The end of summer vacation usually signals the time to prepare our kids for going to school. It is a time of transition for many families, as we want to make sure that our children are ready for school — not just in terms of school supplies and uniforms, but mentally and emotionally too.
According to Anna Ranson, a primary school teacher with almost 10 years of experience, reading books about starting school is one way to help children be emotionally prepared for school. She writes on her website, TheImaginationTree.com:
“If your child seems worried about starting school then use books to draw out these fears and reassure them. Most fears are related to not knowing what is going to happen and where things are, and these can be talked though thoroughly to the best of your knowledge.”
So, whether your child is going to school for the first time this year, or just returning to school, we're sure you'll find these books listed here useful:
1. The Night Before Kindergarten Written by Natasha Wing; illustrated by Julie Durrell
This delightful story of children getting ready for the first day of school is set to the rhythm of the well-loved Christmas poem, The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore. You can use it as a “jumping point” to discuss activities your child will do prior to going to school, like packing school supplies and saying goodbye to Dad and Mom.
The book is available in paperback version for P168.00 at Fully Booked. Check its availability, reserve a copy or buy it online here.
2. Mouse's First Day of School Written by Lauren Thompson; illustrated by Buket Erdogan
Cuddle with your child as you read about Mouse’s discoveries on his first day of school. Talk about colors you can paint with — red, yellow, blue — and letters you can spell with — A, B, C. Get your little one excited for school as you read about Mouse having fun and making new friends along the way.
3. Si Jepoy Dyip Book 1 — Ang Unang School Service Written and illustrated by Jomike Tejido
The first of a picture book series by local award-winning author and illustrator Jomike Tejido, this book, written in Filipino, does not really cover the first day of school. However, it is a good way to introduce the concept of a “school service” or “school bus” to your kid, especially if it will be his or her first time to use one.
If your child won’t be using a school service though, you can still use this book to teach the importance of listening to and obeying to elders — including teachers that your child will encounter in school.
The book retails at P149.75 and is available in bookstores where Lampara Books are sold, like National Bookstore and Precious Pages. You can also purchase it online via The Learning Basket.
4. Schoolies: My First Day of School Written and illustrated by Sarah Powell, Barbi Sido, Natalie Boyd
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“Schoolies” is a book series created by Ellen Crimi Tent. This particular title features Spencer the Owl, who feels nervous on the first day of school. He eventually gets over it though, as he encounters friendly faces on the school bus, has fun during his first lessons, and makes new friends during recess.
The book is sold for P220.00 at Fully Booked. You can checks its availability or reserve a copy online here.
5. Time for School, Charlie Brown Written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz
This Ready-to-Read book features Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Charlie is worrying about the first day of school. Will he be able to find the confidence he needs so he can have a good schoolyear?
6. Spot Goes to School Written and illustrated by Eric Hill
Spot is a bit nervous and shy on his first day of school but soon feels at ease, thanks to Mrs. Bear and Spot’s classmates Tom Alligator, Helen Hippo and Steve Monkey. School turns out to be more fun than he expected!
This is a board book retailing at P315.00 at Fully Booked. Reserve a copy or check its availibility online via their website.
7. Back to School Tortoise Written by Lucy M. George; illustrated by Merel Eyckerman
Tortoise is worried about going back to school. He has different fears — for example, what if he falls down, or doesn't like lunch? What if the other kids are mean to him? This book is a great way to encourage your child to be brave, particularly when starting school.
8. The Night Before Preschool Written by Natasha Wing; illustrated by Amy Wummer
Billy is a little boy who is so nervous about going to preschool that he can’t fall asleep. However, you’ll soon find out that the friends he makes the next day at school will give him reason not to sleep the following night either — because he’s too excited about going back to school!
The book is available at Fully Booked for P168.00. Find out where it is available, or reserve a copy via their website.
9. The Adventures of Snail at School Written and illustrated by John Stadler
This book is not necessarily about starting school or the first day of school, but your child will still enjoy it. Young Snail’s adventures as the class messenger, running important errands for his teacher, will surely be a hit with your kids. If you have a beginning reader, this will be a great “tool” for practicing some reading skills too!
The book is available pre-loved via The Learning Basket for P100.00.
Do you have other recommended back-to-school books that are not on our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!
*Editorial note: All prices indicated in this article are subject to change without prior notice, as per the bookstores indicated.