A Top 5 Back-To-School Checklist


Staying up late watching television or hanging out with friends is reaching its end for millions of children as they embark upon going back-to-school. As the summer winds down in anticipation for the start of a new school year, you want to make sure that you have your ducks in a row to help your child get on the fast track to success.

  1. Safe and Quality Education

With all of the changes going on in education and push for high quality education, at the top of your priority should be the quality of the education system that your child attends. A safe and secure environment is number one these days, yet also an enriching, equal opportunity for all students to succeed is very important. The efforts to continue with educational cuts makes it very difficult for students to get the resources and attention they need to succeed to their fullest potential. Over the years, parents I’ve spoken with have asked me about additional resources to help their children get ahead, whether it’s free resources online, different games to help them better learn, or various educational apps.

I’ve used interactive apps, games, and resources that are free with my students, such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, Edpuzzle, Quizlet, Kahoot, Quizizz, and PBS Learning Media to name a few. Even getting a subscription to Scholastic for my classroom has allowed students to go and explore different topics and become more engaged into the subject matter.

At this point in the school year, I would advise to reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and introduce yourself. Building a rapport early on in the school year can help prevent any potential problems from taking place. It also alleviates any anxiety and clears up any confusion as to what to expect inside your child’s classroom(s).

  1. Meal Planning

The school year is a busy time and providing healthy lunches on a consistent basis can be a challenge. One strategy to developing new, creative ideas is to get your child involved in making a weekly list. This will take away some of the stress of you having to think of everything for lunch and dinner. If you are concerned that your child will not come up with any healthy options, you can provide them with a few choices and go from there. A website that I came across which you may like is “The Creative Bite.” They provides a weekly meal plan of healthy, creative options for recipes for all kinds of foods. The website offers different snack ideas and has a space to write down your nutritional goals for each day of the week.

  1. Back-to-School Clothing and Supplies

A Deloitte’s Back to School Survey shows that 29 million households will likely spend $27.6 billion this year, with households planning to spend more than double in-store compared to online.1 This calculates out to an average of $510 per child. Talk about breaking the bank!

This time of the year can be one of the biggest spending periods and at the same time can also be a great teaching moment about financial responsibility.  Kids want the best in fashion and understandably so with all of the pressure to fit in with their peers. However, children should learn the value of money and the basics to budgeting at a young age.

  1. Before and After School Care

Depending on your situation, you may be concerned with where to put your child before and/or after school. In addition to providing a morning and afternoon routine, before and after school programs offer school-age children various opportunities and experiences. Many programs focus on providing a comfortable, yet stimulating environment that offers life skills, recreational activities, physical activity, homework support, team-building activities, and also breakfast and various nutritional snacks.

If getting your child from point A to point B is an issue, there are many reputable services that offer transportation for kids. Care.com is an excellent resource that provides a list of child care providers in your area, along with their qualifications, such as CPR/First Aid certified, experience with different children (ages and various issues), if they are comfortable with pets, non-smoker, their willingness to travel, clean, meal prep, etc.

  1. Social and Emotional Issues

Peer pressure and bullying in all of its forms these days are major concerns. They are arguably the biggest concerns on a child’s mind in going back-to-school. Staying on top of what children are doing online, knowing their peer group and having open and honest conversations each day about their day serve as pillars of support for a child’s overall social and emotional well-being. There are many online resources that can help you teach your kids how to identify bullying and stand up to it safely.

In my best-selling book, The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens, I discuss strategies to help parents become aware of what their kids are doing online and help tackle the issue of bullying.

To A Great School Year for You and Your Children!


  1. Sides, Rodney R., and Rod. “2018 Back-to-School Survey and Shopping Trends.” Deloitte United States, 9 Aug. 2018, www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/consumer-business/articles/back-to-school-survey.html.


  1. School is such an expense all round really. Saying that, I am looking forward to them going back very soon! They’re so out of routine and it’s starting to show. The long summer holidays can be too long sometimes, for everyone

    • It certainly has taken a toll. However, with some apparent deficits that have come about from this pandemic, there have been accompanied skills they built. My students have demonstrated tremendous growth in patience, time management, and technology skills. I feel it is going to take time for students to rebuild their “in school student” muscle (socially-emotionally-academically) and when they do, coupled with all of the skills they’ve learned during the pandemic, they will become unstoppable!

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