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Back to School Checklist

Back to School Checklist

posted by Karen Quinn, The Testing Mom - July 15th, 2019

Back to School Checklist: Yes, it’s that time again!

Back to School Checklist

In our house, we are a month out from the first day of school! I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve talked to who failed to get their child ready for the beginning of the school year. Proper back-to-school preparations are about much more than buying pencils and backpacks from Amazon, Wal-mart or Target. Back-to-school activities are about preparing your child holistically – mentally, academically, and emotionally – for the beginning of a new school year, one that will inevitably be filled with bigger challenges than they’ve ever faced before. That’s why we put together this handy checklist for you to use as you and your child get ready for another school year so you don’t fail your child when it comes to be fully prepared.

3 – 4 Weeks Before School Starts

Talk to your child about the demands they’ll face in the upcoming school year – including subjects, extracurricular activities, and their teacher if known. Ask your child what he or she is the most excited about for the upcoming school year and what they are most concerned about. It’s a great opportunity to listen and also tell a story of your experiences when you were younger about your first day of school. If your child is nervous or anxious tell him or her that it’s normal to feel that way and then redirect his or her thinking on what there is to be excited about the new school year. Also take time to schedule those various check-ups that your child is needing–teeth, eyes, ears, general physical and shots.

2 – 3 Weeks Before School Starts

Make sure you’ve submitted any required paperwork to your child’s school. Many schools require proof of vaccinations and other materials before they’ll let your child start classes in the fall. Make sure you select a backpack that both of you decide on at the store or online. Having your child involved in the decision making process helps ease any back-to-school jitters he or she may encounter. If you already have your school supply list from your school start purchasing from the store or online. It’s a great way to also get your child involved in the process of buying and selecting the school supplies with you.

2 Weeks Before School Starts

Start getting your child into the habit of getting to bed and waking up on time (including weekends). If necessary, move bedtime back half an hour each night until your child is fully back in their fall routine. Make sure your child gets as much physical activity as possible so that they burn off any anxiety they may be feeling about the upcoming school year. Ideally, your child should be given at least a half hour every day to get fresh air and get their blood moving.

1 Week Before School Starts

Plan out a lunch schedule for your kids. Make sure that you pack healthy, vitamin-packed foods that will give your kids the fuel they need to get through those long school days. Designate a special area near your front door area like a table or large box where you keep items that come and go on a daily basis. Have your child develop the area and make a list together of all the items your child will need for the day like lunch box, water bottle, back pack, etc.  Also make sure you have a study area designated in your house and have your child select that area. Make sure it’s a place with minimal distractions. If your child is taking any gifted test or state standards test this school year you can first start with 100 free practice questions from Testing Mom. If you aren’t sure of the test name, check with someone at your child’s school or another parent to see if they can point you in the right direction.

3 – 5 Days Before School Starts

Go through your child’s back-to-school checklist and make sure they have all the supplies they need for the first day of school. For older kids, make sure your child has your phone number memorized just in case! In today’s world of smart phones no one memorizes phone numbers any longer. For both older and younger kids, write out your phone number(s) on an index card and place in a pocket of his or her’s backpack. Tell your child to call the number(s) listed in case of any type of emergency.

The Day Before School Starts

Have your child pack his or her backpack with all the supplies they’ll need for the first day of school. Double-check to ensure they have everything the school asks them to bring. Read your child a bedtime story (or, if they’re older, have them read one to you). This is a great way to relax and spend time together before the big day. Have your child make a sign “My first day of Kindergarten” (or grade level).  

  • First day of school – Before your child leaves for school take a picture of him or her holding the sign they made “My First Day of Kindergarten”! It’s a great photo opp to show grandma, grandpa and the entire family for years to come. Try to not cry – or least not have your child see you cry! I know it’s hard not to cry but wait until your child is out of sight before shedding that first tear! 🙂

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