Back to school time is one of the most exciting times in any kids’ life, because it means a new year. If you aren’t planning on sending your kid(s) back to school but if you are, then this post might help you save some major headache (and money).
There are so many things about going back to school, and while it might not be as expensive if we look long term, parents’ pay for their child’s education whether we see them in person or not – so having a plan before they return helps them become more confident, have fewer issues once in class, and save us from a lot of heartache.
I wanted to include all important topics into just 1-2 page blog post, so I ended up with this list which covers 15 items, from “Do Now!” to “Remember!”
15 Point Back to School Checklist for 2022
#1 “Are We Good To Go?”
– Make sure your child has all supplies ready to go.
#2 “Be Ready!”
– Have an idea what he wants to bring, and plan ahead. What will your little one need to wear or keep at school? How can you prepare your child prior to arriving? Is he/she bringing enough supplies, should you order additional items?
#3 “Go With A Plan”
– Don’t leave yourself scrambling on the day your child arrives; make sure that there is a timeline for his/her check in. How much notice does your child’s teacher require? Don’t send your kids off without a strategy in place. Even better, work out how you can provide assistance during their first few days – like providing lunches, setting an alarm clock, or providing extra change for vending machines. Remember that schools typically give families less than two weeks’ notice when a new student arrives, but can be more flexible depending on the situation.
#4 “Know Where You Will Send Them.”
– Don’t assume that just because there are other options within the same town that you won’t find more affordable tuition rates, or even worse, be charged for transportation – especially since some schools have fees and restrictions surrounding certain communities.
#5 “Have Their Room Decorated.”
This gives them the feeling of returning home, plus keeps them focused throughout the week. And don’t skip it on the day of departure… just don’t. It’s important that everything looks great for when they arrive back.
#6 “Check All Supplies.”
Be sure that all of his/her belongings have been checked. Bring them with you, or drop them off.
#7 “Pick Up Everything They Are Going To Need At Home Each Day.”
This is easy to overlook as a parent. But if you think about it, your child should be doing chores around the house on a regular basis. This includes picking up books, putting away food after meals and dishes, and taking their clothes/shoes/etc to wherever they need to be stored.
#8 “Get Them An Activity Schedule.”
Whether your children participate in sports, arts, music, or something else, a teacher or coach will generally know where a student’s passions lie and have expectations regarding their level of enthusiasm, participation and effort. So don’t miss those opportunities by not being prepared to offer ideas that align with each child’s interests. It could also mean that you’re preparing meals that fit these ideas. Or simply providing access to extracurricular activities without being part of them.
#9 “Enroll In Advance.”
Start to do this as early as possible to avoid last minute complications – like finding the best rate for your location. Some schools now have early signups like summer camps.
#10 “Ask About Extended Hours & Free Time Off.”
Depending on the school, teachers may be able to use the free hours to accommodate a student who didn’t have lunch prepared that evening to their schedule. Teachers may also ask students to stay late after 3 pm; often for homework. Many schools allow extended hours through an alternate learning option program (such as online classes), but for some parents, paying tuition out of pocket might result in additional costs and inconvenience.
#11 “Know Whether Lunch Can Be Provided By A Therapist…”
– Some schools may not have designated therapy sessions available outside of the designated lunch break for those experiencing some sort of anxiety or social withdrawal that might arise due to the transition back to school for some young ones. There is also an issue that some mental health professionals cannot take patients that are attending school regularly, so it may not necessarily be covered by insurance either. This could become a huge problem if this happens during a very busy morning such that the child doesn’t get to eat.
#12 “Help Get Kids Out Of Stressed Routines.”
Parents of students entering Kindergarten might try to establish a bedtime routine to ease off any stressors associated with the beginning of their academic career, such as getting out of pyjamas for an early school start-up or waking up earlier than usual to prepare lunches for the upcoming week that are healthier and less processed.
#13 “Be Prepared For A Different Teacher.”
“Sometimes one of my former colleagues would tell me that she felt like they were teaching a lesson but we did not understand it – like we weren’t seeing the obvious, it was so clear to us and we still couldn’t grasp its meaning. That was our students! I would never teach on that level and expect others to pick up where we missed the initial steps! If my former colleague felt this way, imagine what some parents and students feel!”
#14 “Bring Along A Calendar.”
Keep track of assignments; what has already been completed and what is currently outstanding (to show yourself as well as to let parents know!).
#15 “Have Their Classroom Assigned.” Students have an assigned seat in their math class, then they move to a specific desk or seat in reading. Have a rough sense in advance where their desk was during orientation to the area and when their first class starts?
5 More Tips on Back to School Organization
The start of the year is here and your children’s routines begin again.
- Start by reviewing your child’s schedule and make notes. Also review your teacher’s recommendations for assignments and your child’s academic goals. The summer may have been relaxing and enjoyable, but now it is time to get organized for a full 12 months of learning. It is okay if your plan changes occasionally as your children grow and develop. You have the time to update and make adjustments down the road. Once you have made these decisions, start planning now so that everything goes smoothly for your family as fall approaches.
- Make a master calendar with space for each new assignment or lesson you implement. Include dates, projects and field trips on the schedule. In addition, write down your child’s current school supplies (such as markers, colored pencils and scissors), homework and extracurricular activities. This will ensure your child does not forget anything and will save you the time you spent making notes or calling teachers about missing materials.
- Add dates or numbers to all school and sports schedules that coincide with the beginning of school break periods. Also use special occasions, birthdays or holidays as reminders. Your school district provides many tools that your students can use to record grades, study and practice tests using a planner. Find out what planner style, form, and tools your child needs to complete daily tasks such as taking attendance or filling out forms.
- If you have older teens attending high school, make sure you let them know your expectations regarding them being responsible students and getting along well in groups. You may tell them, “We discussed how much responsibility goes with your graduation status next month.” Explain to your teenager that the sooner he accepts responsibility, gets along in group and follows through on commitments the easier and happier your life will be. Remember to set expectations for behaviors during school hours. Explain that your teenager cannot have friends over or watch television when you are not home and ask them to avoid inappropriate or negative actions.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the change that comes with starting back-to-school week with your kids. Take steps now to enjoy more time together and enjoy the anticipation of their returning to a familiar routine following the holidays. Start off right and you’ll reap great benefits all year long.