Back-to-School Checklist

Get your kids back to school with ease with this checklist of things to do before school starts

It's time to get the kids ready to go back to school. What? So soon? Yes, back to school time is here and even though you are busy enjoying the last days of summer, there's work to be done to get your kids ready. No need to panic though. This checklist will help you stay in control and prepare for the new school season with ease. 

First Steps

  • Make sure your child is properly registered for school.
  • Schedule any doctor or dental appointments if needed, to meet any immunization requirements before school starts. Get those medical forms signed by your doctor. If you don't know what immunizations or forms are needed, call your school to ask.
  • Order any additional medications that need to be stored at school.
  • Make sure your kids have completed their summer reading lists or other homework assignments. If not, set up a schedule to get it done.
  • Sit down with your planner and write in the dates for all important back-to-school activities like orientations or school walk-throughs. Include after-school activities on the calendar, as well. 
  • Go through your kids' closet to see what fall clothes still fit, create your shopping list for what's needed, and donate old clothes to make room for the new. Here are some tips on how to save money on school clothes.

3 Weeks Before School Starts

  • Go shopping! Get those backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, clothes, and school supplies. You can usually get your school supply list online from your school's website. However, that may not include everything you need. Here's a Back-to-School Shopping Checklist for busy Moms as well as tips on how to buy the right backpack or lunch box for your child.
  • Schedule a hair cut for your child so they look smashing for their annual first day of school photos.

2 Weeks Before School Starts

  • Create a landing spot in the house for your kids where they can keep their backpacks, lunch boxes, and other school gear or papers.
  • Start to get back into a daily routine for sleeping and eating. Here are some tips for how to get Back into a Back-to-School routine.
  • Talk to your kids about the upcoming school year. See if they are nervous or excited about the new year. If your child is entering kindergarten, middle school or high school this year, they may be nervous. Here are some .
  • Confirm your transportation plans. What time and where is the bus coming? Who is carpooling? Get the kids comfortable with their pick up and drop off locations.
  • If needed, confirm any after school care plans. Is the babysitter ready to go? How is your child getting from school to their after school care location?
  • Kickstart your kids' brains. In a fun way, start reviewing some basic skills with your kids like adding or multiplying. Read together at night or play some board games that require math. 
  • Plan for some last minute family fun before school starts like a weekend getaway, activities to celebrate the last day of summer break, or prepare for any fun, first day of school traditions

1 or 2 Days Before School Starts

  • Attend your meet-the teacher orientation and walk around the school with your kids to make sure they feel comfortable.
  • With your kids, pick their first day of school outfit and pack their backpack so there are no panic attacks early in the morning.
  • Make sure your camera is ready to go to take those first day of school photos. 
  • Plan for a healthy first day of school breakfast and prepare their lunch or snacks the night before. Here's 5 Ways to Pack More Fun into Your Child's Lunches.

What tips do you have to make the Back-to-School season go more smoothly?

For more on how to make ease the kids back into school, read all of my busy Mom Back-to-School Sanity Saving Tips.


Sue Kirchner is a family fun coach, kids party planner, and weekly contributor to Patch.com. Sue and her family fun ideas have been featured on TV, newspapers, magazines, blogs, as well as her own family fun site ChocolateCakeMoments.com.

Stephanie Price August 03, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Done. Thanks.
Steve August 03, 2012 at 07:31 PM
This is a very comprehensive list, However I do not see anything regarding the childs appearance listed here except about buying new clothes. I remember one of our biggest things that needed doing before school started was to get your Back To School Haircut!! So, I suggest that gets added to the two weeks before school program so that you can get the appointment that best fits your childs and your schedules. And in order to see that that happens, We here at The Hair Studio by Steve 414 A Green Bay Rd in Highwood are awaiting your call so we can make sure your children are looking their absolute best for that very important first impression with their new Teachers. Give us a call soon at 847-266-7838 so we can get you in when you want to! And while your at it, We will give you our back to school specials of, Buy one get a second at half price for all of our existing clientele. For all newcomers to our Studio, We will give you the newcommer special of 50% Off your first visit. So ladies and Gentlemen, that can be as much as $12.00 dollars off our High School price, for boys and for Girls it can be as much as $20.00 in savings for you! Kids would save $10.00 and children $7.50. So as you can see there are significant savings to be had. Call today to insure you get the time and the savings you want and deserve!! Check us out at www.steveshairstudio.com or look us up on Facebook at The Hair Studio by Steve .
Josie Leyva August 07, 2012 at 12:28 AM
How about a school supplies list, for those of us that can't find it.
Nightcrawler August 07, 2012 at 12:35 AM
How hard is it topick up a phone and ask the school for a list? They are everywhere. Another shining example of the "me" generation. Such laziness. 10 to 1 you have a cellphone sitting right next to you.
mij August 09, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Pencils,Pens,Erasers, Paper.


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