Click on an item in the set below to see more info.
Schedule Your Check-Ups
Four weeks out from the first day of school: If your school requires a visit to the pediatrician, call to schedule your appointments now. You'll up your chances of getting seen before school starts.
Make Playdates With Friends
Four weeks out: Between camps and vacations, your child probably hasn't seen many of his school friends over the summer. Set up some playdates so he can catch up and feel more comfortable when heading back to school with familiar faces.
Manage Your Supplies
Three weeks out: Don't wait until the last minute to stock up on school supplies, when those Back to School sales are all over. Keep your eyes peeled if you want the best deals. Dedicate a space in your home where everyone knows to look for supplies.
Stock Up on Health & First Aid Essentials
Two weeks out: With school about to start, keeping your kid healthy may seem like a near-impossible task. Be ready for the inevitable by stocking up on health and first aid essentials like bandages, tissues, vitamins and hand soap.
Figure Out Transportation
Two weeks out: Will your child be traveling by bus, bike or car? Figure out the details now, and work out a schedule with your spouse or carpool. If your child is bringing himself to school, take him on a practice run to make sure he's got the route down.
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Pay Your School a Visit
One or two weeks out: If your child is attending a new school or even if she's not, visit the school to get her excited for the year to come. Locate the classroom, bathrooms and front office.
Get on Schedule
One week out: Ease your child out of the lazy days of summer sleep-ins to the bright and early school mornings by gradually changing bed and wake-up times to be closer to the school schedule.
Create "Control Central"
Two days out: Designate an area of your home where you'll keep your calendar, phone messages and a bulletin board. Kathy Peel, best-selling author of The Family Manager, says you can also make "inboxes" for your kids. The inboxes can be places where your kids unload and pick up permission slips and forms that need to be signed.
Get Everything Ready for the First Day!
The day before the first day of school: Make sure the first-day outfits are clean, backpacks and lunches are packed, and that everything is ready to be picked up on the way out the door.
Write Your Child a Note
The night before the first day of school: To help calm first-day jitters, write your child a little note and stash it in her backpack or lunch box. Kids feel special and cared for when they discover the secret message, and they'll be comforted by seeing a little bit of home with them at school.
Back to School is an exciting time, but it can also be a scary time for some kids. Hold up your end of the bargain and give your child the best chance for Back to School success by doing the right preparation.
If you do have a child scared about going to school, especially a very young child, check out our article on addressing Back to School fear.