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Back to School Checklist

NW NewLynn 3

As the school term approaches, it's important to have a checklist in place to ensure a smooth transition. Whether your child is starting a new school or moving up a grade, following this checklist will help you and your child be well-prepared and organised. Begin your checklist, prepare your school list and establish healthy routines today! This blog outlines the essentials to help your children return to school with ease and establish healthy routines for the new term.

Is your child struggling to keep up with schoolwork? Are they falling behind? Are they bored in class? Or are you looking for extension work for your child? Check out our eBook to learn more about how we help your child improve academically and build confidence through our in-centre after-school tuition.

Promote healthy eating habits to fuel thinking

During the holidays our normal routines are cast aside and often, so are our eating habits. With more time at home, you might have had more time to cook or bake, or if you have been travelling, you may have been eating out or enjoying more picnics and BBQs. As we approach the return of school, it’s important to start planning healthy family meals, healthy snacks, and school lunch boxes.

Make sure the food that goes into your child’s lunch box is healthy and nutritious and will provide sustained energy to get them through their day at school. Preparing healthy meals for your kids will positively impact their health and well-being and enable them to build healthy habits.

When considering what to include in your child’s lunch box, think about:

  • The healthfulness of the food
  • Whether the foods are low or high GI and will provide sustained energy
  • Whether your kids will eat the food
  • How easy will it be for you and your kids to prepare the food every day?

Organising school lunches can be stressful. However, with a plan in place you can take out some of the stress and even prepare some ingredients for lunch the night before to make your school mornings run more smoothly. 

Sleep schedule and night-time routine

Establishing a proper sleep schedule is key to starting the school year strong. Children need ample sleep to focus on learning and respond well to routine. Begin the back-to-school habit of early nights a week or two before school starts. This will help ease the transition to early wake up times when school resumes. 

Use this opportunity to create a healthy night time routine that supports and nurtures your children. This routine may include preparing their clothes and shoes for school in the morning, packing their backpacks and bags, reading a book, reflecting on their day, and engaging other kids in calming activities before bed. By implementing a consistent nighttime routine, you can help your children wind down, promote quality sleep, and ensure they wake up refreshed and ready for a successful school day ahead.

After-school or extracurricular activities

As the new school term approaches, it's a good idea to start discussing and brainstorming potential extracurricular activities for your kids. Engage in conversations and introduce ideas that might be both enjoyable and beneficial for them. It's important to explore after-school activities, such as sports, music lessons, or additional tutoring like our after-school programme.

Discover your child's interests and enrol them in suitable activities offered by the school, friends, or external organisations. Encourage them to take the lead and choose activities they will genuinely enjoy and benefit from. 

Organise before and after-school care and transport to school.

As parents, the return to school often means a return to busy schedules and work commitments. It's important to plan before and after school care, especially if your children will require supervision or structured activities during those times. Enrol them in appropriate programmes or make arrangements with trusted careers well in advance. 

Additionally, consider transportation to school. If your kids will be travelling alone on public transport, practice with them to familiarise them with the bus route and etiquette. For those walking to school, take the opportunity to walk the route together determining timing and distance. Ensuring a smooth start to the school year includes making necessary arrangements for care and transportation.

Stationery and school supplies

It's essential to have all the necessary stationery and school supplies together for a smooth start to school.

Create a back-to-school checklist that includes:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Exercise books for different subjects
  • Glue sticks
  • Rulers and rubbers
  • Highlighters and colouring pencils
  • Laptop device
  • Water bottle

 Make shopping for school supplies fun by allowing your kids to decorate their lunch bags and books with colourful artwork and stickers, which will get them excited about using their new supplies.

Make shopping for school supplies fun by letting your kids decorate their lunch bags and their books with fun colours, artwork, and stickers. This will get them excited about using their new school supplies.

School bag

A sturdy and reliable school bag is crucial for students to comfortably carry their books, stationery, coloured pencils, pencil case, water bottle, and other supplies throughout the day. Consider investing in a bag with multiple compartments and pockets to help them stay organised. Designated spaces for items like notebooks, folders, coloured pencils, pencil cases, water bottles, and snacks will ensure everything has its place.


As children tend to grow quickly, the back-to-school period is an opportunity to assess your child's school uniform and shopping list. Start by confirming the school's uniform rules, dress code requirements, and any restrictions. Determine if your child needs a different uniform or an entirely new set of uniforms.

Locate nearby stockists and purchase all the necessary items for appropriate attire. Shopping early will save money and avoid last-minute stress. If a uniform is not required, go through your child's wardrobe together to select appropriate clothing options. Note any items that need to be purchased and complete this essential school supply shopping list well ahead of the start of the term.

Once all the essential school supplies and clothing are sorted, involve your kids in choosing their outfits for the first week and organise them in their drawers for easy access. It's also a good idea to label all the school supplies and clothing items with their names, especially expensive uniform pieces and other school supplies and bags that may be prone to get misplaced.

School shoes

In addition to the uniform, it's crucial to have the correct shoes for school. Choosing durable and comfortable shoes is essential for the start of a new term. Look for shoes made from quality materials that can withstand daily wear and provide proper support for your child's feet. Consider the school's dress code when selecting school shoes. Some schools may have specific requirements, such as closed-toe shoes or specific colours. Familiarise yourself with the dress code guidelines to ensure compliance. Consider buying extra pairs for specific subjects like physical education (P.E.) or ensuring they have suitable footwear for subjects such as hard material technology.

It's also a good idea to break in new school shoes before the term starts to prevent blisters or discomfort. Encourage your kids to wear the shoes around the house for short periods to help them adjust and ensure a comfortable fit when they start wearing them for longer periods each day.

Start as you would like to finish:

If you want them to finish the year strongly, then that is how they need to start. Time and time again, we meet parents who hold off, "letting them settle in". Holidays finish the day before school starts. Encourage them from day 1 to stick to their schedule and complete all of their work. Meet their teacher early, discuss specific things about your child, and let the teacher know you are supportive, i.e., open those communication channels! Finally, help your child with any difficulties early before they compound as the term goes on.

Set homework expectations:

Discuss what you expect with homework this year BEFORE they get any. Once they have their homework and do not want to do it, you have a battle on your hands. Do they need to show you their work every couple of days? Where will they do their work? What happens with their phones, TVs, and games during this time? 

If you set these expectations now and write them down, you'll have something to refer to when the going gets tough—and it will! Most importantly, be there for them when they need help. You are their greatest role model, and your interest in their schoolwork reinforces the importance of education to them.

Praise effort and have high expectations:

The encouragement and feedback you give your child can have a huge impact on your child’s attitude towards learning.  Praise your child for the effort that he or she puts into a project. This develops the idea that success is linked to effort rather than results alone.

Also, let your child know that you have high expectations of them. The fact that you believe in your child will give them the confidence to believe in themselves.

Help your school:

Look for specific ways that you can support your child's school. Maybe you have time to volunteer a few hours a week in the classroom or speak to the class about a special hobby or area of expertise you have. Or if time during the week is hard to come by, maybe there are things you can do for the school to help in other ways. Chat with your child's teacher. A child with an active parent in school will become more engaged.

The return to school begins now and is an exciting time that is brimming with possibilities and anticipation. Be sure to support your child during this transition period by helping them prepare for the new school year. If your child needs a boost to get up to speed, get in touch with the team at NumberWorks’nWords.

At NumberWorks’nWords, we offer after-school math and English tutoring to support students aged 5 to 16. From learning basic literacy and numeracy concepts to advanced extension work, we can help. Click here to find your local centre or book a free assessment with the NumberWorks'nWords team today!

Holidaying with children

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