Parents Back-To-School List


Dear Edye,

I live with my son and his wife. They aren’t the most organized parents in the world. They have three kids, and every year it seems like I have to get my grandchildren ready for back-to-school otherwise they’ll be raggedy and unprepared. It’s not like my son and my daughter-in-law don’t have money. They're just trifling! They forget to get the supplies, buy their uniforms on time, sign papers, etc.. They do work full time on different shifts and are exhausted when they get home. I understand that. I don’t mind helping out, but I’m almost 75 and tired myself. I can’t do it all.  How can I get them to step it up before I raise some hell up in here! (By the way, I will show them this article).

Fed up Back-To-School Nana

Hi Nana, seems like there’s already a little hell raising going on in the household. Give your son and daughter-in-law this list below, tell them what you’re willing to do and what you won’t do. Then stick to it.

Parents Back–to-School List

Just like your children get lists of things they need for school, Here is my list for parents to make Back-to-School prep easier.

1. Set aside a week to getting your kids prepared for school. Break out the calendar (on your phone, computer AND on paper) Plan your "Things To Do" and do them:

  • Pay fees, lunch money, books, etc.
  • Schedule hair appointments
  • Immunizations/shot record pick-up
  • School clothes/uniforms
  • School supplies (Buy extra poster board, pencils, paper, glue, scissors, markers so you won’t have to go back to the store all the time)

Note: The worse thing you can do is send your child off to school without supplies. It sets the tone that your child is unorganized and you don’t care.
2. Buy an In/Out office bin for each child. Put the child’s name on it and set it in a convenient area. The bins will be a catch all for school forms, letters, flyers etc.  Read daily and put signed forms in the Out bins. Make sure the papers go in the book bags.  Don’t mix your stuff with the kids. And please have your children clean out their book bags and bins regularly. You might have to rummage in there yourself, just in case.  Hopefully, more schools will offer an option to access forms and info via Internet.
3.  Get the entire school schedule of events, on your calendars. Start marking the dates weeks  - even months - ahead of time – Parent/Teachers Night, PTA, Institute Day, school pictures, field trips, etc. Then go to your employer and let them know right away what days or times you need off.  Requesting time off early makes it likely you’ll get approval. Take your vacation days if you have to.
4. Send the new teacher a note or card introducing yourself and child. Give him/her your phone numbers and email address, and request the same from the teacher. Inform the teacher about any talents, learning styles or differences your child may have. Establishing a relationship early let’s teachers know you’re on it. They will likely pay more attention to your child. Let your kids know you and the teacher are in touch. That puts them on notice.
5.  Plan ahead for expenses. School and book fees are no joke. If you’re not getting a subsidy, the fees can really jack up your funds. Start a school fund for lunch fees, field trips, subscriptions, etc. Making it separate could keep you from inadvertently using funds for other things.
6. Decide now what you’re willing to do to be more involved. Will you chaperone a field trip or two, host a teachers appreciation party, participate in PTA/PTO meetings and activities, tutor after school? If you’re between jobs, you’ve got some time. If you’re working, you’ll never find the time, you’ll just have to make the time. Plan ahead.

That concludes my Parent Back-to-school List. If you want to add to it, go to my Facebook page, Don’t forget to “Like” my page and this post. We parents need all the help we can get.

@Nana: I hope this helps. If it doesn’t, you have my permission to raise some hell!


Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • Thank you for this. After tonight going to the Kindergarten meeting, I'm excited but need to get prepared.
    Great tips, I like #4, I wonder how my son will be noticed in a class of 30 students. I'm working on a post about it that, it should be up soon at

  • Hi Yoga Mom, thanks for your comment. I hope tip 4 works for you. I had to do that for both my sons because they both had learning differences. Most teachers were grateful to get the heads up early. But a minority judged and labeled my sons before getting to know them. You have to watch out for that. Thanks for the mention in your back to school post as well. I'm still getting use to everything since I'm a new kid on the block. I look forward to reading more from you.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger


    I pursued a satisfying career in the advertising industry, served as a volunteer mentor and parent educator at my two (now grown up) sons' schools and have actually stayed happily married for over a quarter of a century. However, my most gratifying achievement was raising my sons well. I'm not saying there wasn't a little bit of hell raising going on, but you live and learn. Now I'm passing the knowledge on to you. My goal is to turn these nuggets of wisdom into reference books for parents.

  • Monthly Archives

  • Tags

  • More offerings by Edye…

    Check out my other blogs: "Trending Over 40", An informational blog for those over 40 who find themselves social-media challenged, "Black Copy" Reflections of a veteran ad chick, You can find samples of my ad work on this site. Simply click on TV and Print tabs. Also check out my company, Hughes Who Productions We develop games and animation for casinos, marketers and educational institutions. Thank you for your interest. Blessings... Edye
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: