- Gather your materials. You will need a composition book, a few sheets of fun card stock/ paper, fine-tipped markers, teacher/school themed stickers, double stick tape, and scissors.
- Start by making your front page. I layered some card stock and wrote a title noting the date and grade.
- Now it’s the fun part for the first page I wrote out some basics, like School and teacher names, and what they liked and do not like about school.
- The other pages of the DIY school journal were devoted to different subjects. I matched stickers to themes like reading, math, and Phys. Ed. I only wrote on the right-hand side leaving plenty of space for writing.
- Use open-ended questions often but having fun true or false questionnaires included is fun too. Remember that this is supposed to be fun, and a tool to talk about your child’s day so don’t make it work. If they have a favorite subject, devote a little more time to that so that there is a lot of positivity, but don’t shy away from asking why they don’t like something else, what they need to work on, or about the social aspects of school too.
- Do not forget to add pages that ask your child to share something they are proud of.
- Keep your school journal somewhere accessible. If it goes to their bedroom it may never come back.
“Look Out Kindergarten, Here I come!”by Nancy Carlson did not live up to my expectations. It was written in 1999 but the information seems out dated, the little mouse in the story is entering kindergarten but is still unsure of his ABCs and could only count to 10. I know this seems like a minute detail but it bugs me because most kids entering kindergarten are well aware of the alphabet and can count past 10 with ease. It felt like it covered the basics about what a child can expect but it doesn’t go into any depth. I doubt it would ease any anxiety or fulfill any honest curiosity. I hate giving bad reviews but I just don’t like this book.
“Miss Mingo and the First Day of School” by Jamie Harper is a delightful book. Miss Mingo is a flamingo and teacher who wants to know about her students on the first day of school. She starts the exercise by sharing some fun facts about being a flamingo, like why she is pink. Before you know it, the whole class of different animals is sharing. This book not only shows kids that it’s okay to share about themselves but it is full of fun facts about animals in the fine print. I even learned something I never knew about a Narwhal! It is a bit long for a toddler but each page highlights new animals. It’s easy to skip a few for those that aren’t ready for a book of this length. Certainly, this is going on my buy list!
“The Kissing Hand” by Audry Penn is an absolute favorite . Chester is a raccoon who like most of us doesn’t like change. In his case, it’s starting school. He wants to stay home with his mama and play with the friends he already has instead of going to school away from her and his friends. So his mama explains to him the magic of the kissing hand . The real magic is the message that we have to do things that scare us sometimes. But the love of our family is always with us to help us through. Go get this book.