Back to School Tips for Parents
It’s that time of year again! It's the start of School Season!
Buying school supplies, going back to school clothes shopping, and preparing to get back on a regular schedule.
We are so excited to get our kids back to school and into a daily routine full of activities including school, sports, and extra-curricular activities.
All the things all your family members are excited, yet sad about.
Along with all this school prepping comes figuring out what you really need.
As you go over the lists from your children’s teachers, you figure out what else you really want and need.
Maybe your child goes to private school, so you need uniforms and tuition payments. Is it your child’s very first day of preschool and you want a first day of school sign?
We are here to help you figure out all the things you’ll need to prepare you for your child’s first day of school.
Check out our Back to School Checklist for Students and Parents.
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If you’re trying to figure out what you need to have ready before that first week of school, look at our list so you’re prepared ahead of time.
1. School Clothes Shopping
Personally, going school shopping for clothes is one of my favorite parts about going back to school.
There are so many cute stylist outfits for kids to wear and they can show off their personality is different ways.
Even if your child wears a uniform, you’ll still need to purchase new uniform pieces in their current size, and you can mix and match the different pieces.
If you don’t have time to go out shopping, you can order clothes online as well.
Bring your kids shopping with you or have them help you pick out items online. Letting your kids help you pick out their own clothes gives them a chance to show off their individuality and you can have a fun time.
2. School Supplies Shopping
Most teachers will mail you a list of supplies your child will need for the year.
Depending on the age, this could range from crayons to pencils and play doh to calculators.
Many schools will have the lists available at the local stores, which can be convenient. You can check with your area to see if the lists are available in stores near you.
I have ordered many school supplies online instead of going to the store too.
Some of the most popular school supplies include:
- Glue Sticks
…and so much more.
3. New Backpack
No matter what grade your child is going into, they’ll need a backpack.
Our school requires the kids to all have large backpacks no matter what grade they’re in so everything they need will fit in their bag.
Make sure to check dimensions when ordering book bags online so you know if the bag is the right size for your child.
Before sending your child to school with their new bag, make sure to label the inside with their first and last name to avoid mix ups.
It is not recommended to have your child’s name personalized on the outside of the bag for safety reasons. If your child is walking outside with their bag on, every stranger will know their name.
4. School Lunches
Lunch bags are also important to buy if your child wants to bring their lunch.
Many backpacks have lunch bags that come with them, but if they don’t, you’ll have to purchase a lunch bag as well.
If your child wants to bring their lunch, you should start thinking of the types of foods your child will eat each day.
If you’re not wanting to make them sandwiches daily, you can look into healthy school lunches in Bento Boxes.
Bento boxes fit perfect inside child’s lunch boxes, and you can fit an ice pack in the lunch box with the Bento Box.
Check out my post Well-Balanced & Kid-Approved School Lunch Ideas for the Picky Eater.
5. Hang up New School Calendar / Add Events to Your Family Calendar
You probably get a ton of mail from your child’s school before the new year starts, so it’s best to get it all organized.
I hang school calendars on the side of the fridge to keep all the important events, school activities, and days off readily available.
Make sure to check the calendar and add things that pertain to your children to your own personal calendar so you don’t miss anything, and you can have a great school and family life balance.
I have a calendar app on my phone I share with my husband to keep us both on the same page all year long, so we don't forget important dates.
Many school districts also send out a lunch menu to families.
If your child wants to buy lunch, you should hang this calendar to keep up with what they’re eating or if there’s any days, they would prefer to bring lunch.
You will need to switch the calendars out in the coming months when you receive new ones.
6. Buy or Pull Out of Storage Fun Back to School Items
A popular item for back to school is the cute First Day of School signs.
If your child likes to hold a sign, be sure to pull yours out of storage. If you don’t have one, you can buy one off Amazon.
There are some signs that can be used for 1st day of school and last day of school.
Purchase some new markers or chalk to use for the signs so you’re not scrambling last minute to find something to write with.
Another popular item is the “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” book for teachers to sign.
Hop on over to Amazon and grab a version of the book to have ready for your child’s teachers to sign if you haven’t started one yet.
7. Send in Supplies for Teachers
Our child's school teacher does not request us to send in too many supplies for the whole class, but I still like to.
Many teachers must buy everything for their classroom. So, it’s nice to pitch in since your child will be using the products too.
At the beginning of the school year, I like to send in some of the following products that are not always requested by my child's teacher:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Cleaning Wipes
- Paper Towels
- Hand Wipes
- Extra Glue Sticks
…many other things.
It’s not always necessary to send in these things, but since my children will be using them, I think it's a good thing to help their teacher.
8. Pay Tuition If Necessary
If your child attends private or parochial school, they most likely have tuition.
Many schools offer financial aid to those who qualify, so look into this option if your child will have a tuition.
Speak to your child’s school in advance to set up any payment plans or financial aid, so this is taken care of once the school year begins.
9. Set Up Transportation
Your child’s school will inform you if you are within the zone to be considered a walker or if they are assigned a bus route.
If your child will not be riding the bus, you must make sure they can walk to school safely or plan to do school drop-off.
My daughter’s school has a drop-off and pick-up zone where cars line up in a car line to allow kids to safely get to and from the car.
If your child will be riding the bus, be sure to have the bus information ahead of time. You will need to know where they need to wait for the bus, what time the bus will arrive, and the bus number. It’s important to know the bus number so your child doesn’t get on the wrong bus. Some schools may do their bus planning different so be sure to get all bus information from the school.
I have also heard of schools doing a practice bus run for new riders to get them used to waiting for the bus before the stress of the first day of school and get them used to the new school routine.
10. Attend Meet the Teacher or Open House
A Meet the Teacher or Open House is a great way for your children to see where their classroom is and meet their teachers.
It can also give the parents a way to meet their children’s teachers, so they know who they’ll be communicating with.
I highly recommend attending these events to help with your child's mental health and any school anxiety your child may be having.
Some teachers even allow them to bring in their school supplies this day, so they don’t have to worry about packing everything in their backpack in the first day.
A bonus for your child is they may even run into their old friends and new classmates, which can get them even more excited about school.
11. Bedtime Routine
Over summer vacation, it can be common for children to get out of their regular routine and not get enough sleep.
It is important for kids to get a good night's sleep on school nights, so some families think it's a good idea to get back into a good sleep schedule.
Getting adequate sleep is important to your children's education and teaching them time management.
A poor sleep schedule can lead to a health problem or multiple health problems because of how important sleep is to our bodies, especially younger kids.
If your child was on a great sleep schedule last year, you can start getting them back into their routine a few weeks before the new school year.
Check out my post on Consistent Bedtime Routine for Young Children to get your child on a great bedtime routine.
12. Discuss Medical Conditions with the School
If your child requires accommodations due to a medical condition or any other special needs, make sure to discuss them with your child's new teachers, school nurse, and/or any school resources ahead of time.
This is a great opportunity to make sure your child has a safe and comfortable learning environment, so they get the best education.
You will want the school to be prepared for all the children attending by the first day of class, so their school transition goes smooth.
The first day of school can be so much fun for parents and children.
Planning out everything they’ll need and do ahead of time can help get the new school year off to a great start.
Once you throw in sports, extracurricular activities, and special events, the year can get very busy for the entire family.
These school tips can help you prepare or your child's first day of school, so you have enough time to get them ready for the upcoming school year.
What are some things you like to do before the first day of school?
Are there any other products you think are great to have?
Let us know in the comments below!