This year we are juggling three kids from three different schools. The organization will be the key to our sanity. Isn’t it always?
That’s why I created a parenting checklist! It’s simple, covers the most important steps, and is easy to follow. Plus, ticking each item makes you feel amazing!
Back to school checklist for parents
Read on for each of my top tips, then grab the free parenting checklist you can print below!
1. Complete Summer Packs and Summer Reading
In my house, we start each summer with fabulous intentions. We are fine until June. But July? Summer bags tend to collect dust!
In the last few weeks before school, complete this and get the kids back to school.
2. Sign up for fall events
As soon as autumn begins, we get down to business. So, plan extracurricular activities, sports or extracurricular programs before the first day of school. This ensures that you can focus on getting your family started right and not worry about registration deadlines.
Bonus: Set a reminder on your calendar for when you need to sign up for winter sports too!
3. Write important dates for the fall
Set aside an hour one afternoon to write down the dates your family needs to know.
I like to write the current month on the fridge chalkboard and mark future months on the shared family phone calendar. And I try to do it before the end of the calendar year.
- school events
- Extracurricular activities (practices, games, lessons)
- Holidays and early dismissal
- Parent conferences
- Holidays, holidays, birthdays, weddings
- mom and dad on vacation
4. Tidy up your school supplies
Your school district and school should have exactly what you need for your children. So, check out their website or grab a listing from your local store. The list of school supplies is likely to include:
- markers, colored pencils, crayons
- pencil case
These items are not on the school lists, but you will probably need them too:
- water bottle
- Lunch box (outer lid and bento box)
- ice packs
5. Be aware of doctor visits
Schedule a visit to the doctor for a general checkup and make sure your child is up to date on vaccinations. This is especially important if you are moving to the next school level (for example, Preschool to Primary, Primary to Secondary).
* Make appointments that are difficult to do during the school year, i.e. eye exams and dental visits.
6. Set up new routines
Going from a summer routine to a school year can be a harsh reality. Involve the kids in a new daily routine before the beginning of the school year so that the changes are not so abrupt.
We love our everyday printouts because it helps our kids know exactly what to expect. Checklist strengthens good childhood habits, helps with family matters and does all the hard work for us. (It is much more difficult to argue with a piece of paper than with mom.!)
Related: Free Morning Routine
* If you’ve lost your way, this is also the perfect time to restore family dinners as often as possible per week.
7. Define and organize your study spaces
Set up a designated study area at home where children know they can do homework. For younger children, a portable homework bath is fine. For older children, make sure they have a desk, a good chair, and adequate lighting.
8. Make a schedule of movement
Start by scheduling buses, arrange a ride with your parents, or talk to your kids about walking home.
My husband and I also set a drop-off and pick-up schedule. It VERY helps us know who is responsible for what. And this schedule does not change if we do not have a conflict.
It might look like this:
|Day of the week||disembarkation||Pick up|
We do the same for children’s activities. He usually takes care of the transport of scouts, and I do gymnastics and play the trumpet. Separating like this saves sanity with multiple kids!
9. Set goals and expectations for the school year
Talk to your child about expectations, concerns, and goals for the new school year. They may be anxious about new surroundings, so discuss this and give them emotional support.
Homework, screen time, balancing activities, grades, and friends are all great topics for this conversation. Think together about strategies for any problems you foresee.
10. Organize and clean up your living space
Moving from a home environment to a school mindset will help everyone adjust quickly.
A week or two before school starts, I try to
- clean pantry and freezer
- refill snack box
- clean the pool and summer things
- back to weekly meal plan
- declutter and organize our living space.
It’s nice to start the school year in an organized way, not scattered!
11. Preparing Meals in Advance: Parenting Checklist Best for School Time
Do you complete freezer partyor double a few of your favorite foods in the freezer, it’s a lifesaver!
Prepare healthy breakfasts ahead of time, lunchesor frozen lunches (or a mixture of all) to have on hand when the schedule gets hectic. One less worry!
I also like to make a list of food options for kids when they pack their lunches in the morning. Stays in the fridge!
12. Make sure documents and email are in order
This step is easy if you went to the same school. But if it’s a new school, make sure you’re well versed in health forms and communication.
- Update contact information and medical questions
- Include all emergency and medical forms in
- Make sure you’re on the school’s email list And your teacher
- Determine if you have documents for any additional fall events
Not sure about something? Write down your questions before meeting with the teacher so you don’t forget!
13. Pick a Thoughtful Gift for the Teacher
Personally, I have found that the night back to school runs more smoothly for my kids when they have something to give to their teacher. This light icebreakerand also emphasizes the importance of giving.
Take a look at our favorite school gift: DIY Teacher Survival Kit (With free printed tag)
14. Take inventory and buy baby clothes
Ugh. Cloth. If your family is like mine, someone always needs anything.
But it’s a great time to take inventory.
Keep in mind…
- when the weather changes in your area (autumn weather doesn’t happen until October)
- school dress code
- how often do you wash (we do this once a week)
And then spend the day shopping so you have what you need BEFORE the kids tell you they need shoes… and a jacket… and jeans.
Clothes will be ruined and pants will be torn. That is life. If you’re unsure, it’s best to have an extra pair of something.
15. Delight the kids with the back-to-school checklist tradition
Finally, the tradition helps you deal with the fear of going back to school, prepares your family for change, and sparks an interest in learning.
We love the school breakfast tradition. I make cupcakes the day before, and the children help decorate the table. It’s easy, but also what they start talking about weeks in advance.
Take the Back to School Checklist for Parents
And grab the organization’s free calendar to find out more!
Sign up below to get the full August calendar sent straight to your inbox. I love using the full calendar Every year. It’s detailed and gives you one action to complete each day (completely doable!). After that, you will feel empowered to take on the upcoming busy season!