Time for the Dreaded Back-to-School Checklist


The back-to-school countdown is on.

We’re home from family vacation.

Summer camp is complete and nobody got poison ivy this year.

We made our annual trip to the zoo. (And we all agree that the job of wearing the furry vest and holding and feeding the baby gorilla looks like the best job ever!)

We spent quality time with the cousins. And the grandparents.

We volunteered to serve ice cream at the senior center.

But with two weeks left of summer, it’s officially time for the much-dreaded back-to-school checklist.

Power On

Once again, I have this lingering feeling that I’m forgetting something important.

My oldest is 13 and it’s been the same end-of-summer routine every year for the past eight years he’s been in school. You’d think I’d have it down to a science.

However, during the summer I turn off my organized/scheduled brain and just go with the flow. Now is the time to power back on.

Anyhow, please let me know if I’m forgetting something!

Back-to-School Checklist

School-supply shopping. Instead of opting for the pre-packaged supplies kit through the school, my kids insisted that we do our own school shopping this year because “it’s fun.” OK. Time to print off the lists and hit Target (though we will avoid the back-to-school section at all costs on the weekend). My kids remind me that if we wait until next week, all of the good stuff—neon Expo markers and unicorn pencil cases–will be gone.

School physicals. I was the mom that forgot to call early and the doctor’s office had to squeeze my kids in for appointments in off hours the week before school starts. Nonetheless, we will be getting our checkups.

Health forms filled out. I have more than one sticky note reminding me to take these forms to the doctor’s office. If your kids are entering kindergarten, a new school, play sports at school or need meds at school, you’ll need to have these filled out and turned in before school starts.

Register for school. Ours is online this year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I entered everything correctly so that my kids can get their teacher names and schedules next week.

Brush up on math. And spelling. And speech. I love our teachers for sending home those awesome packets of fun summer learning activities. I think we better crack those open at least a couple of times before school starts.

Read. Research shows reading in the summer slows down the so-called “summer slide” of what kids learn throughout the school year. We just made one final trip to the library and the due date for the books is the day before school starts. I have two kiddos that have been reading all summer. However, I have one child that hasn’t picked up a book all summer (though he might be the only child that reads the newspaper every morning). I’m going to enforce some reading time these last couple weeks.

Clean out dressers/closets. We’ll be setting aside at least one morning to clear out our too-small clothes and make room for the fall fashions.

Shoe shopping. Our summer shoes are on their last legs. My son’s pair has a hole that goes all the way through the sole.

Hair cuts. We have school pictures the first week of school and everybody in this house is in need of a trim for their shaggy mains and chlorine-bleached tips.

Trim nails. This may seem trivial but it needs to happen. Somehow, I think we forgot to trim the nails of the kids or the dog almost the whole summer. My youngest may not even be able to hold a pencil with her long fingernails. Eeek.

Phew! Now that I have that down in writing, I feel much better. And, seriously, let me know if I’m forgetting something.

Now, we’re off to the pool before all the shady spots are gone.

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