Does the new school year mean your kids have already purchased school supplies, picked out their new backpack, and have laid out the first day of school outfit?
Or does it mean that your kids are sulking, anxious, cranky, and miserable?
School brings on such different emotions for every child because it is a time of change, which means a new schedule, new classmates, and a new teacher. It makes sense. All these changes can be difficult.
So what do you do if your child feels back-to-school stress? Frustration and angst? Feelings of utter distain toward school?
You can go a couple of different routes:
1. Find books where characters feel the same way as your child.
Sometimes all kids need is to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Consider finding books where the characters also aren’t big fans of school either:
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Arthur’s Teacher Trouble by Marc Brown
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Tallahassee Higgins by Mary Downing Hahn
Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
The Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan
2. Find books about children who do great things.
Maybe your child needs a little inspiration. Maybe he or she needs to read about kids who have gone above and beyond to make the world a better place.
Maybe reading about kids who have made great change will help your child realize that focusing on life outside school can help make the hours in school more bearable. Check out:
The Giving Book by Ellen Sabin
Girls Who Rocked the World by Amelie Weldon
Boys Who Rocked the World: Heroes from King Tut to Bruce Lee by Michelle McCann and David Hahn
Catch the Spirit by Susan K. Perry
3. Find books about kids with really difficult lives.
Sometimes it helps to read about tough lives—lives that no person wants to lead—so that we realize that things might not be quite as bad as they seem.
Reading about difficult life in early America, in different parts of the world, or even in our own backyard can open up eyes and make us appreciate what we have. Consider reading:
Dear America series by various authors
You Wouldn’t Want to. . . series by various authors
I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis
4. Find books about really cool careers.
Perhaps your kids need to see why school matters and why an education will take them wherever they want to go. Check out:
All About Things People Do by Melanie Rice and Chris Rice
Cool Careers for Girls with Animals by Ceel Pasternak and Linda Thornburg
Cool Careers in Video Games by Scholastic
A Day in the Life / Kid’s Career Library by various authors
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
Or maybe your children just need to read about how their favorite celebrities and stars felt about school when they went. Check out books like this one:
Cool in School: Surviving School Celebrity Style by Michael-Anne Johns
What other books or resources can help those kids who hate school? What should we add to this list? We’d love to know! Share your ideas, tips, and tricks on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on Twitter @teachmama, and let’s continue the conversation!