Back to School Check List in Your New Home

August 16, 2012

Summer seems like it has passed in a flash and it's that time of year again - back to school. If you are in a brand new home, or in a different school district, you may consider going through this checklist to see what may be applicable to making a smooth transition to a new school this year. Documents - Sometimes you have to push some paper. Have immunization records, social security number, and any medical prescriptions that may be applicable for the school to know about. Find out if any past grades or classes taken are needed if you are in a completely new school and district. Appointments - Get your kids the 10,000-mile check up. Schedule all doctors appointments such as dentists, immunizations, physicals and eye exams. Synch Your Calendar - In this day and age of smart phones, this one should be a no brainer. Get all the important dates on your calendar including orientation day, parent-teacher meetings, open house days and any other information the school provides about events so that you aren't waiting until the last minute to make those brownies for the bake sale. Emergency Contact List - Make sure you have a list of emergency contacts complete with phone numbers and availability that you can provide to the school. Inventory Supplies- Take a look at last year's school supplies and clothes and decide what can stay, what can be donated, what needs to be replenished, and what gets trashed. Clothes Shopping - Think about hosting a clothes swap with other parents. This can save a lot of money for everyone, and anything that doesn't get picked up can be donated to a charity of choice. Be sure you know if there is a school dress code - whether you are swapping or buying, make sure you have clothing that adheres to those standards. Replenish Supplies - Look for back to school sales, coupons, and specials and take full advantage to keep your costs down. See if your school has a website and a supply list to help you stick to the necessities and not go over board on fancy doodads. Create a Study Zone - Find a quiet place away from the household hubbub and set it up with pens, pencils, notebooks, calculators, and reference materials to create an easy place to study. Create a Drop Zone - Create your own in-home locker spot. Designate a basket, hook or shelf for backpacks, lunch boxes and sneakers so there's no early a.m. scramble tracking down items to the four corners of the house each day. Message Central - A chalkboard or a whiteboard can be a huge help in organizing weekly schedules, to do lists and after school activities. Place it where the whole family can see it at a glance and schedule their week accordingly. This will be irreplaceable when trying to organize carpools, activities, doctor's appointments and meetings. Rules of the Road - Think about setting homework rules. This should include turn off time for the TV and Computer. If the rules are laid out ahead of time then there will be less room for debate once school gets into full swing. Busing It - If this is the first time your child is riding a bus, or this is a new location, make sure you know where the pick-ups are. Get a copy of the route and do a run through with them. This will give you the opportunity to familiarize them with the landmarks and help them recognize where they are. Pre-School Lessons - That's right help them out with a few lessons before school starts to make them more self-sufficient. Teach them how to make their own lunches, pack their backpacks, and check their school websites for news and important information. Make the transition from summer to school a little bit easier in your new home.
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