Whether your kids are off for their first day of kindy, or almost done with their schooling lives, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the first few weeks of any school year are crazy busy. We’re hoping to make this year’s transition to 9-to-3 a little easier, with our ultimate back-to-school checklist.
1. Check their shoes.
If your little one is starting kindy, they’ll need new shoes. Have them fitted by a professional in January, and if possible, do it at the end of the day (when their feet are warmer and therefore, slightly bigger). If your kids are older, check that their shoes still fit (there should be a little wiggle room between their big toes and the tops of their shoes).
2. Set up a family calendar.
Use Google Calendar or another online calendar service to set up a family calendar that everyone can see and contribute to. This is a great way to ensure nobody forgets sports day or trumpet practice, or the Easter hat parade.
3. Check your school’s policy on food restrictions.
Most schools are nut-free these days, but many also discourage dairy, legumes and peas.
4. Make bulk lunch box snacks in advance.
5. Designate a place for school bags, uniforms and shoes.
a) everything goes back to where it lives, and
b) everything is easy to find on busy mornings.
6. Do a few “trial run” mornings.
If your child is starting school (or at a new school), do a few “trial run” mornings to get them used to the idea of walking to school (or catching a bus – however you plan on getting there). If they’re going to an after-school care centre, take them here, too.
7. Get them there on time.
A week or so before school begins, make sure everyone is in bed at a reasonable hour (ie closer to “school night” time than “holiday” time), and up in time for a real school day.
8. Check your supplies.
Do you have:
- A school bag?
- A lunch box and bag, with freezer packs?
- A water bottle?
- Beeswax wraps for sandwiches and wraps?
- A change of clothes for spills and accidents?
- A hat?
- Labels for everything (iron-on and stick-on)?
9. Think about the extras.
As well as the obvious things above, your child might also need a packet of wet wipes or tissues, a small umbrella, roll-on sunscreen and a wet bag for dirty clothes or art smocks.
10. Limit after school activities.
For the first term at least, limit your child’s after-school activities to one a week. This will allow them to transition easier, and they won’t be (as) exhausted!
11. Finally, take photos.
Not just of your kid as they step through the gates of school for the first time this year, but of every school document you receive. After all, everyone knows that 85 per cent of excursion slips go missing before the day of the excursion. So as soon as you get a permission slip, or newsletter, or party invitation, take a photo and add it to an album marked with your child’s name. You’ll never be disorganised again.