Are all the school forms starting to arrive? Do you need to download an overwhelming amount of material for the beginning of the school year? It’s. Too. Much.
A friend of mine told me all those papers almost gave her a panic attack! I get it. It is a lot to shift through.
Over the years of having four kids in the system, I finally developed a system.
So here’s my System for the System:
1. Get in your child’s well check over the summer, bring along the eligibility forms to the appointment, include a self-addressed envelope with a stamp if the form cannot be signed while at the appointment.
2. Download or pick up all forms from the school. Fill them out as soon as possible.
3. Gather your dentist and pediatrician numbers (don’t worry about the addresses, the school doesn’t need that), insurance cards, hospital preference,emergency contact info (just preferred phone numbers, no need for addresses), immunization information, physical eligibility for athletics confirmation.
4. Have your checkbook at the ready. With most schools you will need to write a few checks for participation and for materials.
5. After filling out all the forms, make a copy of each one so you can refer to it the next school year.
6. Have a spot to file each child’s forms separately. (My spot is in my kitchen cupboard, above the kitchen desk)
7. When you get the receipts for items paid for, file them with the forms. (There was one time where I needed to show I had already paid for a book.)
8. When the class expectations and computer agreements arrive, have your child sign them if necessary, and then make a copy for your own records- you may need the information down the road.
9. Keep a calendar close by to write down important dates provided by the school.
10. If provided ahead of time, look over the course syllabus for materials needed.
11. Shop at home first. Many times supplies can be reused or haven’t even been used from the year before.
12. Don’t put off getting that special calculator, they go fast! (Keep your receipt, sometimes there is a rebate.)
13. Have your kids load up those backpacks ahead of time and label items.(One of my kids had her calculator stolen.)
That is the practical side of getting ready. Now the bigger piece-the emotional part.
If you are feeling the pressure of school beginning, think how much stress your child is experiencing. As you are filling out forms and gathering supplies, make it fun, lighthearted. Involve your child in the process of organizing and picking out supplies. If you have recently moved, visit the school. Try out the lock on the locker. Find the classrooms. Talk about what he has to look forward to and the confidence you have in his ability to move to the next grade level. Stay positive when talking about school and the upcoming year. Your child needs to know that he is both lovable and capable in your eyes!
Please share what do you do to make the start of the school year successful.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.