Ellwyn’s Blog

Back to School Blues  

The sales, the supplies, the first day of school–the tears?

For many children, parents, and teachers back to school is a time for tears. It can be very stressful for everyone involved.

Take a deep breath, all of you will get through this. Trust me, I taught for 20 years and my students, their parents, and I survived. It wasn’t always easy, but we made it work.
It’s all about communicating with each other and working together to ensure each parent, child, and teacher is successful.

A few things parents can do to help ease the transition:

  • To prepare your little one for their first day of school spend time preparing them for what’s to come. Talk about how the daily schedule will change when school starts.
  • Visit the school. Even if it’s closed, take a walk through the school yard and try to guess where your child will line up on their very first day.
  • Start a bedtime routine a week or so before school starts. Read a book together and try to have your child in bed by 8:30. A good night sleep goes a long way in keeping stress levels low.
  • Give your child a family photo to keep in their book bag or hang in their cubby. Sometimes being able to look at a picture of their loved ones throughout the school day provides comfort to children who are homesick.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast each morning. Hungry students don’t learn as well.
  • Dress your child in comfortable shoes that are made for school work and recess. (No open-toed shoes or sandals. Sneakers or the school recommended shoe are best.) For safety reasons, I had to exclude children from playing in the school yard when  they wore the wrong shoes. Talk about tears!
  • Let the teacher know about any difficulty that is occurring in your family. When a teacher knows about a hardship affecting a student, he can better understand the child and prepare a plan-of-action to use if the need arises.
  • When school is over ask your child specific questions about how their day was. Ask them what they ate for lunch, what books the teacher read, if they made new friends and what their names are, what was their favorite/least favorite part of the day and why.

Books about back to school:

Even More Bedtime Stories With Mo Willems

Hello Readers!

I was at the library the other day and I found the third installment of Knuffle Bunny. It’s called Knuffle Bunny Free and it’s just as witty and heartwarming as the first two. I may be a grown-up, but I was super excited to discover there was another bunny book. I’ve been reading the other two installments to my students for years and I get a real kick out of them.

In this installment, Trixie goes on a family trip to visit her grandparents in Holland. She, her parents, and Knuffle Bunny board an airplane and settle in for a long flight. Once they’ve landed there’s great excitement when everyone is reunited. After the hoopla dies down, Trixie realizes something. I’m sure by now you know what it is that she realizes, but you’re going to have to read the book to find out if you’re correct.

After you’ve read all three books, you and your child could do a character study of Trixie. Discuss how she changed over the course of the trilogy: the things that she learned, how she dealt with the loss of Knuffle Bunny, the difference in her physical appearance. If you go on Pinterest, I’m sure you’ll find a ton of fun ideas for each and every Knuffle Bunny book.I hope these book reviews have given you a starting point into exploring the wonderful world of literature with your child. Please share any comments or ideas you have to expand on this topic.

Other books by Mo Willems: