The Ultimate Back-to-School Checklist
When the end of summer and the beginning of school feels like the end of the world, you need a roadmap to get through it. For many parents, back-to-school season is one of the most stressful times of the year.
You have to pack up your kids’ summer clothes, cram everything they need into an unending list of supplies, and tackle all this while trying to also squeeze in time for them to get their homework and reading assignments finished before the first bell rings. An organized routine, a packed calendar, and lists are key to keeping your teen ready for school, their homework done and their social life balanced.
Whether you’re a new parent or have been through this before, creating an organized routine will help you handle any curveballs that come your way during back-to-school season. Here are some tips on how to get started on making this a smooth transition from summer vacation to back-to-school life:
Organize Your Teen’s Schedule
As you are getting your teen ready for school, you will want to make sure to take care of all their medical appointments, eye exams, and health needs. This includes vaccinations and flu shots. If your teen will be driving or riding the bus to school, make sure they have the proper documentation and identification with them.
Make sure they know what they need and when they need to have it ready to go. If applicable, meetings with teachers and guidance counselors are a great way to get your teen’s schedule and plan for the year finalized. If possible, try to be flexible with meeting with them during non-school hours so your child doesn’t have to miss important class time to meet.
Rotate Outgrown Clothes
It can be difficult to let go of summer clothes, especially if they are favorites. But if your teen is growing, they may no longer fit or be appropriate for school. Take a quick look through their drawers and closets to see what needs to be swapped or switched out. If you see shirts or pants that are too short, are no longer in style, or have holes in them, it’s time to part ways.
Donate or sell any clothes your child has outgrown. This will make room for the warm-weather clothing that will soon be on its way out. If your child is still growing, you may want to consider buying them a little bit bigger clothing, so there’s room to grow. If your child doesn’t know how tall they are, measure them for the correct size and mark what size clothing you need to buy for them.
Take Care of Your Hygiene
Especially as a teen, hygiene is important, not just because it is polite and socially acceptable, but because it helps you avoid illnesses and infections. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, and try to avoid sugary drinks and snacks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that teens get vaccinated for the flu. Ask your doctor to administer the vaccine in the fall, before the winter flu season begins.
Visit the Dentist and Whiten Your Teeth
Most teens don’t like making trips to the dentist but its important to do it a few times a year. Making a visit before school starts is a great way to gain a little more confidence knowing your teeth are nice and clean.
Whitening your teeth might be an option for some and isn’t as expensive as you might think. There are many at-home options if you don’t want to pay for professional whitening. Overall a bright white smile will make you feel good about yourself and is a great way to leave the first impression.
Review and Re-Commit to Back-to-School Habits
Some habits can be hard to break, and for some, it can be difficult to start new habits. Take a few minutes to have a quick review of the habits you’d like your child to have for the upcoming school year. Are there any that are missing?
Are there any that need to be re-started after being neglected during the summer? Examples may be:
- Establish a morning routine
- Start an exercise and fitness routine
- Get enough sleep
- Set time limits on social media and online activities
- Commit to daily homework and study
- Complete daily chores
- Spend time with family
- Take a break from devices
Send a Weekly Shopping List With a Family Member
Stock up on school supplies, notebooks, binders, and anything else your teen might need for the coming school year. If you have a teen who is still young enough to need diapers, make sure you stock up on those as well.
They will be needed throughout the school year. If you have a teen who has allergies, make sure to stock up on the recommended school-required medications and doctor-ordered treatments. During this time of year, there are bound to be many invitations to birthday parties, barbeques and other events that your teen will want to attend. Make sure they have enough money to go with their friends and support them in their shopping sprees.
Lock Down A Place To Study Or Meet With Tutors
If your child has a schedule full of extracurricular activities or a heavy class load, you may want to consider hiring a tutor to assist them in meeting their academic goals. If your teen is struggling with reading or other areas they need extra help in, look into programs through their school district. Many offer tutoring and other academic assistance to help students who are struggling to meet their grade-level expectations.
If your teen is struggling with time management or is easily distracted, consider getting an organizational coach to help them get a handle on their time management skills. If your child is behind in credits or is at risk of missing credits, look into accelerated learning programs. Many offer online options, which can make it easier for your child to continue with their extracurricular activities.
School is a great time for your child to learn responsibility, develop their social skills and make new friends. With the right preparation and organization, back-to-school season can be a smooth transition. With these tips, you are in good shape to tackle the start of school and all it brings with it.