In a few short days, I’ll be holding hands with a very nervous little person and walking into the first day of kindergarten — for the third time. My youngest child, Kate, is stepping into the big world of public school just like her two older brothers did a few years ago.
She is nervous — really nervous. And now I’m nervous because she’s nervous. The boys handled the first day of kindergarten with relative ease and no tearful goodbyes at the door. Sure, I cried like a big baby once I got back into the car after leaving them, but we all held it together just fine for the actual drop-off.
But this time I’m worried that it’s going to be really tough to leave Kate at school, especially if she turns on the tears and begs me not to go. She is my baby — the last of my three kids to go to school — so I’m especially vulnerable to her angst about venturing out on her own.
So last week I decided we needed to confront our kindergarten fears head-on. Kate and I went to the bookstore and collected all the books about kindergarten that we could find. Then we found a cozy spot in the children’s section and started reading about all the new adventures kindergarten would bring.
Here’s a list of the books we read:
- Kindergarten Rocks, by Katie Davis
- School Bugs, by David Carter
- Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, by Joseph Slate
- Wow School, by Robert Neubecker
- Off to Kindergarten, by Tony Johnston
I’ve gotta tell you — the books were a big help. Reading them helped her realize that much of kindergarten would be similar to what she was already used to in pre-school. And I could tell she was beginning to feel excited about the possibility that she might really, really like kindergarten after all.
Before we left the bookstore, I told Kate she could pick out her two favorite books about starting kindergarten and we’d buy them to take home. She chose Kindergarten Rocks, which is a story about a boy who was worried about all the different scary things that might happen at school — all of which did not happen. His older sister reassured him that they wouldn’t and then he found out for himself that he loved school and couldn’t wait to go back.
Her second choice was a book called School Bugs, a very cute little pop-up book featuring smart bugs in different school settings that spring up at you as the pages turn. She has read both of the new books countless times since we brought them home.
So if you’ve got a nervous kindergartener, consider a trip to the library or bookstore. It’s definitely helping to ease the fears at our house. Hope it does at yours, too. Here’s a list of other kindergarten titles to consider:
- The Night Before Kindergarten, by Natasha Wing
- Welcome to Kindergarten, by Anne Rockwell
- Countdown to Kindergarten, by Allison McGhee
- The Twelve Days of Kindergarten, by Deborah Lee Rose
- Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come, by Nancy L. Carson
- On the Way to Kindergarten, by Virginia Kroll
- Kindergarten Here I Come, by D.J. Steinberg
- The Pirate of Kindergarten, by George Ella Lyon
- The Kissing Hand, by Audrey Penn