Technically January 1st is the beginning of the year, but I have always felt that the first of day school was the real new year. When I was a kid I would get a new wardrobe, new school supplies, and my history was wiped clean each time I started in a new classroom. Isn’t that kind of what a new year is about? Because the start of the school year is a big deal and there is so much to remember, I have created a back to school checklist for those of you who are overwhelmed by all the things that need to get done.
Back To School Checklist
Now is the time to go through your kid’s closets and assess the wardrobe situation. I make my older kids go through it with me and because they are 9 and 12, they know if something fits or not. If it fits I check to see what kind of condition it is in. If it is still nice and there are no stains or holes, we fold it up and put it back in the drawer or closet. If it doesn’t fit we either hand it down or give it away. If it has stains and/or holes, it gets turned into rags.
Once we know what fits we can see where we need to fill in. I make a list of how many shirts, shorts, pants, and jackets the kids will be needing and then we are off to the clothing store. Sometimes I bring the kids, other times I just buy what they need. Because they are boys it is way easier. For the most part I understand their style and they don’t really care. If you have girls, I imagine they would be much more opinionated, so good luck with that! I forgot to mention that I also measure my kids to make sure their pants and shorts will fit.
While you are appraising their regular clothing you might as well see if they need any undergarments like underwear or socks. I also stock up on pajamas.
Shoes are another item I usually purchase at this time. Each kid gets two pairs of sneakers, plus my middle schooler gets a pair of gym shoes.
If you live where the winters are cold, now is a good time to see if their winter clothing such as jackets, sweaters, long johns, gloves, and hats still fit. I have found the best prices and options tend to be at the beginning of the season, not the end. Plus all the cool stuff sells out by the time it actually gets cold, at least around here.
We have a tradition of getting the kid’s haircuts before school starts. I am a big believer in first impressions and I would like my kid’s teachers to think they are good looking and well behaved until they learn otherwise. Haircuts are key to this deception.
Finally, many if not all school districts require your kids to be up to date on their shots. So a well child checkup before the school year starts is recommended. I also take the kids in to get their teeth cleaned, and this year we are starting my oldest with an orthodontist! I can’t believe my baby is so old he need braces!
Homework Station & School Supplies
Last year we had a real struggle with homework here at Chez Glamour. We started the year with the boys doing their homework at the kitchen table, but that didn’t work, so we tried a few different things and we finally solved the problem by having each kid have a separate desk in separate rooms. If you don’t already have a working solution to where your kids are going to do homework, now is the time to set one up. Make sure you have all of the supplies they will need like pencils, lined paper, blank paper, a ruler, and a stapler. If the school has specific things you will need, its time to get those items. I always enjoy buying school supplies at the store, but this year I might just order them online. I am kind of obsessed with Amazon Prime and it just seems so much easier to click a button instead of driving to at least two different stores to find exactly what the kids need.
My kids backpacks usually only last about one year, sometimes two. I was never allowed to have the cool but terribly made backpacks when I was a child, so I let my kids get whatever backpack they want. And you know what they usually choose? The good backpacks that I was forced to use! Ha! If your offspring already has a backpack you should make sure it is all cleaned out and possibly wash it so is ready to go for the first day of school.
Do your kids take a lunch to school or do they buy one? If you make your kids lunches, make sure you have a lunch container for them. My kids buy their lunches and if your kids do the same, now is the time to add money to their lunch account.
School Game Plan
Before the first day arrives, I like to reacquaint the kids with their school. This was more important when they were little, but we still go back every year and see who their teacher(s) is/are and where the classroom(s) is/are located. If it is your child’s first time at a school, be sure to point out where the bathrooms are, where the cafeteria is, and where the main office is located. Last year my oldest started middle school and we went all around the campus in order of his schedule twice on one day and then we came back and did it twice again so he would have the muscle memory of where to go on the first day. That was probably overdoing it but I still have dreams of being in school and not remembering where my classroom is!
You should also go through the school monthly schedule and transfer the important dates into your calender. I am always shocked by how many days my kids are not in school!
Wow! That is a lot to do! Obviously your list will be different than mine is, but I think I hit the universal highlights pretty well. I even made my very first downloadable printable checklist! You can click the link below and a PDF should come up that you can print and use at home. I even left a few blank lines for you to personalize.
So tell me ladies, how do you prepare for getting the kids ready for school?