Back-to-School: A Parents’ Checklist – 1 Week Before School

It’s time to start preparing for a new school year. For many this is an exciting time but for others it can be a cause of anxiety. Just a little preparation can help your child make a smooth transition and have a successful school year. Here is a checklist from the search institute to help you with your planning.

Here’s your one week before school starts checklist…

  • Start changing your child’s sleep and eating schedules to match the school’s schedule. Most kids have gotten into a summer schedule where they sleep in late and eat breakfast and lunch at odd hours.
  • Go to any orientations and meet-your-teacher events so that your child knows what to expect from the new school year.
  • Fill out all school paperwork. Parents often get flooded with forms from the school, either before school starts or right after it does. Fill out these forms right away and get them turned in before they get lost in the shuffle of other paperwork.
  • Create a route for getting to school. Even if your child rides a bus, get a copy of the bus schedule and follow it with your car. That way your child can see where the bus goes and where it stops. (Some kids get very anxious about their bus routes, particularly if they have to change buses or the bus stops at multiple schools.)
  • Take your child grocery shopping. Together, find healthy foods for snacks and school lunches.
  • Create a homework space. Find a place for your kids to do homework. If it’s a designated space for homework (such as a desk in their room), help them set it up with supplies. If it’s a shared space, create a folder, backpack, or box where they can keep track of their homework supplies.
  • Set up a homework time now. Get kids in the habit of reading books during the homework time so that when school starts, they’re ready to start doing homework again.
  • Get excited about school starting. When kids see that you value education, they’ll be more apt to value it as well.

Additional Resources:
Ten Tips for Back to School Success

1. Preparing Kids for School, ParentFurther,
2. School Success, ParentFurther,

This handout may be reproduced for educational, noncommercial uses only (with this copyright line). This content has been provided as a free download on SM, an online resource from Search Institute®, Minneapolis, MN; 800-888-7828; All rights reserved.

Last updated August 8, 2015