Starting school is a big milestone, not just for children but their parents (well done to everyone for getting this far!) It promises many new and exciting things, but the uncertainty can be scary too. Here’s where story books come to the rescue, and there’s a range of funny and adorable stories to help young children familiarise with what “Big School” will be like. We haven’t forgotten older children either, with some very helpful guides to both students and parents on surviving High School.
My First Day at School by Meredith Costain
It’s the first day of school for Mrs Mellor’s Prep class. We meet Zach, Amira, Ari and Zoe, who take turns telling us what happens. There’s learning to be done, snacks to eat, playtime and lots of rules! Some of the children have nervous moments – what if I don’t make a friend? What if I can’t hang on before I reach the toilet? – that resolve themselves happily. All too soon it’s time to go home! The different personalities and first-person narration will draw child readers into this happy, upbeat story.
Mum at School by Eric Veille and Pauline Martin
Mum at School turns a traditional “starting school” story upside-down and makes it hilarious. The first day of school can be tough. It’s nice if your mum can stay – and, before you know it, she’s cutting and pasting and joining in. Except that school is not that easy for Mum – she forgets to raise her hand and she doesn’t fit at the table. Perhaps… it’s more fun at school when mum’s not around? Mum at School aims to zap any lingering doubts in the most reluctant of new students. Eric Veille’s deadpan drawings add an extra layer of comedy to this story of unexpected chaos!
I am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
A classic starting school story about the beloved Charlie and Lola. Charlie has a little sister Lola, who is small and very funny. Mum and Dad think Lola is big enough to go to school, but Lola is not so sure. Lola doesn’t think she needs it – she can already count to ten, and she doesn’t need to read words because she already has all her books in her head! So it’s up to Charlie (and Soren Lorensen, Lola’s invisible friend) to help Lola realise that school is fun, and help you learn lots of useful things, such as how to write letters to Santa.
The Things I Love about School by Trace Moroney
Trace Moroney’s books are great resources for helping young children learn about themselves and their feelings. Her The Things I Love series celebrates the different everyday experiences that form the basis of our children’s world. The Things I Love about School tells children about the fun and enjoyable activities that they can look forward to, or know about already, like making friends and learning new things. This is a very gentle, reassuring story with cute illustrations, aimed at helping children to develop healthy self-esteem and resilience.
The High School Survival Guide: Your Roadmap to Studying, Socialising and Succeeding by Jessica Holsman
Jessica Holsman is the star of popular YouTube Channel Study with Jess. Her videos of study tips, organisation skills and life hacks attract millions of views from around the world. Teens know they need to study, but they haven’t always been taught how – and Jess is here to fill that gap. Drawing from her own experiences, Jess has created detailed tips on how to beat stress and enjoy school by staying organised, studying smarter, and balancing study with socialising. Jess has a direct, personal style that helps her connect with her teen audience, making The High School Survival Guide a useful handbook throughout the teen years.
Surviving Year 12: a Sanity Kit for Students and Their Parents by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg
Year 12 has become a high stakes, high-stress year, but it doesn’t have to be that way – the last year of school is also a time to make good memories, and to enjoy the independence and respect given to these senior students. Now psychologist and bestselling author Michael Carr-Gregg has created a valuable guide on how to stay well and motivated during this critical year. There’s useful tips on maintaining physical and mental well-being, how to set goals and prepare for exams, how to deal with procrastination, and how to make time for extracurricular activities. A special section aimed at parents will help them manage their own expectations, and learn the best ways to support their children’s goals.