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Back to School

24 August, 2009

school bus

                   Photo by Zemlinki!


It’s that time again. School buses are circling around the neighborhoods on practice runs, and parents are running out to get the last minute pair of scissors or a new pair of shoes because the last pair was used as a bucket for mud pies. It’s back to school season, and whether you dread or look forward to it, it’s here.

It’s easy to get lost in all the paperwork sent from the school and your own lists you’ve made, so here are some reminders…just in case you forgot.

 1. Get those immunizations early, and documentation turned in to the school nurse.Don’t wait for the week before school. Not only do you not want your child to associate shots with school, but you don’t want to be told by the school to keep your child home until you can provide them with the necessary documentation. Oh, the embarrassment! Or, if you aren’t vaccinating your child, make sure the school has the necessary paperwork.

2.  Start the Back-to-School bedtime early. You don’t want your kiddo to be exhausted the first week of school because they can’t be asleep by 8:30. The first week is stressful enough. I started this with my kindergartener two weeks before. Not only was he in bed by 8:30, I had him out of bed by 7:15 the next day.

3. Make sure to register your child for after-school activities/sports early. Don’t miss the deadlines or lose a spot because you remembered a day too late. Also, put all dates that are important for your child on the family calendar or in your planner.

4. Make sure all new clothing is washed and put away. Also, pull out any clothing that is too small or threadbare. Don’t waste precious morning minutes sending your child back to their room seven times to change their clothes.

5. Get your kiddo ready for school by reading a few of these back-to-school books at bedtime:

  • You Can’t Go To School Naked by Diane Billstrom

                      can't go to school naked                                           

  • Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards by Serge Bloch 

               butterflies in my tummy

  • First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg 

              first day jitters

  • On My Very First Day of School I Met… by Norman Stiles 

               on my very first day

  • The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing and Julie Durrell 

               night before kindergarten

  • Curious George’s First Day of School by H.A. Rey

              curious george

  • Morris Goes to School by B. Wiseman


6.  Attend the Open House with your child. If your school doesn’t offer an Open House, ask if you can schedule a time that you and your child can meet with his or her new teacher. This will do wonders for your child’s confidence and may even help with any anxiety they may be feeling. Just knowing where he can put his backpack and where she will be sitting can provide them with quite a bit of confidence and give them a little control. 

Other last minute reminders:

  • Make sure that all supplies are packed in backpacks and near the door. Find old shirts to be used as art smocks, put their initials on them, and put them in large plastic Ziploc bags along with a change of clothes (if required to bring in).
  • Charge the battery for your camera.
  • Pack lunches and hang a note next to the door so they won’t be forgotten.
  • Make sure all alarm clocks work.
  • Buy tissues…just in case.

What are some of your favorite back-to-school memories? Do you have any tips to make it a smooth transition for everyone?

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