Starting school: the essential checklist

Take the guess work out of preparing for school ...
Take the guess work out of preparing for school ... 

Whether your children are starting school this year or returning, avoid panic with this schedule based on tips from the super-organised mums at

1 month before school starts

• Schedule any vaccinations as needed.

• Review reading lists and any other school projects that the kids need to complete over the summer. Schedule time to visit library/bookstore and get necessary books.

• If you have not done so already, sign up your kids for sports and after-school activities.

• Ensure after-school care arrangements are booked

• Sort through the kids' clothing; donate or hand down what does not fit.

3 weeks before school starts

• Gather your hubby's old shirts for art smocks; place in backpacks.

• Purchase backpacks, lunchboxes, and water bottles as needed.

• Purchase basic wardrobe necessities for each child as needed.

Make sure your camera is charged and ready for the first day of school.

2 weeks before school starts

• Start getting your kids back on their school year bedtime routine, including setting aside time for reading if you have let that slip over the summer.

1 week before school starts

• Set up a "launch pad" in a convenient location near the door in your house. Get one basket or crate for each child; use these baskets for your kids' belongings, e.g. books, hat, gloves, sports equipment.

• Make a "favorite foods" list for each of your children. Make sure to note what they like best for lunch, snacks,  and dinner so that you'll remember those foods at the grocery store.

• Bulk shopping: visit your local big box retailer and stock up on non-perishable basics like juice/milk boxes,  sandwich bags, tissues and snack foods. You can also stock up there on stationary supplies like permanent markers, pencils, pens, tissues, and looseleaf paper.

5 days before school starts

• Sit down with your planner and write in the entire school calendar for all schools attended by your children.  Don't forget to put all sports practices, games, and other after-school activities in the planner.

• Schedule kids' haircuts as needed.

3 days before school starts

• Plan meals for the first week of school.

• Grocery shopping: Be sure to make a list; include items needed for your meal plan and from your child(ren)'s "favourite foods" list.

1 day before school starts

• Prepare lunches and snacks for the first day of school

• Pack supplies in backpacks

• Lay out clothes for first day of school

• Set alarm clocks

• Make sure your camera is charged and ready for the first day of school.

First Day of School: