I recently introduced you to author Ashling Kwok in an interview about her delightful picture book Lola and Grandpa with its gorgeous illustrations by Yvonne Low.
Today, Ashling is back with us. This time she has written about her just-released picture book The Battle which deals with school anxiety and would be an excellent choice for both teachers and parents to read to their children as they begin or return to school. This post is part of a Books on Tour promotion.
Over to you, Ashling.
How to help your child prepare for knight school
Starting school can be exciting but it can also be a scary experience for some children. The thought of making new friends and settling into an unfamiliar environment can be so overwhelming that many children develop a fear of going to school. If your child is anxious about starting school, here are some simple steps you can take to help your child overcome their fears.
Have a conversation – Talk to your child about starting school and tell them what to expect on their first day. Highlight the benefits of going to school and all the exciting things they will get to do. Ask your child whether they have any concerns and if they mention anything negative, work through the issues one by one. Let your child know that their teacher will be there to help with any problems and support them throughout the day.
Visit the school together – Attend orientation day or book a time to visit the school with your child. While you’re there show your child all of the places they will need to frequent – toilets, canteen, library, office – so they don’t feel lost on their first day. If the teacher has already been assigned, ask if you can meet them and encourage your child to say hello. This will go a long way towards making your child feel safe and secure on their first day.
Read books about starting school – In the lead up to the big day, read your child books about starting school. Make sure the books you read portray going to school as a positive experience and also feature characters who are anxious about starting school overcoming their fears. Books about making friends and how to deal with friendship dilemmas are also useful at this time.
Plan an exciting shopping trip – Take your child on a fun-filled shopping trip to buy their school essentials. Let your child choose their lunch box, school bag, stationery, and anything else they need. Try to make it a personalised experience by leaving siblings at home so they don’t distract you and stop for a special lunch along the way.
Plan a celebration breakfast – Surprise your child with a special breakfast on their first day. Cook your child’s favourite foods and talk about all of the exciting things that are going to happen. Use encouraging words and a positive tone of voice, and avoid telling your child how much you’ll miss them as it may make them emotional.
Get involved – Teachers usually need parent support in the classroom for activities like spelling or reading. Getting involved in school activities is a great way to observe your child in their classroom and see how they’re settling in. Volunteering at your child’s school is also a good way to get to know other parents and connect with people who can provide support.
Encourage playdates – If you know children who are going to the same school as your child or your child makes a new friend on orientation day, invite them over for a playdate before school starts. This is a great way to encourage new friendships and ultimately ease your child’s transition into school life.
After school – Give your child your full attention when they get home. Make a yummy afternoon tea and ask them about their day. Go through any problems that arose and ask them how they dealt with them. If your child has any unresolved issues, talk them through in a logical manner, and plan how you will deal with them together.
Starting school can be a difficult time for children but the anxiety should ease over time. If there are ongoing issues, speak to your child’s teacher and ask them if they have any ideas on how to help your child settle in and enjoy school. Sometimes simple changes are all that’s required.
Thank you, Ashling. That is wonderful advice for parents of children who are feeling a little anxious about starting school. Of course, your lovely new picture book The Battle is sure to be a favourite as it acknowledges the natural anxieties that occur and offers positive ways of dealing with them. A positive outcome and an enjoyable school experience is what all teachers and parents want for our children.
About Ashling Kwok
After graduating from University, Ashling went on to become a journalist and magazine editor, before setting up her own freelance writing company. Over the years, Ashling’s work has appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines, and she is a regular contributor to a variety of online publications. When she is not dreaming up new ideas or working on her latest book, Ashling can be found scouring local bookstores, marvelling at all the wonderful books being created by talented children’s authors.
Find out more about Ashling Kwok from
Her website Ashling Kwok
Or connect with her on Social Media
Facebook: Ashling Kwok
Read other posts about The Battle by Ashling Kwok and Cara King.
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