Back to School... already?? or All Ready!

Back in the day, preparing for school meant heading to Sears for a couple new dresses, some socks, and a pair of shoes. School supplies were provided at school. They even threw in free milk and graham crackers!

My kindergarten class 1963

My kindergarten class 1963

These days there's a little more involved. Besides loading up on binders, paper, and pens, check out Timely Tips for ideas on how to prepare your kids and their environment for a successful school year. 

TIMELY TIPS - Back to School... all ready!!

1. Gather Supplies

  • Start with a supply list from the teacher.
  • Check your stock on hand before purchasing new supplies.
  • Label all the supplies with your child's name.

2. Create Homes for Everything! 

  • Inside Backpack - Use zippered or lidded containers for pens, pencils, etc. Prepare a binder with labeled pocket dividers designated for each school subject. Prepare two binders (odd day/even day), for students on block schedule. Prepare a folder labeled "Parent Papers" for handouts needing to be seen/signed by you.
  • School Desk Supplies - Use drawer dividers to sort and store desk supplies at school, keeping like things together.
  • At Home - Designate a homework area and equip a nearby drawer or cabinet  with a container of pens, paper, scissors, etc. Provide an accessible hook or shelf for each child's backpack so it can be put away and found when needed. Designate an in/out tray or basket for the "Parent Papers" folder. Prepare a plastic file tote for each child with files labeled by month or subject for school papers that need to be saved. Purge after each semester or at the end of the school year. Place a plastic bin in the closet or under the bed for larger keepsake projects. 

3. Calendars

  • Provide Middle and High School students with paper or electronic assignment calendars. Instruct them on their use and keep tabs on them as needed. 
  • Create a master family calendar for the wall or use an online calendar (see featured link).

4. Rules and Routines

  • Clearly define school-day rules and routines (morning, after school, bedtime) using chore charts, homework schedules, reward plans, etc.
  • Have students lay out their clothes and fill their backpacks the night before with completed homework, clean PE/sports clothes, etc.
  • Establish boundaries for computer use, video games, TV, etc. 
  • Schedule a weekly family time to view and discuss upcoming activities and schedules.


  Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.   -William Butler Yeats