I had it all planned out with my husband. We were going to ease our daughter into school and let the adjustment happen slowly. But just like many other things, the pandemic got in the way. Plans changed for my family and we decided to not send our daughter to Pre-K or any of the other classes and programs we had on our list. We thought it was too risky. Now here we are, just weeks away from our daughter’s first day of school and we’re still nervous and anxious because things are still a bit unsure. Although recently we started ballet and soccer again, it doesn’t compare to school. I soon found out we were not the only ones nervous and anxious, our daughter was too.
Although we have spoken to her about school and what she can expect, she was still not to happy about having to go. So I went on the journey of trying to ease her fears. I found videos, movies, and episodes of her favorite shows to help. Along the way, I also found some great books that initiated conversations that helped my daughter express her concerns and helped us to have dialogue that was helpful. Here are the 5 books that helped ease my 5-year-old’s anxiety (and mine too) about starting school.
1. How to Get Your Teacher Ready By Jean Reagan This book allows an interesting role reversal. Children will get to see the first day of school, big milestones, and activities from a teacher's perspective. What if your teacher is nervous too? What if your teacher needs help? It allows children to see how much teachers have to prepare for, how much they're in charge of, and how much help they can use from their students. My daughter loved learning about what she could expect during her first year of school and thought it was interesting that her teacher might need her help and might also be nervous.
2. Cozy Rosie Goes to School By Katherine L. Brown Cozy Rosie is nervous about her first day of school. Throughout this book she learns to identify what she's feeling and learns to express her concerns to her parents. This book is a perfect way to allow a safe space for your child to express their feelings about starting school. Knowing that their feelings are normal can help them open up more and become more comfortable asking questions.
3. The Invisible String By Patrice Karst This heartwarming story lets children know that no matter where they are, they are always connected to the ones they love. Although this book isn't specifically about first-day-of-school-jitters, it reminds us all that even when we are apart, we are still connected.
4. The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School By Deborah Diesen The Pout-Pout Fish series has been a hit in our household for years. The Pout-Pout Fish Goes to School is amazing at breaking down the first-day-jitters. Is your child nervous that school will be too hard? What if they don't know how to do read or write yet? There's so much to learn and so many new things happening that it can be overwhelming. The Pout-Pout Fish eventually learns that you don't have to have it all figured out before you first day.
5. The Pigeon Has to Go to School! By Mo Willems
The Pigeon series is another one that we can't get enough of. And The Pigeon Has to Go to School! has been on rotation for weeks now in our home. It's hilarious! The Pigeon is not excited about having to start school and begins making excuses to get out of going. Sound familiar? My daughter also thought of dozens of reasons to not go to school. This book will not only make you and your family laugh-out-loud but also help your child work through some of their worries about starting school.
What other books would you add to the list?
**These are just a few of the books that helped my husband and I start a dialogue about starting school with our 5-year-old. These are actual books that we have purchased and read to our daughter. If you decide to purchase by clicking the links above, we will receive compensation as part of the Amazon Affiliate Program.