Back To School Checklist: A Complete Guide For Parents

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back to school checklist

Back to school season is here! Waking up early, getting ready,  going to school, doing homework, sleeping exhausted and repeating the routine all over again. This can be tiresome for both you and your kids if you are not well prepared. It can be challenging to organise and remember everything needed for a smooth transition from the holiday to school mode. From having proper communication with the school, filling out the registration forms, preparing school uniforms, shopping and so forth.

To work around this, you need to have a fixed list that will keep everything in check from three weeks earlier to the first day of school. This will help reduce the stress related to going back to school. Here is a back to school checklist that you should not miss.

Three Weeks Before

back to school shoppingPrepare your kids items 3 weeks in advance so they can be confident of overcoming the back to school stress. It is a great time to remind them that school time is almost here. Arrange the shopping of necessary stationary and uniforms. Additionally, ensure you assess their mental and physical well being to ensure they are ready for school. Here is a checklist ideally for this time:

  • Work on all necessary forms, including school registration and medical forms.
  • Reach out to your kids’ doctor for a medical check-up.
  • Take your kids shopping for all stationery and school uniforms.
  • Ensure all the holiday take-home assignments are done.
  • Arrange the means of transport if this is not provided by the school.
  • Keep receipts.

Throughout this time, it is also important to check your budget and decide how much you would allocate for their shopping needs. Remember to check your kid’s unused school supplies from the previous school year, including unworn uniforms. Prioritize what to buy according to the list provided on the joining instruction form. If this is not provided, then prioritise based on urgency.

Two Weeks Before

kids study area back to school

This is an ideal time to prepare your kids with a regular sleeping routine so they can slowly adjust from the relaxing holiday sleep schedule to a school night bedtime. Visit their school to locate essential amenities so you can know what to expect when they start going to school. Two weeks before school opening day:

  • Prepare a regular sleeping routine.
  • Ensure their rooms and study areas are organised in a cosy and school-like environment.
  • If it is their first time, take a tour of the school with your kids to locate necessary amenities around. And if possible, arrange to meet with your kid’s teacher for a quick chat about the school.

A Week Before

kids calendar back to school

Continue with your kids’ routines and activities you started above, including sleeping routine and eating healthy. Ensure their belongings are well located for easy access for the first day at school. Plan with your kids the outfits that they will wear on the first day and let them choose their favourite one. On this week:

  • Review all school forms to ensure they are filled.
  • Review their shopped list to make sure that they bought all important things such as:
1. Backpacks
2. Exercise books and notebooks
3. Uniforms and their accessories including socks, hair ties and shoes
4. Pen and Pencil cases, erasers, rulers, coloured pens and highlighters
5. Sticky notes and
6. Umbrellas and raincoats
  • Ensure they have gone for a haircuts/hairdo for fresher looks on the first day.
  • Create an inbox and outbox station where you can put and find everything you need near the main door.
  • Get your kid’s calendar where you can see it. Ensure you mark relevant dates such as parent’s day so as to align your timetable it. It is also crucial to know their classroom timetable as well so that it can be easy for you to make follow-ups and ask relevant questions in the evenings.

One Day Before

kids backpack back to school

Your kid’s big day has finally arrived. Ensure that everything is in order and all their supplies are packed in a backpack. If they are not old enough, help them with preparing their uniforms, ironing and polishing shoes. Always talk and remind them of important things when they are at school such as safety, and encourage them on how important their first day is.  On this day remember:

  • Set the alarm clock so that they are on time the next day.
  • Pack their lunch early and let them choose their favourite meal that they will have at school.
  • Pack the backpack the night before with their presence.

On your kids first day at school, ensure you start it early and don’t make it look challenging to them. Give them friendly talks and remind them of safety during their time at school. Remember to encourage them to tell you about any fear that they may have so as to give them a feeling of protection. If they have friends, you can organise they meetup so that they can go to school together.

Mustapha Mosha
Mustapha Ally is a Community Marketing Manager at Zoom Tanzania and BrighterMonday Tanzania. He loves digital marketing social media