You’re either team, “Oh no, where did the time go?” or team, (cue Lizzo) “It’s About Damn Time!” — but either way, school is right around the corner. I am often known as one to put the PRO in procrastinator, so this year I have decided to make things easier on myself and the kiddos by starting earlier.
I want to share with you my checklist of things that may help make your back-to-school prep just a bit easier.
Start now! If you’re still in summer mode as far as bedtime and wake-up time, now is your moment to get the little ones back on schedule. Set alarms, and start in 15-30 minute increments to make it easier on everyone. Sticking to a routine and not waiting until the last minute is always key and will make the transition to school hours so much easier.
If your school didn’t have access to ordering the supplies online (or you missed the deadline like I did), go shopping now. Obtain the school supply list by checking your school’s website, Facebook page, Target’s School List Assist, or by visiting the school for a printed list. Whether you choose to shop online or in-store, shop ASAP, as many items may be hard to find due to supply issues.
Tip: Check office supply stores for school supplies, they often have a lot of items in stock and are less crowded than your usual big-box stores.
Practice Makes Perfect
For the little ones: Make sure they have practiced opening the things they are bringing for lunch. Have them open lunch boxes, put straws in their drink pouches, open those sealed Lunchables that all moms start throwing in that second month of school, etc. Otherwise, your kiddo will sit there with their hand raised until the poor lunch monitors can make it over to them after opening 60 cartons of chocolate milk! While they are at it, have them work on skills such as tying their shoes, buttoning their pants, and zipping up their jackets.
Forms and Paperwork
Have all paperwork filled out and ready for school. Check/include if you may need any transfer papers, transportation, after-school care, updated medical/vaccination forms, or physicals that may need to be completed.
Check on the condition and sizes of backpacks, lunch boxes, bento boxes, water bottles, etc., and order new ones accordingly so they’ll arrive on time. Also, label items such as lunch boxes, backpacks, jackets, etc.
Tip: Print out your first-day-of-school printable sign AND print out the last-day-of-school sign and place it behind it. Put it in an inexpensive certificate frame (Dollar Store) so you’re set and won’t have to worry about it at the end of the year!
Take your vitamins, and don’t forget immune-boosting Vitamin C (please check with your doctor first). Back to school means sharing all the germs. Make sure you have whatever supplies you need at home if/when illness strikes. Be preventative, and get adequate rest, eat healthy whole foods, and build a strong immune system for your child and yourself.
Sort clothes, and clean out your kid’s closet and dresser, and bag up the clothes that don’t fit anymore to donate or give to a friend or family member who could use them. Being organized with clothes will help you get an idea of what you need to shop for as far as back-to-school outfits and shoes.
Download any necessary apps — school lunch menu, parent/teacher communication apps, etc. Keep all logins and passwords handy (maybe even in a couple of places just in case). Make sure you follow your school on Facebook and/or Instagram (and maybe even set alerts) to be able and stay current with any upcoming events or orientations.
Make sure you are clear on your child’s school bus number, where your bus stop is, and the times that it arrives and will drop off your kids. Maybe even drive the bus route to be familiar with the surrounding stops. Fill out any needed documents required by your school that state whether your child is a car rider, walker, or bus rider.
Seize the day! With summer winding down, take the time to engage with your children. Take a deep breath, make eye contact, cherish the moment, and remember that another year has passed and now we begin the next level of education and development. These babies are growing fast — let them be kids, and let’s make this last bit of summer one to remember!