My oldest has always been a little bit headstrong. For as long as I can remember, he has needed a logical explanation for absolutely everything. Anything less usually comes accompanied by a tantrum.
After a while, I realized that a big chunk of his upsets stem from the fact that he is smart enough to understand that there is a rhyme & reason to everything that goes on, but his mind isn't quite matured enough to grasp the full picture. In other words: although he tries to think like a grown-up, his child-mind still won't allow him to see past anything he feels is a hard truth. (Sort of like how he refuses to eat a banana that has a brown spot on the peel, based off his knowledge that brown spots are yucky on apple peels. Therefore - in his mind - all brown spots must be yucky.)
Because of this, I've always worried about how he will behave when he finally arrives in a classroom setting.
This book, Stewie Boomstein Starts School, talks about exactly that dilemma. I was given a free copy of the book to review after talking with the author's publishing house, but please know that as always my words and opinions are my own. (For more info, please check out my disclosure above.)
My son and I chose a quiet afternoon to first read this book. Daddy was at work, grandma was shopping, and his little sister was sleeping on the couch. It was just us for a change.
Summary:The story is about a little boy named Stewie Boomstein. Stewie is smart and opinionated. He isn't sure if he'll like school or not. When Stewie gets to school, he discovers that he isn't sure what will happen throughout the day and he doesn't like that things are different from his usual routine. The last straw comes when Stewie realizes that he'll be made to take a nap at school! Later that night, his family helps him to create a picture-schedule that makes him feel more secure in his day, and he decides that he likes school after all.
My Son's Reactions:As I read the book to my son, I noticed that he was actually paying attention. He didn't talk while I read the story (like he usually does) and when we were finished he asked to see the book. He was very interested in the pictures since this book offers illustrations a little more advanced than the majority of his current 'cardboard-covered' collection.
I asked my son what part of the book he liked the best and the least. He said it made him happy that the boy liked school at the end, but he didn't like the part where Stewie got into trouble for refusing to take a nap.
Then we talked about some important things, like what my little guy thought school would be like (fun!), whether or not he would want to take a nap (no way!), and what mommy would do while he was at school (work and more work).
I liked that the book got us talking about something I've been wondering about for a while, and the story was very realistic. I think it addresses one of the biggest issues that many small children face when going to school: the fear of the unknown.
Helpful Tips!I found it especially helpful that there was a Q&A for parents at the end of the book where the author asks a child expert some tough questions and gets great answers.
If you have a child that is heading to school for the first time, this is definitely a book to think about getting. It helps break the ice on the topic of what happens at school and can open the lines of communication between you and your child.