This year, the Hoboken Library will be doing some special story times, in August, for children having their first school experience in pre-school or kindergarten. In this three-part list, I will share some books that will prepare your child for what to expect in their daycare or kindergarten classroom and help you and your child prepare for the pains of separation, especially if this is the first time and your child has been home with you since birth. I would also like to suggest that you visit the following website to see what you can expect your child to learn during their first school experience. Note that expectations are listed for each grade in school and might give you an idea as to early preparations for getting your child ready to learn: www.pbs.org/parents/education/going-to-school/grade-by-grade/
This is what is suggested that a child know before starting preschool: http://preschoolers.about.com/od/learningeducation/a/PreKprelesson.htm
This is what is suggested that children know before starting kindergarten: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/6-skills-every-kid-should-know-before-kindergarten
The first list I will share with you has to do with separation anxiety, both for children and parents. One of the hardest–and most exciting–days in your life is the day your child walks through a real school door. It represents the beginning of the time when your child is no longer in your protective cocoon and must learn to get along in a world without your protection. That first day is hard on everyone. Here are some books to help you and your little one find the excitement, as well as the tears, in separation:
Mommy in My Pocket, by Carol Hunt Sendrak.
A little girl gets anxious about leaving her mother when she starts her first day of school.
The Kiss Box, by Bonnie Verburg.
Mama Bear and Little Bear prepare for a short separation by sharing a special gift.
When I Miss You, by Cornelia Spelman.
A young guinea pig talks about the things that make him feel better when his parents have to leave him.
Llama Llama Misses Mama, Anna Dewdney.
It is the first day of school and Llama Llama experiences separation anxiety when he has to leave Mama.
Jake Starts School, by Michael Wright.
Jake clings to his parents and makes them stay with him during the entire first day of school. Meanwhile, he can only watch the fun that his classmates are having.
Ready, Set, School! by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
Rory tackles two kinds of separation anxiety in one week: he has to stay away from home, overnight; and he starts pre-school, as well.
The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn.
When Chester Raccoon doesn’t want to go to school, his mother teaches him a way to carry her love with him wherever he goes.
Mama Don’t Go! by Rosemary Wells.
Yoko learns that “mothers always come back,” from a classmate when she is worried about being left at kindergarten.
These books and others on the subject of children and separation anxiety in different circumstances are available at the Hoboken Library and through the BCCLS Library network.
-Written by Lois Gross, Senior Children’s Librarian
This post is the first in a three part series, which complement special story times to be held at the Hoboken Public Library in August for children starting school for the first time. Check back next week for the second part.