Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preschool and Kindergarten First Day Jitters: Preschool and Kindergarten Books about Going to School

The wails and the tantrums of young children about getting ready to go to school are enough to drive any parent to the brink of insanity, but don't pull your hair out just yet. There are many resources available at your local library to help soothe your child's fears about his or her new chapter in their life. I've also included some useful tips to help ease the separation anxiety that often accompanies this new experience.

  • Understand that children's tantrums are a way for them to cope with the anxiety of going to school. Oftentimes young children have trouble expressing themselves so they will hit, yell, bite, and scream in order to get their point across. Preschoolers in particular may revert back to earlier developmental stages such as displaying extremely clingy behavior and sucking their thumb as a calming defense mechanism to this extraordinarily stressful new situation.
  • Talk to your children about your first day of school experiences so they can know what they can expect. Knowing that their parents have gone through the same situation will make the transition a little easier.
  • If possible, visit the preschool, kindergarten, or day care center your child will be attending before the first day of school. Have your child speak to the teachers and see if the school will allow you and your child to sit and observe some of the lessons. This simple action will make children less uneasy and will help better acclimate them to their new environment.
  • Create a daily school routine a few days before the start of school. Have your child wake up at the time he or she will be expected to get ready for school, continue with the morning routine such as brushing teeth, taking a bath, eating breakfast etc. You can then drive to the school so that your child can become familiar with the route you will take when you drive him or her to school. Point out familiar  landmarks such as the grocery store or library.
  • Read as many starting school books as possible to your child. See the list below for some suggestions.


My Day, Your Day by Robin Ballard (JE Ballard)
Children have a busy day at day care while their parents are at work.


Ready, Set, Preschool! by Anna Jane Hays (JE Hays)
A collection of simple stories, poems and picture games to prepare children for preschool and an educational guide for parents.

Preschool Parent Resources

The Preschool Years Family Strategies That Work- From Experts and Parents by Ellen Galinsky and Judy David (372.21 Gal)

Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years by Nancy Schulman (649.1 Shu)
Includes such topics as choosing an early childhood program, what is a preschool?, orienting yourself and your child, separations: easing the way, the social lives of children, understanding your child's development, what to look for and when to interview, and day to day family life.

Audiovisual Media

Preschool Power! (J DVD 372.21)
Teaches children many valuable skills including: pouring, cleaning up skills, putting on clothes, proper hand-washing, and making a snack.


My Little friend Goes to School by Evelyn M. Finnegan (JE Finnegan)
In this the third of the My Little Friend series, text and pictures combine to take the child through the first day of school.

A Place Called Kindergarten by Jessica Harper (JE Harper)
Wondering why their friend Tommy has not come to the barn at his usual time, the animals become alarmed when the dog tells them that he has gone to a place called "kindergarten."

When You Go to Kindergarten by James Howe (372.21 How)
Text and photographs explain what it is like to go to kindergarten.

Off to Kindergarten by Tony Johnston (JE Johnston)
A young boy lists all the things he will have to take with him on his first day in kindergarten

Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten by Jutta Langreuter (JE Langreuter)
Little Bear likes the teacher, other children, and activities on his first day at kindergarten, but he does not want his mother to leave.

Hello School! A Classroom Full of Poems by Dee Lillegard (JE Lillegard)

Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee (JE McGhee)
Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler can not tie her shoes by herself  and fears the worst.

19 Girls and Me by Darcy Pattison (JE Pattison)
John Hercules is worried about being the only boy in his kindergarten class, but after the first week he stops worrying.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (JE Penn)
When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him.

Kindergarten Diary by Antoinette Portis (JE Portis)
Annalina's diary entries reflect her feelings and experiences as she goes from being afraid to go to kindergarten to loving it during her first month of school.

Welcome to Kindergarten by Anne Rockwell (JE Rockwell)
A boy visits the classroom where he will attend kindergarten the following fall and finds out what is in store for him.

I Love School! by Philemon Sturges (JE Sturges)
A brother and sister describe the things they love to do during their day at kindergarten.

Tiptoe Into Kindergarten by Jacqueline Rogers (JE Rogers)
A young preschooler accompanies her big brother to kindergarten and discovers a fun atmosphere, full of blocks and books, paints, and puzzles.

Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner by Amy Schwartz (JE Schwartz)
Although some of the things her older sister taught her at home seem a little unusual at school, other lessons help make Annabelle's first day in kindergarten a success.

Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten by Audrey Vernick (JE Vernick)
Although kindergarten provides unique challenges for a young buffalo, one who follows the rules and tries his best will get along fine.

Tom Goes to Kindergarten by Margaret Wild (JE Wild)
When Tom, a young panda, goes to his very first day of kindergarten, his whole family stays and plays and wishes they could be in kindergarten too.

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing (JE Wing)
Charming kindergarten story based on the poem "Twas' the Night Before Christmas".

Instructional Aids For Parents of Kindergartners (Lessons and helpful hints for improving children's skills at home)

Let's Get Ready for Kindergarten by Linda Desimowich and Stacey Kannenberg (J 372.2 Des)

Kindergarten- It Isn't What It used to Be: Getting Your Child Ready for the Positive Experience of Education by Susan K. Golant, M.A. and Mitch Golant, PH.D. (372.21 Gol)

Kindergarten Success: Helping Children Excel Right from the Start by Jill Frankel Hauser (J 372.21 Han)

What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child For a Lifetime of Learning Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and John Holdren (372.19 Hir)
Book includes information on subjects such as history and geography, music, mathematics, and language and literature.

Get Ready for Kindergarten by Scholastic (J 372.21 Get)

Audiovisual Media

Getting Ready for Kindergarten (J DVD 372.21 Get)
Jill and Joey are excited about kindergarten! This video teaches kids essential skills through fun songs, animated characters and real children. Topics include cleaning my room, tying my shoes, and getting dressed.

(Summary Source: SirsiDynix Symphony Workflows)