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Lil Sprouts Book Club: First Day Jitters

It seems only fitting that we chose a book for our Lil Sprouts Book Club this week that helps our little ones with their back to school thoughts and feelings.  This time of year is usually a mixture of excitement, butterflies, worry, doubt, happiness, and sadness.  Oh and that goes for students, teachers, and parents!  I was recently talking to a friend about some of the emotions that her son was going through at the start of this school year.  He has been back to school for several weeks now, and each day seems to have a range of emotions during their before and after school routines.  As a mother, she of course was quite concerned for him.  As a teacher, I assured her that there are a lot of things that could be going through his mind throughout the day. 

First and foremost remember that as a parent you are your child's number one advocate.  At any time if you feel that something is "off" or just not "normal" for your child, speak up!  It is also important that your child feels okay to speak up for themselves, but that takes some coaching throughout the years. 

As for beginning of the year jitters there are many things that we see in the classroom that can contribute to these.  Honestly, it's hard to say goodbye to summertime for all of us!  Children sometimes miss the carefree family attitudes during those summer months.  The late bed times, the vacations, the swimming until they're raisins, etc.  Secondly, each year in school brings new teachers, new environments, new peers, and new expectations.  Just like starting a new job as an adult, this can take some time to transition for your child.  Remember that we all need time to warm up to change and to acclimate to our new surroundings.  Assure your child that grown ups are no different.  Even their teachers are nervous and get tummy aches the first day of school!

Reading books like Julie Danneberg's First Day Jitters at home or at school is an excellent conversation starter for children.  This story follows a little girl through her apprehensive start to a new school.  The little girl has visions of a rowdy classroom full of misbehaving students, however she instead is warmly greeted by the principal and her class as she enters school.  To hear the surprise ending is always fun for kids too! 

If someone in your house or class suffers from those first day jitters help them communicate their thoughts by creating a monster mash box or worry jar to help them talk about their fears, then write them down, and eventually move past them.

 After your little one write downs their fears or thoughts have them feed it to the monster.

A simple mason jar would work too.  Strips of paper are easily stuck in and can be revisited to continue to work on overcoming a fear or to celebrate the passing of a fear.

Our hope is that our Lil Sprouts start off the year jitter free, but don't fear if your child is one of the many students that takes some time adjusting to the start of school.  Hey, we're teachers and it still is quite an adjustment for us too!

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