These back to school checklists will get your children, their backpacks, AND your home ready for school to go back.
It’s that time of year again.
When you are not really ready for summer to end but also ready to send the kids back to school.
It feels like you should just wake up one day and go through the drop off line.
One must first figure out shoe sizes, buy shoes, declutter clothes, buy new clothes. Make sure there are enough snacks, water bottles, lunchboxes, and on and on.
It does require some organization.
In just 15 minutes a night (while you’re in your pajamas!) take your home (and heart and mind) from stressed out to organized.
What's in this post...
Back to School Necessities
It can be daunting when you’re trying to get all of your ducks in rows for back to school. Especially if you’re working with multiple children…
Here is a simplified list of what you’ll need to buy & how you can organize this fiasco. Some areas just let you pay a fee for the in class supplies (hallelujah!) but here are some other areas that aren’t so easy.
Clothes & shoes
Do an inventory of your kids’ clothes. Surely some will be too small and too stained. Make lists for each child of what they need for the fall.
If you like buying ahead to winter, you can do that too. When I do that I tend to overspend and by January the clothes don’t fit like I’d hoped. I tend to buy August through December ready clothes.
- hair ties and supplies
Always check your child’s school registration for a grade level supply list. They are not all the same. Some teachers/grade levels do ask for variations of lists depending on what they are doing that year.
Honestly, don’t skimp on the quality of items you’re purchasing. These kiddos will be hard on these supplies and often times, teachers end up spending their earnings on replacing supplies throughout the year.
On that same note, feel free to check in with your child’s teacher through the year and see if they need anything for the classroom. My mom, a retired school teacher, loves to buy the “wish lists.”
Additional tips for back to school (these are gold!):
- When it comes to colored pencils, buy the erasable ones. They won’t destroy the teacher’s mechanical pencil sharpener and they last forever!
- In most classes, there are at least 1-2 students that show up to school on the first day with no supplies at all. Why not send double of everything with your kiddos if you’re able.
- Don’t have your child write their name on folders or notebooks. The teacher may have a specific use for these that requires a blank folder.
- You can never, ever send too much tissue paper or hand sanitizer.
Follow my 3 step system to organize your mornings, afternoons, and evenings to minimize the chaos and micro-managing.Learn More
Organizational Tips for Home
It always amazes me the amount of things I need to buy for home… in order to prepare my kids for school. Some things are necessary and very helpful in the long run. Here’s the list:
- Backpack storage – When I was growing up, I had a specific chair in the dining room where my backpack was kept. It wasn’t fancy, but I knew where it was in the morning before school. For my kids, I have hung hooks in our dining room. Simple hardware hooks like these work great!
- Organization for clothes– Like most moms, the mystery of the disappearing sock is a real deal… I have incorporated a hanging organizer in my kids closets where they plan their clothes in advance. NO more worry in the mornings about missing socks and mismatched clothes! Find hanging garment bags here.
- Homework station– It may be a clipboard on the bedroom floor. It could be a special desk in the corner. Or, it may be a desk caddy like this one. Whatever the case, it’s great to always have a spot with writing utensils ready for homework.
- A plan for after school snacks– Home from school and straight to the fridge… that’s every kid…ever! Set up some specified snack times and options in advance so that way nobody ruins their dinner.
Setting Up Your School Routine
There are some great things you can do AT HOME to help your child be successful and happy at school.
I know from speaking with my school teacher friends that it’s often evident by a child’s behaviors and work ethic how organized and school oriented their home is.
- Establish a healthy bedtime routine early on- Sleep is absolutely necessary for a healthy child to be alert, attentive, and cognizant during school. Not just sleep, but the correct amount of sleep. Read about it here.
- Give your children plenty or rest & play time- At school, your child is probably siting in a desk most of the time. Playing and resting may be necessary for them to wind down from school and maintain a healthy balance.
- Set school night boundaries and schedules- There are some things we just don’t do on a school night. In our home, we don’t watch movies or stay up late. I have established a homework, quiet time, and early to bed routine for these nights.
With homeschool on the rise, it’s no wonder why this list is a popular one! While every family who homeschools is unique, this simplified list covers what is necessary for back to school (homeschool style).
- Curriculum- You’ll need to decide what curriculum you will be using for the general subjects such as Language Arts/Reading and Math. Then, how will you teach science, history, Bible, computer, typing, foreign language, art, etc. Some parents decide to choose curriculums that cover all subjects while others pick and choose from multiple places what works for their kids. You’ll want to start here when planning your back to school list for homeschool. *Feel free to leave a comment below for advice on which curriculum may work for you.
- Basic supplies- Get organized with your basic supplies. Have a designated spot (for each child) where school pencils, erasers, scissors, etc are kept safe from the other craft supplies you have around your house. I have used the caddy system (because I used the dining room table as our school table.)
- Plan your year- You need a planner. ;) Most curriculums follow a 180 day schedule. Sit down with your planner and mark out weeks you want to be in school. Be sure to give yourself breaks… you’re going to need it! Don’t forget to plan days out of the house. Maybe the local zoo, library, or historical museums.
- Technology- Many programs and some curriculum require use of a laptop or desktop computer. It’s important that this device is situated where the child using it is not distracted and can easily reach/see everything needed.
Did you know?
Also, don’t forget to check out your state’s local online learning platform. Many states offer free classes in foreign language, arts, and more.