Back-To-School Checklist

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Whew!  Rosie starts kindergarten in 14 days *shudder*.  To say that I’m not ready, is a major understatement.  Have you seen the back-to-school checklists that say, “Three months before…” “1 month before…” “1 week before…”  Well, standard procedure for me – it’s two weeks before and I’m too late for two-thirds of that bleepy list!  Yes, I’m in denial that my baby is leaving me.

So, here’s MY list, that is hey-just-whenever-you-have-time and it might just be the night before!


Tip:  Take inventory before you go shopping and see what you already have, or may be able to re-purpose.  Make a list, and shop from the list!  If you start picking up this and that, your budget will explode!

1.  Backpack

Make sure it’s the appropriate size for your child

2.  Lunch Box

Rosie is going to be buying her lunch but we still need a lunch box because at her school the kindergartners bring their own morning and afternoon snacks

3.  Water Bottle

4.  School Shoes

5.  Rain Gear:  Coat, Boots, Umbrellas

6.  School Supplies

School list AND for at home

7.  School Clothes

Rosie’s school has uniforms and I’ve already ordered the shirts.  But the bottoms can be jeans, khaki, or navy.  I need to inventory what she already has and then we need to go shopping.  Even if your child doesn’t wear a uniform to school, you may want to consider a simple color palette with solid colors.  If you can convince your child, it does make dressing much easier!

Things to Do

Tip:  Plan for Mom’s First Day, too!  For the send-off, if you are emotional like I am…. two words for you… tissues and waterproof mascara.  Well, that’s more than two words, but you know what I mean.

1.  Set up a homework station.

Where will your child do their homework?  Rosie is so excited about homework, as only a kindergartner will be!  She told me today that she has practiced and practiced and “MOM, I’m ready for THE REAL THING.”  Even if you are choosing the universal solution of “the kitchen table”, establish a place for your child to keep their supplies, books, backpack, assignments, etc.”

2.  Set up a launching pad just inside the door you use in the morning.

This is one of my all-time favorite tips.  Right next to our back door, we have hooks on the wall where we keep a different bag for each function/activity/sport.  Everything Rosie needs for that activity is in the bag.  It makes morning SO much calmer.  Everything is easy-to-find.  Whew.

3. Plan any first day traditions.

Do you have traditions you’ve established over the years associated with the first day of school?  Some I’ve heard are, special breakfasts, a new favorite outfit, a celebration after school.

4.  Get the camera ready and schedule a haircut.

One common tradition is the first day of school photo!  It’s fun to take it in the same place every year, or do something to give scale to the photo every year.

5.  Practice the bedtime and morning routines before the actual day.  Test your alarm clock.

For everyone’s sanity, don’t wait until the night before to start enforcing a school-night bedtime.  At least a week out, start going to bed at the same time you will have to do when school starts.  Practice getting “up-and-out” if you haven’t been doing that in the summer *hand-raised*.  Check out setting your alarm clock, if you don’t normally do that.  This is not the time you want to mix up the AM/PM and oversleep.

6.  Label anything that has to leave the house – clothes, supplies, bags, shoes, boots, sunglasses.

Kid’s are wonderful but they do not keep track of their stuff!  It’s usually in varying scales of focus, but all kids have lost something and will lose even more.  Buy a combo pack kit, from a company like Mabel’s Labels and go to town!  It will pay for itself and “stuff” you don’t have to replace because they’re lost.  Don’t miss the Mabel’s Labels giveaway hear at KLY-

7.  Relax and enjoy the moment… it’s the only time it will be the first day of school, at this exact age.  Treasure it!


  1. 1

    Wow I so need these reminders thanks.
    Melissa recently posted..Deal Site: DailyDeelz

  2. 2

    Yes, labels are a must. Great tips! I was so emotional when my son began kindergarten. My son’s teacher was great though, she stood at the door with a box of tissues for the moms.

  3. 3

    I love and hate this time of year. It is bittersweet for my own reasons and happy to have a few hours to call my own.:)

  4. 4
  5. 5

    Very helpful list for the mama’s getting ready for back to school :)

    stumbled & following on gfc
    Krystal @ Uh Oh Mom! recently posted..Weight Watchers Scales by Conair Review & Giveaway

  6. 6

    You have given some really great tips here Kelly! I think the one that is most important is setting up a homework station. It’s even better if one or both parents are easily accessible from the homework station, to answer questions and help without it being much hassle for the child to get your attention. My son is 15, and I can honestly say that if I’d made his homework station more of a permanent place, it would have evolved into much better homework habits later on.

    Good luck on getting your kiddo off without too much of an emotional breakdown ;) It’s hard letting them go when they’re so young. Actually, it’s still hard when they get older. I guess some things really just don’t change :)

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  7. 7

    I will definitely need a camera and I love the “launching pad” idea!

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    PS Did you get my emails??
    Amy @ Marvelous Mommy recently posted..World Famous Chicken Salad!! #Recipe

  8. 8

    One of the things I did when I was a nanny was take Alicia by to meet the teacher and see where her desk would be (she was nervous – new school and all). She felt so much better doing that. We made sure we got to visit the playground too. =D

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    Tina “The Book Lady” (you can pick one if you’d like)
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  9. 9

    We have a ‘launching pad’! Best thing I ever did. No hunting for bags and everything is always packed and ready to go. The first thing I do when I come in with the kids is unpack, repack and hang. It saves so much time.

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    Thanks, as always!

    Jamie @
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