The first day of school brings mixed emotions to children of all ages. While some will feel excited to start a new year with new friends and new teachers, others may feel nervous and unsure. Reading can be a positive way to introduce pre-school to your young child or address the fears of a child moving up to junior school – all while bonding over a good story.
Susan Lloyd, the junior campus teacher librarian at British International School, Ho Chi Minh City, explains how reading can help to settle a child into a new school environment.
“There are many challenges a child faces when starting a new school. You can find a wealth of support and conversation in the pages of children’s literature. Stories and illustrations that have been carefully created for children can be the catalyst we need to draw out conversation with children as they prepare for and go through the challenging circumstances of a new school environment and help to quell their fears.
“Carefully chosen stories in which the child can read about another child who is new to a school, how they deal with it, and the positive end results, are all immensely encouraging. Children’s literature can be an extremely powerful tool.”
Lloyd shares her recommended for young children, including her huge favourite Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss, which “inspires children of all ages to be bold and courageous in new situations.”
Curious George Goes to School by Margret Rey
The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Jan and Stan Berenstain
Hey, New Kid by Betsy Duffey
Marshall Armstrong is New to our School by David Mackintosh
The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park
Wemberley Worried by Kevin Henkes