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The Starting School Book : How to choose, prepare for and settle your child at school - Sarah Ockwell-Smith

The Starting School Book

How to choose, prepare for and settle your child at school

By: Sarah Ockwell-Smith

Paperback | 12 May 2020 | Edition Number 1

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An indispensable guide for parents whose children are about to start, or have recently started school.

There are so many issues surrounding starting school that parents struggle with ranging from selecting the best school for their child (and knowing the right things to look for and questions to ask), preparing their child emotionally and practically for starting, knowing what must-haves to buy (and what not to buy!), navigating school settling-in procedures, coping with behaviour regressions at home, friendship issues, anxiety, tricky behaviour at school, school refusal and homework.

Despite these many concerns, there is little advice available for parents in this position. Most 'starting school' books are aimed at the children themselves. Parents are left to turn to internet discussion forums and social media to ask their many questions. The Starting School Book fills this gap.

Contents will include:
  • Approaches to education around the world; different options available to parents (including Home-Schooling, Radical Unschooling, Forest School, Private School, Montessori and Steiner Schools, Democratic Schools, Free Schools, church schools and state schools)
  • What to look for when choosing a school and what questions to ask when you visit
  • Preparing your child emotionally for starting school
  • Preparing your child practically for starting school (e.g. toileting, dressing and eating independence)
  • Coping with school anxiety and refusal
  • Restraint collapse (explosive behaviour at home at the end of the school day) and other behaviour regressions
  • Helping your child to navigate new friendships (and fallings out)
  • How to connect with your child at the end of the school day.
About the Author

Sarah Ockwell-Smith is the mother of four children. She has a BSc in Psychology and worked for several years in Pharmaceutical Research and Development. Following the birth of her first child, Sarah re-trained as a Paediatric Homeopath, Antenatal Teacher and Birth and Postnatal Doula. She has also undertaken training in Baby Massage, Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy. Sarah specialises in gentle parenting methods and is co-founder of the GentleParenting website (

Sarah writes a parenting blog ( which is read by 3 million parents per year, and is the author of BabyCalm, ToddlerCalm, The Gentle Sleep Book, The Gentle Parenting Book,The Gentle Discipline Book, The Gentle Potty Training Book, The Gentle Eating Book and The Second Baby Book. She frequently writes for magazines and newspapers, and is often called upon as a parenting expert for national television and radio.

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