Our first day of school is August 1, and over the summer, we look forward to welcoming our children back to school.
We also know that the first day of school is a transition process for many local families. The process requires love, patience, and sensitivity for children – and their parents.
To prepare for the first day of school, we have a few tips:
- Before the first day, children should visit their new school to meet their teachers and observe their new classroom environment.
- We encourage families to send positive vibes ahead of the first day of school by framing the school experience as positive, joyous, and nurturing. It is helpful to talk about going to school before bed and during family conversations. Be sure to discuss that parents will say bye at school and come again after work for pick up.
- We also recommend driving past the school campus a few days ahead of the first day. This helps children observe the routine of traveling from home to their new campus. Parents may like to point out key landmarks along the way.
Storybooks are also a wonderful way to prepare your child for the upcoming transition. Our Montessori Guides put together a list of their favorite stories to help prepare your little one for the change from home to their Montessori community.
Here are some of our favorites:
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Pen
School is starting in the forest, but Chester Raccoon does not want to go. To help ease Chester’s fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.
The Art Lesson by Tommie dePaola
Tommy knows he wants to be an artist when he grows up. He can’t wait to get to school and have real art lessons. When Tommy gets to school and finds out that the art lessons are full of “rules”, he is surprised and dismayed. How the wise art teacher finds a way to give Tommy the freedom to create and stay within the “rules” makes a wonderfully perceptive picture book about growing up and keeping one’s individuality.
Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney
It’s Llama Llama’s first day of preschool! And Llama Llama’s mama makes sure he’s ready. They meet the teachers. See the other children. Look at all the books and games. But then it’s time for Mama to leave. And suddenly Llama Llama isn’t so excited anymore. Will Mama Llama come back? Of course she will. But before she does, the other children show Llama Llama how much fun school can be!
Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish
Amelia Bedelia is sure that she will absolutely love school—after all, what’s not to love? But after hopping on the bus “just like a bunny” (hurry up, sweetie!), confusing her name tag with a game (we are not playing tag), and gluing herself to her seat (oh, dear), Amelia Bedelia discovers that what she takes for granted is not always the way the world works. Still, friendships are formed, lessons are learned, and projects are completed, and through it all, Amelia Bedelia’s teacher, Mrs. Edwards, offers gentle guidance and an open heart.
Corduroy Goes to School by B.G. Hennessy
Corduroy has a lot to do at school today. He has to bring in something that starts with the letter “B,” feed the classroom pets, listen to a story, paint, have a snack, and help clean up. And all of his favorite friends are there to share the school day with him.
Froggy Goes to School by Jonathan London
Froggy’s mother knows that everyone’s nervous on the first day of school. “Not me!” says Froggy, and together they leapfrog to the bus stop — flop flop flop. Froggy’s exuberant antics will delight his many fans and reassure them that school can be fun.
Franklin Goes to School by Paulette Bourgeois
With his new pencil case packed with a ruler, eraser and 12 colored pencils, Franklin is ready for his first day of school — until it’s time to board the bus.
Rufus Goes to School by Kim T. Griswell
All Rufus Leroy Williams III wants is to go to school so he can learn to read his favorite book. But there’s one problem: he’s a pig and Principal Lipid says: “NO PIGS IN SCHOOL!” Rufus even gets a backpack, a lunchbox, and a blanket to prove he’s ready. But Mr. Lipid won’t budge. Is there ANYTHING Rufus can do to change his mind?
A successful transition takes time, patience, faith in the process, and open communication. Small steps to mentally prepare for the change – both for the child and parent – help make the first day of school a positive one.