1 minute reading time (250 words)

Tips to Help Ease School Anxiety

On the opening day of school I noticed Sarah, a new first grader, looking very upset.

I saw that her shoelaces were untied."Would you like me to tie those for you?", I asked. "Yes", she said with tears in her eyes,  “I used to know how, but I don’t know today!”

When Sarah said, “I used to know how, but I don’t know today.”  I recognized that she was really telling me “I’m so overwhelmed that I forgot skills I already knew.” 

School anxiety is a very real issue for some children (and some parents, too!) Here are four effective tips that have helped my students, and my own children, ease their school “jitters.”

  • Let your child bring a small photograph of you, your family, or even the family pet to school. If their teacher allows, your child can keep it on their desk or table. Sometimes seeing a familiar face is enough to keep him or her calm.
  • Let your child take a special, small stuffed animal to school.Make sure your child knows that the toy should stay in their backpack. Often, just knowing that a favorite cuddly thing is close by can be comforting.
  • Put a special note or sticker in your child’s lunchbox, and let him or her know to “look” at lunch for a special “something” you left in the lunchbox.
  • Read stories together about going to school for the first time.Two great ones are “Grover Goes to School,” by Dan Elliot, and “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn.

Homework Confessions of Real Parents (Or, What to ...
Kids and Activities: How many is too many?

Related Posts



#1 Lisa Cartolano 2009-09-30 13:44
These are helpful tips. I also like "The Kissing Hand" as a great story for first-time students. I recently wrote an article entitled, "Easing Back to School Jitters"; the link is here:


I hope it helps!
Lisa Cartolano

You have no rights to post comments

School Family Connection Newsletter

Get school tips, recipes, worksheets, and more

First Name
Email *
Yes, send offers from carefully selected partners.
(* = required field)


Do you allow your children to watch TV or play on the computer before doing their homework?

No - 37.4%
Sometimes - 25.4%
Yes - 31.6%

Total votes: 4919
The voting for this poll has ended on: June 25, 2016