With school just around the corner, most moms feel some mixture of dread and anticipation. None of us want summer to be over, but then again the kids are bored of the pool, bored of television, bored of each other, and you have run out of things to keep them occupied. So now we are focusing on the school year ahead, one – to give them something to do, and two – to try to create some order before the chaos begins. So here is a back to school checklist to help.
Declutter – Help your children sort through papers, toys, books, and other items that seem to accumulate in your child’s room. Tackle the closet too!
Clothing – Have your children try on clothes to see what still fits. Let them put outfits they like together (solves problems later on with clothing wars), and then discuss what they still need. Make a list and go clothes shopping. Now is a good time to replace cleats and other sporting gear that is worn or outgrown.
Organization – Determine where the family calendar will be and one place for your children to put important papers from school. Discuss any family organizational systems with your children and practice implementing them. Begin to start putting them to bed and waking them earlier each night so they can slowly get accustomed to school hours.
Medical – Immunizations must be up to date and the completed Form 3231, as well as the Eye, Ear, and Dental Screening and the completed Form 3300. Make appointments for sports physicals. If your child is playing sports and wears glasses, consider whether they need to begin wearing contacts. Summer is a good time to teach healthy eye care habits.
Registration – Along with an Affidavit of Residency, schools require birth certificates and social security cards, so go ahead and start digging if you need to have to find those documents and give yourself time to order another if necessary. If possible, try to sign up or familiarize yourself with Parent Connect or whichever learning management/parent notification system your child’s school utilizes. I know, I hate it too, but it’s the only way to really stay on top of how badly little Johnny is falling behind before he falls too far.
School Supplies – Shop now. Lists are available at most retailers and we all know the general supplies needed. Make certain if you have teenagers you budget for more expensive items, such as laptops, scientific calculators and foreign language dictionaries that have be ordered online. Waiting means longer lines and frantic furry back to school madness with screaming children and irritated mothers. Tax free weekend before school starts is a good time to purchase the more expensive items.
Lunches – Discuss with your children what they want to eat and purchase lunch boxes and other items they will need.
Extra-curricular Activities – Organize your family’s afternoon schedule and determine which activities they can be involved in that will allow you to maintain your sanity. They don’t, despite what they tell you, have to do it all, and neither do you.
Transportation – After organizing the next year’s schedule, determine what your transportation needs are and begin finding car pools or other options that will help to lighten the load. If you have a teenager driving for the first time, practice driving the route at that time of day so they are aware of the heavy traffic concerns at those hours. Buy yourself some antacid.
And then, go enjoy the rest of those lazy dog days of summer
Several article ideas from July 2012. Updated July 2014