Read a Book Together
A good book can go a long way! Here are some great reads to help ease anxiety about the upcoming school year.
- Brown Bear Starts School by Sue Tarsky and Marina Aizen (Suggested for Pre-K through Kindergarten)
- David Goes To School by David Shannon (Suggested for Pre-K through 3rd grade)
- The Night Before Preschool by Natasha Wing
- The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing
- The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing
- Junie B. Jones Complete First Grade Set by Barbara Park (Suggested for 1st grade to 4th grade)
- Frindle by Andrew Clements (Suggested for 4th grade through 6th grade)
If you are looking for more suggestions, check out the link below!
Before the big day, practice your morning routine with your child. This will provide your child with a sense of familiarity with the schedule and the expectations that come along with it. To help reinforce the routine, create a visual chart with each task. On this chart, you can include pictures of the steps involved in the routine along with a box for your child to check off once completed.
Starting The Year In Style
The night before the first day of class, help your child pick out a back to school outfit. Let them choose one that they are excited to wear and are comfortable in. You can even have a back to school fashion show and have your family help decide the winning outfit. This outfit can help your child feel confident when they walk into the classroom for the first time.
Pack A Scrumptious Lunch
Another way to ease those back to school jitters is to pack a yummy lunch with your child! While packing lunch, talk to your child about how they are feeling about the big day and maybe even share personal experiences about your first day of school. Don’t forget to pack that extra special first day snack (and maybe an extra one for your child to share with a friend).
Visit The School Beforehand
Unfamiliar places can be scary for anyone, especially a child. Take advantage of any opportunity the school provides for families to visit before the first day. If this is not feasible, you can take your child to see the outside of the building and play in the school yard. Point out to them where you will be waiting for them after the big day. This will help familiarize them with the atmosphere.
Teach your child to understand that it’s okay to worry or feel anxious and how to handle these feelings appropriately. Ask your children how they feel during these times and brainstorm ways to provide them with simple mindfulness techniques. These techniques will help your child take a step back and relax. One great and simple method is deep breathing. During school hours, your child can focus on their breathing while taking a walk to get a drink or visit the counselor for a quick relaxation break.
What’s Happening After The Big Day?
An after-school activity can provide a chance to talk about your child’s experience on the first day of school. This activity can be a walk in the park, going for ice cream or having your child help you cook their favorite dinner! Having something to look forward to can help them get through the day with ease.