Back To School Checklist

By Megan McClain

 

Hear that sad, shuffling sound?

It’s the sound of thousands of kids’ feet as they drag themselves back to school all over the Inland Empire. Or for some, it's excitement to get back to school with friends and new discoveries.


 

 

Whether or not your kids have already started, there is a lot you can do to prepare for the next three seasons of school, paperwork, busy schedules and those cute Pilgrim hats the kindergartners always make.

  • Plan out the next few months. Go online to your kids' school website and find the full-year calendar for school breaks and holidays. Add in sports schedules, PTA or PTO meetings and any other events you know are coming so you aren’t surprised trying to drop off your kids in front of an empty school.
  • Practice school schedule now. It might be tempting to do a few more late night swims, but starting the routines now (including lunch times for younger kids) will help ease the transition. Test the route to a new school to see how long it takes.
  • Make a designated homework spot and time. Whether it’s at the kitchen table or in their room, make a spot that is just for them to stump you while trying to help them with their math homework, or for gluing pages together making a project for school. A designated place will keep ongoing assignments organized and supplies always available.
  • Make sure you have the school’s phone numbers and all of the teachers' and counselors' email addresses for easy communication.
  • Going on the apple farm field trip sure sounds cute, right? Make sure you grab any paperwork and do any TB tests or background checks needed ASAP so you’re all ready to check that box that says you’d like to volunteer.
  • Check out what clothes are getting too small to make shopping lists for the year ahead. Check out parent handbooks on school web sites ahead of time for dress code requirements and anything else to plan for (like wearing the school colors on spirit days, etc.).
  • An eye exam before the start of school will help your kids start off on the right foot if they need glasses. Make sure their name is in their glasses case and that they go with your child to school. Teachers will help remind them to put them on if they are embarrassed about them.
  • Set up expectation regarding behavior and schedules now. If you expect a certain level of grades or behavior level to be met, make a contract or verbal agreement for expectations and consequences.
  • Stick money in that hot lunch account, even if it’s just $20 for unplanned circumstances. Set up reminders on your phone or in your planner to add money regularly if your kids eat hot lunch regularly. School lunch menus should be available through the school or online.