The Back to School Checklist for Teens and Parents

Get Ready for the New School Year

Teenage students in classroom.
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Going back to school is an exciting time for teens. The new school year is filled with many things to look forward to and anticipation can be high. There are also many things that need to be done and it is best to be prepared before that first day of school.

Stay Organized with a To-Do List

From shopping for new clothes and supplies to gathering everything together the night before, there is a lot to remember.

Before sending your teen off to school, print out this checklist to make sure you don't miss a thing.

Some of these items you and your teen can work on together. Others, like checking their class schedule, finding homework help and learning where they need to be can be their responsibility.

Allow your teen to take charge of certain aspects of the school prep. After all, they are another year older and more responsible, right?

Two weeks before the first day of school:

__ Make your own to-do list and include any special tasks that you know need to be taken care of. If you have more than one child, make a separate list for each.

__ Clean out the closet and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or are outdated in style.

__ Make a list of the new clothes needed. Check for store sales and complete shopping for school clothes.

__ Shop for sneakers, gym clothes and anything else you need to get ready for the fall athletic season.

__ Make a list of school supplies needed for the first semester. Be sure to include special items for special classes like band and art.

__ Prepare a storage place for your teen to place books, folders, and projects when they get home from school.

__ Organize a study area in the house where the teen will not be distracted by video games, the TV, and siblings.

__ Check the school's website for any details you need to know about the new school year. Read up on policies, check in with the class and bus schedule and find out when orientation is.

__ Attend the orientation night for parents and be sure your student attends their required orientations.

__ Search online for extra homework help and create bookmarks to those websites that will be helpful to your teen's class schedule.

The day before the first day of school:

__ Double check all school supplies. Be sure you have everything needed for school and your mobile homework center.

__ Write any appointments and special events in the school planner.

__ Place all necessary items in the backpack.

__ Make a lunch or get their lunch money ready.

__ Set out clothes for the next day. One of the toughest decisions is what to wear on the first day of school and it is helpful to choose an outfit (or two) the night before.​

__ Take a look at the class schedule and familiarize yourself with where each class is located.

__ Set the alarm clock and get to bed early. It can be hard to fall asleep the night before school starts, so turn off the electronics and try to relax a little earlier than normal.

The morning of your first day:

__ Eat a good breakfast.

__ Get to the bus stop early. Note the time the bus gets arrives during that first week or note how long it takes you to drive or walk to the school.

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