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A Parent's Back To School Checklist

Schools make it simple for kids to get back to school. They almost always provide supply checklists, and a few schools even send letters home a week or so before the first day of classes to help students organize what they’ll need. But who is looking out for the parents? Who is telling mom and dad what they need to do to get the kids back to school? QALO, that’s who. Here’s our ultimate list of everything a parent needs to do before sending the kids back to school.

1. Get Organized

Make a photocopy of your child’s daily schedule and put it somewhere that you can see it easily every day. This will help you start to get used to your child’s schedule in advance.  

2. Plan to Get Involved

Studies and research overwhelmingly show that children who have parents who are involved in their education perform better. The improved performance isn’t just academic, either. Involved parents often have kids with fewer social anxieties or issues like bullying. So this year, plan to say “yes” when the school asks for volunteers.

3. Get Thrifty

Before heading to the mall, start by letting your kids shop at a local thrift or consignment shop. They’ll fall in love with things that are a fraction of the cost when compared to new items, and you may wind up not needing to do major back to school clothes shopping at all.  The same is true of school supplies and backpacks.

4. Keep Receipts

Just in case a teacher has specific rules on certain colors of ink, shapes of markers, brands of pencils, or anything else you couldn’t have known in advance. There may have also been amendments to the dress code over the summer, and having the ability to return new clothes could come in quite handy.

5. Schedule It

Purchase a whiteboard calendar and a pack of markers. Everyone in the family gets their own color. Use this to create a working family schedule of who needs to be where, and when. Be sure to hang this in a place that everyone has access. 

6. The Bedtime Battle

Start early. Begin sliding bedtime up by about 10 minutes each night so that, by the time you arrive at back-to-school eve, there isn’t a battle over an unexpected earlier than normal bedtime.

7. Goal Setting

Before the first day of school, have some quiet time with your kids to discuss their goals for the year. This can create a positive space and attitude towards heading back to school. In addition, all goals are easier to achieve once they’ve been identified.

8. Dress Rehearsal

If your kids are nervous about heading back to school, plan a dress rehearsal day. This is especially useful for kids transitioning to middle or high schools. Go to the school a day or two before classes begin to find your child’s locker, homeroom, and walk the route between their classes once or twice. This helps calm anxiety and allows things to feel a bit more manageable on day one.

9. Downtime

Practice incorporating some downtime between required activities and scheduled ones this summer. For example, allow kids to take some free time between their chores. Later, you’ll transfer this exercise over to the first hour between getting home from school and doing homework or chores. This little mental break can help kids refocus, and does amazing things for their moods.

10. Be Patient

Brace yourself. Forms are coming. The start of any new school year means a novel of forms will be coming your way. Designate a space on your desk or counter for your child to place all of the forms, and create a filing system for yourself. Pace yourself, and try to be patient.

One last thought? How about a slim, dainty QALO silicone ring for back to school? They’re trendy, perfectly sized for smaller fingers, and an easy way to remind the kids that you’re with them in heart all day long. Shop the collection, here.