Back to School Readiness Checklist


✔ Your child likely needs more than a new backpack and lunchbox for the first day. Purchase bento boxes, reusable water bottles, small ice packs, thermoses, pocket tissues, etc.

✔ Stock up on breakfast and lunch supplies. If possible, plan your menus in advance to cut down on time during the week.

✔ Review schoolwork from the previous year. If it seems like your child needs to brush up on any subjects, and after two months off school he or she surely might, put in some extra study time before the first day.

✔ Prepare homework space. Buy new home supplies and organize the area where your child will be spending time completing assignments after school.


✔ Make sure all medical checkups are up-to-date, including pediatrician, dentist, and optometrist.


✔ Practice the new bedtime routine and morning routine a week or so before school starts.

✔ As the first day approaches, limit time spent on electronic devices and increase daily reading time.

✔ Brainstorm some new ways too ask “how was your day” when kids get home from school. Asking more specific questions will help you understand how well your child is doing in a new class, new school, with new teachers, etc.


✔ Review safety procedures for walking to school or getting on and off the school bus.

✔ If your child is attending a new school, do a practice run to familiarize him or her with the new surroundings.

First Day

✔ Prepare the night before: set the breakfast table, pack lunches, lay out clothes, organize supplies and fill book bags.

✔ Memorize new class numbers and teachers’ names.

✔ Double, triple, and quadruple check your supply list to make sure you have everything your child will need for the first day.

✔ Make sure all summer homework assignments have been completed.

✔ For younger children or those with first day jitters, read a book together the night before about starting school. Popular titles include: Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes; The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn; We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins; and Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney.

By Jeannine Cintron, a Staten Island mom of two — one of whom is starting middle school in September (good luck Mikey!).