Back to School Checklist for Parents

Getting prepared for the upcoming school year can be a complicated
task that involves gathering school supplies, connecting with new teachers and
administrators, establishing individual needs, creating house rules and
routines, coordinating nutritious meals and snacks, and arranging any needed
accommodations.  To help with the process, I have created the following

Stock Up on School Supplies
p Check the school website or call to inquire about of list of
required supplies.
p Find out whether students will store supplies at school or bring
them home each day.
p See if the school will allow you to get an extra copy of all
textbooks for use at home.  If
not, you can usually find used copies on the internet.
Plan to be Involved
p Mark school events on the family calendar.
p Attend back-to-school meetings.
p Schedule and attend parent-teacher conferences.
p Find out the best way to communicate with each teacher – phone,
email or note.
p Find out from each teacher how he or she communicates homework
p If your child has a 504 designation or IEP, be sure to make
arrangements to meet with the teacher so that you can review strategies that
have worked in the past.
Create a Scheduled Plan and Routine with Clear Expectations
p Create a study schedule for each student in the house.
p Arrange childcare, tutors and after-school activities.
p Avoid over-scheduling.  All
students need free time.
p Create a Family Life Schedule by purchasing a dry erase board with
a two-month calendar.  Schedule
major family plans, activities and appointment for each family member in a
different color.
Establish the Rules and Routines
p Establish a firm bedtime before school starts.
p Determine where and when your child will do their homework.
p Figure out a plan for balancing homework and free time.
p Set firm rules for television, video games, and computer use for
non-school related work.
Plan for Healthy Meals and Snacks
p Arrange healthy breakfasts that avoids sugary cereal, syrup, and
processed, prepackaged foods and mixes.  Consider
options like fresh eggs, yogurt with fruit, and gluten free organic bread. 
p Have plenty of healthy snacks that are free from sweeteners and
preservatives.  Consider
snacks like fresh fruit, cut veggies, nut butter, and dried fruit, nuts and
p Make what I like to call “brain food.” Go to an organic market and
select unsweetened, preservative free nuts, seeds, dried fruit that your child
likes and make snack bags.  I love to get all my snack food from Tierra Farm.
Call the School and Make Arrangements for Any Needed Accommodations
p If your child has a 504 or IEP make sure that all accommodations
are updated.
p Meet with all teachers to assure that they understand the
individual needs of your child.
p Provide a summary of your child’s strengths and weaknesses as well
as their needed accommodations for the teachers.
p Arrange for routine communication with all teachers, tutors and
To learn more about teaching executive functioning
skills and acquiring other helpful learning materials, consider purchasing Planning
TimeManagement and Organization for Success
 This digital download offers methods and handouts that guide and support
students in the areas of learning strategies, time management, planning and organization.  It
includes questionnaires, agendas, checklists, as well as graphic
organizers.  You will also find handouts and advice for reading,
math, memory, setting priorities, motivation and incentives programs.  These tools were
created over a ten-year period for my private practice, and the materials
accommodate learners of all ages from elementary to college.  What’s
more, I offer a free
 assessment from
the publication too, as well as a free
 on executive

Dr. Erica Warren is the author, illustrator and publisher of multisensory educational materials at Good Sensory Learning and Dyslexia Materials.  She is also the director of Learning to Learn, in Ossining, NY.  To learn more about her products and services, you can go to:,  

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