August has arrived and so have all the back-to-school sales. That means the first day of school isn’t far off for many North Texas schools. No one wants to think about that now as they want to enjoy the last days of summer. However, preparing a few weeks ahead can ease the adjustment and stave off potential last minute panicking.
And besides, Texas has a tax-free shopping weekend a few weeks before school starts. At the end of the article is a handy checklist that you can print to help you keep track of everything covered here. Here are the recommended tasks to do before school starts.
Three to four weeks before school starts
Schools typically require guardians to fill out paperwork. The due date varies based on the child’s school. If your child has medical needs, obtain any required paperwork for the school nurse. Visit the school website for a list of school supplies, information about the staff and school, and any other information.
The paperwork may require listing emergency contacts. Verify their information is correct and that they’re aware they’re on your contact list. If after-school childcare is needed, research services and complete required tasks to get childcare set up.
You might be able to sign up to receive alerts from the school. For children in public school, browse the school district’s website. Some have a parent portal where parents enter the child’s information and check progress reports.
School districts may also require adults to complete a volunteer application before signing up for volunteer opportunities. If you’ve filled it out in the previous year, you may have to do it again every year.
Now’s a good time to find out what supplies your child will need. Some schools and PTAs have a partnership with a supplier. This allows parents to buy school supplies as a package without shopping for them. These packages tend to be a better deal because of the bulk orders. Your school or PTA should have that information.
With tax-free weekend coming up, do an inventory of clothes. Remove outgrown clothes to donate, give away, or sell. Make a list of any needed clothes. Start collecting sales ads and circulars as they can start popping up around this time. Make a plan for shopping.
Two to three weeks before school starts
Time to go shopping for clothes and supplies. Review the sales ads and your list of needed items to create your shopping game plan. Texas’ tax-free weekend usually occurs on a Friday through Sunday within the first two weeks of August. You’ll save 8 percent on taxes on top of store sales.
North Texas schools tend to have open houses anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks before school starts. Young children can meet their teachers and see their classrooms. Older children may be able to walk their schedules and stop by their lockers. Whether the child is using a locker combination for the first time or fourth time, encourage the child test the combination to be sure it works.
If the child has been on a different sleeping schedule, start enforcing school bedtime. You may have to ease into it by putting the child to bed a little earlier each night.
One week before school starts
If your child is taking lunch to school, discuss the lunch menu and involve the child in the meal planning. Also, discuss breakfast options. Head to the grocery store to shop for school lunches.
Review transportation routine especially if it includes taking the bus to school. Bus routines sometimes change especially when the child moves up to another school. And finally, talk to the child to find out if there are questions or concerns about school.
Night before school starts
Ask your child to select clothes for the next day. Ensure the backpack and lunch box are in a place where they won’t be forgotten. Find out what your child wants for breakfast and make lunch ahead, if possible. Enforce bedtime so the child is well-rested and ready to go!
Here’s to having a great first day of school! Remember to take pictures!
|þ||Task||Timing before start date|
|o||Complete paperwork for school||Depends on school|
|o||Complete paperwork for nurse||Depends on school|
|o||Complete required volunteer application||Depends on school / district|
|o||Visit school||Depends on school|
|o||Verify locker combination works||Depends on school|
|o||Visit the school’s website||3-4 weeks|
|o||Learn about the school’s PTA||3-4 weeks|
|o||Make a list of school supplies||3-4 weeks|
|o||Make a list of emergency contacts||3-4 weeks|
|o||Make a list of needed clothes||3-4 weeks|
|o||Set up after-school childcare||3-4 weeks|
|o||Pick up copies of sales ads||2-4 weeks|
|o||Plan and complete shopping trips||2-3 weeks|
|o||Prepare for school routine by enforcing bedtime||2-3 weeks|
|o||Plan lunches and shop for groceries||1 week|
|o||Review transportation routine||1 week|
|o||Talk to child about questions and concerns||1 week|
|o||Lay out clothes and shoes||Night before|
|o||Take out backpack, supplies, and lunch boxes||Night before|
|o||Enforce bedtime||Night before|