Back to School To Do List

It’s almost September. Days are getting shorter, and parents are getting excited for back to school time!

Every year I seem to forget all the things we need to do to get i ready for back to school.  Although this year we did find new backpacks and lunch pails at Costco earlier this month.  I’m pretty sure this means all the other kids will have the same backpacks as mine, so I’d better remember to stick those labels I bought on all their stuff!

Here are my top 5 things I need to do to get the kids ready to go back to school:

  1. Stock up on lunch items.  My kids do not eat sandwiches.  They can’t take any nut products to school.  They also don’t have easy access to a microwave.  And did I mention they’re picky?  We send bagels with cream cheese almost every day.  Plus applesauce packs, granola bars (from a nut-free facility), sometimes rice cakes, carrot sticks, cucumber slices or melon pieces.  Some days they eat it, and some they don’t.  Once in a while Emma will take leftovers (hotdogs, chicken, fish sticks) as long as they don’t need to be heated.  I hate thinking about lunches so Patrick usually packs those for the kids.  This year they get to start “helping” make their lunches.
  2. Push back bedtimes.  With only 1 week left til school gets started I’ve been trying to get Emma to go to bed earlier.  Rose is easy – she’s tired by 7 and so she goes to bed.  We’ve had a few struggles the last week with her, but overall she sleeps when she’s tired.  Emma likes to stay up reading or playing so we have to get bedtimes started earlier so she can go back to getting up at 6:30 so we don’t miss the 7:45 bus!
  3. Try on last year’s, and then go and buy, some indoor shoes.  The shoes that came home last year are too small (and too worn!) to survive another year at school.  Last years model were light up Frozen shoes.  Who knows what we’ll stumble across this year at the shoe store.  This is the only item of clothing I really need to buy for the kids this year.  We get bags of hand-me-downs (for which we are forever grateful!) so clothes shopping doesn’t really happen around here.  We even have new winter coats already – bought at the end of last year’s winter.  (We were in the right place at the right time.)
  4. Start thinking about homework routines.  I made Emma do some “work” tonight after we got home.  We were supposed to be practicing printing over the summer to help her stay fluid with her troubled printing.  I don’t think we did a very good job of that.  The OT sessions she had over the summer definitely helped her out in this regard but we didn’t keep up with a set time for doing work at home.
  5. Deal with all the junk they brought home from school in June.  Emma has a cloth grocery bag full of her “work” from last year.  I have barely looked through it.  What am I going to do with it?  The last few Wednesdays I’ve thought I’d go through it, but I never quite got there.  Plus I have keepsake school books that I’m supposed to do with the girls.  Have them write their names, add their school photos and a list of their friends – you know the books.  I haven’t done the pages for the last school year with them yet.  I’d better get on that!
Back To School
First Day of School 2015

I’m sure there are other things I need to do to get us ready for back to school.  This summer has just flown by!  We don’t get any information before the girls go back – everything comes home after the first day.  Because of that I haven’t had to go shopping for “school supplies” yet with my kids.  I’m sure those days are coming too.

What I can’t wait for is getting back to a consistent routine.  Dance classes will take up 3 nights a week this year (plus a class on Saturday) – one of those nights is just for me!  Emma and Rose have a class on the same night (Thursday) and Emma has a class on Wed.  Monday nights are for me again, and the kids might take swimming Monday nights.  Sounds busy but we’ll make it work!

Share your back to school lists with me.  I want to know how much work other families have to put into getting ready for September!  Do you have a lot of extra-curriculars?  And how do you fit in homework time?  (Especially if both parents work!)  Please comment below with your September jobs, routines and frustrations!


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    1. The schools around here have staggered starts (to accomodate busing I think) so of course the school we wanted starts early. Oh well, now we’re used to it – Emma’s been going for 4 years already! Thanks Lauren!

  1. We’ve been back to school since Aug 8th in Louisiana but I think we’re actually in a routine now. 🙂 Only after school activity right now is for our oldest going to Cub Scouts. But every day after school we do homework and read. Busy busy!

    1. Isn’t it amazing how busy life is? I’m dreading the next couple of weeks while we work into our routine. We had to change up after-school care so there will for sure be a breaking in period. And there’s never enough time between dinner and bed to fit in homework – I’m hopeful the after school care will provide some structure for Emma to do her homework there! Thanks for the comment Cindy. 😀

    1. Life is constantly a learning curve, isn’t it Elizabeth? I think it’s great you’re thinking ahead to when your kids are older. I’ve found nothing can really prepare you though. You just have to get there and deal. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Some great tips here – we are still awaiting our first homework but I have been trying to get Pie to practice his letters every evening so it gets him in the habit! Hope the first few days back went well 🙂 #EatSleepBlogRT

    1. If you can get into a homework in the evening routine before there is homework I think you’re well on the way to success! We didn’t do that. I think for my 5yo we will start making her sit and do “homework” while Emma does hers so she’s into the groove too.
      The first week was alright – busy as we had a family wedding to get ready for as well. It takes a bit but we’ll get into a routine soon enough.

    1. Emma even brought home homework to do over the weekend. It’s going to be a long year, I think! She’s done half of it, but we had a wedding that filled our day yesterday (and this morning.) We’ll finish it up tonight. Thanks for the comment Rachel!

  3. Great list! Just need to add visit to school uniform shop for us UK mummies. My two are considerably older, so had homework to do over the holidays, plus the youngest had to revise for a test she was taking two days after returning to school. Both have had homework since returning, and thankfully have completed it without me nagging them. I’m not enjoying making those packed lunches though! Hope your return to school is running smoothly and you’ve managed not to miss the school bus x

    1. I think homework (when the kids are young and not fully into the routine yet) and lunches are the worst part of back to school for parents. Sounds like your kids had a busy back to school time! We haven’t missed this bus this week, but there’s a lot of school to go! 😉

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