By Jeffie Nicholson, Adult Services Manager
Book List by Julie Duke, Youth Services Manager
The first day of school is an exciting time for parents and children. Many of us experience different level of anxiety as the summer ends and the school year approaches. Make the beginning of school an easier transition for first-timers and returning students with some of these easy tips!
1. Practice the morning and evening routine. Give yourselves a week or two before school to ‘reset’ your internal clocks and on a sleep to rise schedule that will be the norm for the next 9 months.
2. Let them pick out a school supply with you that will help them get excited about the school year. It can be anything from unique pencils to their backpack. It’s fun to have something special and gives one a sense of control over events.
3. Remind them that everyone is nervous and excited even the teachers! First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is a funny picture book that illustrates this point perfectly.
4. Visit the school before the first day. Lots of our local schools have an evening opportunity to visit before the first day so everyone gets to see their classroom and meet each other. You can still visit the playground and walk around the outside of the school. Returning students could have a playdate on the school playground as several are open to use year-round.
5. Talk about it. Be realistic and optimistic. For some, it can be disappointing if the first day isn’t as wonderful as they thought so temper enthusiasm with realism. Be prepared to deal with ‘the teacher didn’t let me lead the line’ disappointments with the fact that there are still 270 days of the school year so plenty of opportunities are left to be had.
6. Read about it. A book about the first day of school is a great gift. The library also has several to choose from to help prepare for the big day. Our favorites include:
o The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (Parents may need a box of tissues when reading this one)
o The Ticky-Tacky Doll by Cynthia Rylant
o Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
o Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss
o I Don’t Want to Go Back to School by Marisabina Russo
o Amelia Bedelia Goes Back to School by Herman Parish
o Arthur’s Back to School Day by Lillian Hoban
o The Berenstain Bears Go Back to School by Stan Berenstain
o Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
o How do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen
o First Day of School by Anne Rockwell
o Emily’s First Day of School by Sarah, Duchess of York
o Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridwell
o Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli
7. Take lots pictures and give lots of hugs. Make time that evening to talk about the first day with your child, their work and any special moments that they had on the first day of school.