London: One of our favorite children’s book characters, Froggy, gets ready for his first day of school and leapfrogs off to the bus stop with his mother “flop flop flop!” A fun book to read out loud.
7. First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judy Love: Sarah Jane Hartwell doesn’t want to start at a new school. It’s going to be awful, she just knows it. Mr. Hartwell tries to help her feel better and gently ushers her off to class…where (spoiler alert) she discovers many of her new students feel the exact same way.
8. Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes by Eric Litwin: Pete is starting school. He discovers the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and lots of other places he’s never been before. But does Pete worry? Goodness, no! He just keeps rocking along and singing his song.
9. Tucker’s Best School Day by Susan Winget: It’s Tucker’s first day of school, but he’s not so sure about it. Luckily for him, his mom and his teacher both make him feel comfortable being away from his family for that long. He finds out, in the end, that it’s been a four-carrot day after all.