A Back to School Checklist
With summer winding down and fall knocking on the door, you’ve probably got two things on your mind. Reworking plans to take advantage of every remaining summertime weekend and the looming task of getting all your ducks in a row for sending students back to school.
Make this year’s back to school adventure less stressful and more fun by laying out a simple to-do list and ticking the items off one by one. In this post, we’ll share a bunch of great ideas to get you started.
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Opt-in for School Notifications
It’s easy to get lost trying to manage all the dates and deadlines related to the new school year – especially if you have multiple going to different schools.
Let technology take a load off your shoulders by signing up for text alerts and email newsletters directly from each school’s website. While you’re there, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the page. Today’s school websites can be a one-stop shop for everything from paying fees to downloading syllabi and school supply requirements.
- Don’t forget to enroll or reregister students for school if you haven’t done so already.
Remember that schools typically require annual updates for doctors’ authorizations related to bringing medication to school. If your child needs access to an epi pen or has other special medical needs, schedule relevant doctors’ appointments and fill out applicable paperwork before classes begin.
Children attending school for the first time will need a vaccination checkup and those who plan on participating in athletics may require a physical.
Divide and Conquer for School Supplies
School supplies shopping doesn’t have to be a headache. Take a deep breath and just get it over with.
- Don’t stress too much over comparing back to school fliers. Every big box store will have sales and specials on all the stuff you need, so just hit the one you like the most and knock the whole list out in one go.
- Save time by printing out multiple shopping lists and assigning items to each shopper. As they get older, dole out more of the responsibility.
- This is also a great opportunity to practice money management. Give each child a reasonable budget to cover their new backpack, folders and locker décor. Let them decide where to splurge and where to cut back.
Plan Transportation and After School Activities
Work out how students will get to/from school well in advance. Will you be dropping them off and picking them up? Will they ride the school bus? Walk? Take public transport?
Write out a schedule and note the days when students are heading somewhere other than home after school. This is also a great time to look into extra-curricular activities and registration deadlines. From sports to band, scouts and other clubs, you don’t want the children to miss out because you forgot to sign them up before the cutoff date.
Set up a Study Station
Learn more about creating the right environment for being productive and getting more out of study time.
School Clothes Shopping
Updating a child’s wardrobe for back to school doesn’t have to be a huge financial outlay. Follow this simple process to keep students happy and your credit card balance under control.
- Take inventory of their wardrobe and sort out items that are too worn or too small. Make a list of what you need before you start shopping.
- Set a budget and share the number with young shopper (especially when they’re old enough to get involved in the process). Let students know in advance that there’s only $X to spend and that they’ll need to fill every item on the list within this budget.
- Allow only one splurge item. Students under a lot of pressure to wear the right clothes and alleviate some of this stress by allowing one expensive item, but hold firm on just one. Set this expectation from the get-go so they can start to think about what item they want most. Remind them that birthdays and holidays are great times to ask for other fashion-friendly items as gifts.
Depending on your finances, another popular idea is to allow students to do work around the house to earn more money to upgrade their clothes budget.
Time for a Healthy Lunch
Part of your shopping list is probably a new lunch box. Here are two fantastic posts for starting to plan fun and healthy lunches to keep students nourished and bright-eyed in class.
Think of cute notes to put in lunchboxes, especially during the first week of school when they might be nervous or missing their parents.
Consider Preparing a Gift for Teacher
An appropriate gift for the teacher is a great way to show your appreciation for all the hard work they put in to provide a quality education for the next generation. School supplies, books, a small gift card or a heartfelt note are all great ideas. Children can also help with a fun arts and crafts project.
Give the gift yourself at a school sanctioned meet the teacher night or send it with your child on the first day of school.
Bedtime for Bonzo
Getting childrens’ sleep schedules back in line with school hours can be a real challenge – one that’s typically met head on with plenty of resistance.
Instead of going cold turkey, start moving their bedtime back 30 minutes per week and rousting them out of bed 30 minutes sooner in the morning to match.
Managing Back to School Concerns
Every child is different and while some students are chomping at the bit to get back to class and back to their friends, others can be apprehensive or downright scared – especially when you’ve just moved and they’ll be attending a new school or it’s time to move up to middle or high school.
Browse these simple tips on mitigating new school fears to help your little ones get excited about the prospect of a fresh start and the opportunity to make new friends. And now, breathe a sigh of relief as you prepare to have the house all to yourself – at least for part of the day!