It’s the time of year when first day of school photos start to populate my social media feed and at our own house we are checking to see if the tennis shoes still fit and carefully selecting the pre-sharpened pencils from the school supply aisle. Back to school holds so much promise but it can also be a time where our students need a little extra emotional connection to help them navigate the transition of a new school year.
Above all else, make time to talk with the students in your life this time of year. Go on a walk or share a task like baking or crafting where it doesn’t seem high pressure and it allows them space to open up. Books can be a great way to practice curiosity as a parent and have conversation and back to school is no exception. Here are four back to school books I love and recommend.
Little Mole Goes to School by Glenyst Nellist
A new book in the Little Mole series, Little Mole Goes to School (Bookshop | Amazon) is a sweet story for children headed to preschool or early elementary. Little Mole is nervous about going to school and begins to compare his gifts and abilities to other students. A sweet book for first time students. Whether it be a preschool or kindergarten aged child Little Mole will offer comfort and a chance to talk about nervous feelings.
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig
We introduced The Invisible Boy (Bookshop | Amazon) to our children when they were young and the language and characters in this book gave us a common language to talk about their school experiences. It is a classic in our house and even with older kids we revisit the story, themes and characters when processing friends and classroom dynamics. It’s why it’s on my list of favorite books for emotional intelligence, but back to school is the perfect time to add this to your family library or snag it at your local library.
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T Higgins
We Don’t Eat Our Classmates (Bookshop | Amazon) is a fun and silly book to use as an entry point to talk about how we treat others with kindness and respect. Penelope is the only dinosaur in a class full of delicious human friends. She has to work hard to not eat her classmates, so she can make friends. Its a good way to introduce ideas to your preschoolers around not hitting and using kind words and actions to make new friends at a new school.
Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olson
Our families are often the spaces where we shape and understand how to treat people beyond our families. Our Class is a Family (Amazon) makes the connection between the communities we are born into and the communities we can build, specifically in school. This is an excellent book to draw parallels between family values and community values.