For the millions of children starting or going back to school this year, this week will be one marked by anxiety and excitement. As parents we might feel helpless as to what we can do to ease their fears, but there are ways we can aid them. Help your child navigate the beginning of the school year with these great back-to-school books.
As I’m sure many of us remember, the first day of school can be exciting as well daunting. As parents we experience a similar kind of anxiety, wondering whether our little ones will be okay without us. Will they like their new teacher? Will they feel safe? Will they make new friends? These are the kinds of questions that run through many of our heads the night before we have to drop them off at school after the summer vacation.
Though the experience might leave us feeling a little helpless, luckily we have tools as parents to help them prepare for the new year. The following books are great bedtime stories to help ease their back-to-school anxiety, whether they’re going back to school after a long vacation or starting school for the very first time.
The School Fairy by Dr. Ruby Andrew & Kirsten Brown
This is the perfect back-to-school prep book, if there ever was one. The amazing product of a clinical child psychologist and a local Express Toys store owner, both of whom are University of Miami alumni, this wonderful book tells the tale of a fairy, much like the tooth fairy, who protects children throughout the school day. The fairy was born after both ladies had terrible experiences with their children and separation anxiety. Before both moms knew it, this story had their children excited about going to school in the mornings.
Friends by Elaine Grosoff
Written by a teacher with over twenty-five years experience, Friends is a book aimed at helping your little ones with just that: friendship. It tells the tale of a little alien who makes friends with a young boy. Though at first they are shocked by their differences, they both learn that it is those differences that make their friendship fun.
Wacky Jacky by Jaclyn Stapp
Wacky Jacky was written by an “unlikely beauty queen,” as the author herself states. It tells the true story of Jaclyn Stapp’s road to becoming comfortable in her own skin after she experiences the culture shock of moving from Jordan to the US; when she experienced childhood bullying because of her different heritage, Jaclyn learned to love the aspects of herself that made her different from her peers, and then her classmates started liking her for her differences too! “Can you teach us how to belly dance?” asked some girls from her class after seeing Jaclyn in the local beauty pageant. In the end, Jaclyn and her classmates learned that what made them different made them special, a perfect moral for any child about to start school.
Ben and Feathers by Christopher McGarry
This great read was imagined by a parent during bedtime story, when he was telling the tale to his two young boys. As the story goes, when a bear moves into an idyllic neighborhood called Songland, the local residents gather to welcome him but things don’t go as planned. It turns out the bear has never had any friends before, and is unsure of how to place nice with his new neighbors. With the help of two brave mice, though, all peace is restored and the bear learns that relationships and community is important, and that being kind to others is the best way to build those relationships
Panic in Punctuation Land by Gordon Bushnell
To help ease your children into learning mode (not that they haven’t already been learning all summer), you can start with this bedtime story about the function of different punctuation marks. “All writing was once threatened by the actions of a famous punctuation mark . . .” the story begins. Refresh your child’s reading skills with this educational story about a period that wants to change her looks.