Back to School Checklist – The Parent Edition

back to school written on chalkboard

It’s that time of year again! Summer is drawing to a close and it’s time to get the children prepped and ready for school. While the start of a new term is exciting, getting ready for the big return can be a hectic and stressful time for children and parents alike. From stocking up on the basics to planning lunchboxes and everything in between, there is a lot to get done. Making sure you are organised whilst also supporting your little one can naturally feel like an overwhelming task. With so much to do and so little time, there is no need to panic as we’ve compiled a handy list of tips and useful resources to help you and your little one settle back into the school routine.

Whether you’re sending your children to school for the first time or it’s just another year of classes, you’ll be sure to find all the back to school essentials to see you through the academic year. Read on for our suggestions and advice to get you prepped and ready for school!

1. Stock up on back to school basics

From stationery to uniform and PE kits, there are plenty of back to school basics and essentials items to consider.

Although most nurseries and primary schools will provide pupils with stationery, it is worth getting some of your own supplies as they will come in handy for homework and home learning. One handy tip when buying stationery for the new term is to take your little one with you to choose some bits themselves. They can then look forward to using something new and exciting on their first day back and will make the experience that bit more enjoyable.

Similarly with lunchboxes and backpacks, if children are involved in the process of buying these items, it will make them excited to use them when they return to school and may even give them a talking point amongst their friends as they settle back in!

Another handy tip is to look around your house before you go shopping, so you can make sure you don’t already have any unused stationery, notebooks or resources that you saved from last year!

Frustratingly, uniforms and PE kits are something that always needs replacing as children grow so fast! Remember that your little one will spend at least 30 hours a week in their uniform, so feeling comfortable in clothes that fit correctly is a crucial consideration when replenishing your child’s uniform.

Uniforms, pens, glue and colouring pencils are just a few items you will want to purchase during your back to school shopping trip(s). To make your life that little bit easier, we’ve put together a comprehensive back to school checklist to help you get organised.

2. Save the dates

Another back to school tip that should be towards the top of your list, is making a list of important term dates. These could include extra-curricular activities, parent’s evening, school trips, teacher training days and school photo days to name a few.

Important dates will usually be available on your school’s website or you may be notified by a newsletter so make a note to avoid any undue stress down the line! Sometimes emails go a miss so be sure to always check your junk mailbox, just in case.

Don’t forget! Having a calendar full of important dates and times doesn’t help if your partner isn’t on the same page. Try using a shared calendar or have a displayed calendar in your household for anyone else who needs to know these dates for example babysitters and grandparents.

3. Plan in advance

This is arguably the most important back to school tip for parents. Whether this means starting children on a back to school routine early or creating a list of quick, healthy breakfasts, planning is key to making the return to school as seamless as possible.

We encourage implementing an earlier bedtime and a set routine well in advance of the first day back. Starting children on a routine early and not just the week before they start school will get them used to the change and will make the transition easier.

We all know how manic the mornings can be! Having a plan the night before means you can relax a little more in the morning. Meal planning/prep can save a lot of hassle down the line. From YouTube to blogs, there is so much inspiration you can find on the web. Using a list of quick and healthy breakfasts and lunchbox ideas means you can organise yourself quickly and efficiently the night before. From uniform trying-on sessions to arranging travel to and from school, preparation is crucial. Not only will you have peace of mind it will also allow you more time to be present with your child and ease their anxiety about changing routines.

4. Communicate

We all know communication is key! Starting or returning to school can be an anxious and confusing time for young minds and so we recommend addressing any worries before starting. One thing you can do to calm any pre-school nerves is to discuss how your child is feeling about the upcoming year. Simple, open-ended questions are a fantastic way to learn about any concerns or fears they may be having.

Talk about school in a positive light well before they head back to the classroom. Talk to them about all the fun things they may be doing throughout the year and the new friends or existing friends that they will make and see.

Just think, new schedules, topics, faces and even new settings. There’s a lot to be processed, and for any child, too much change can be overwhelming. Whether it’s having discussions over dinner or on the way home from school, opening up the lines of communication and taking the time to talk to your children about their day will help ease their transition.

5. Children’s checklist

You’re not the only one who needs a checklist for the big return to school! We know how much little ones thrive on structure. Giving them a checklist is one sure-fire way to provide structure and consistency on a day to day basis. Whether this is a checklist to make sure they have their lunch, bag, homework etc. or wash their hands regularly, reminding your child to carry out tasks will help them get back into the swing of their routine.

Preparing a checklist for your child is a fantastic way for them to practise a host of skills. Can they follow instructions, use the toilet independently, do they have their morning routine down to a tee? It’s an opportunity for you to see what they can do and see where they may struggle. Simply draw up your own checklist and ask them to tick off each box when they have learnt how to do each task.

6. Remember to breathe

Finally, remember to breathe! Naturally, both you and your child may be a little nervous about the new school year. Change, whether good or bad, can cause levels of anxiousness and breed worry, but be wary as your child will likely feed off your anxiety.

Summertime is nearly over and your child is back where they ought to be. In an environment where they are ready to thrive, grown and learn. With our handy checklist, you can concentrate on getting your child excited for the new year ahead.

With all these handy tips to get you prepped in advance, you will be able to put your feet up at the end of the first week and know you have done everything you can to get another year off to a great start.

Back to school checklist for parents

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