Brought to you by Nuffnang and Clarks Australia.
Getting ready for school to start can be a bit overwhelming. With all the various emotions and practical details rolling around, I have found it helpful to map out what exactly I need to do in order to make it the best experience for everyone in our family. Here is the “Back to School Checklist” I have put together to keep myself organised.
1. Read over the school information booklet.
Many schools have an informational booklet which is distributed or available online. This contains answers to many basic questions such as required uniforms, footwear, school rules, and other details. Reading the information over as soon as possible helps me feel more prepared as I get closer to the start of school.
2. Purchase school uniforms (or school clothes).
Our son’s school requires a uniform which makes clothes shopping super easy. I have two bottoms for each season (shorts or pants), three regular shirts, a sports shirt, a jacket, and a hat – which (so far) has easily lasted us through a full year. This allows enough clothes to do laundry mid-week.
3. Purchase school shoes.
After seeing the wear and tear my son’s school shoes took last year (they now look like they are about to fall apart!), this time around I decided to go with the best school shoes on the market. Clarks is dedicated to the foot health of Australian kids. In Clarks stores (I was bummed I don’t live near one!) they even offer specialised fittings to figure out which shoe fits your child’s foot the best – but you can also use the information online to choose the right shoes for your kids.
I chose the Clarks’ Cross Hype style as my son’s school is a bit less formal (pictured above), but there are so many gorgeous styles for both boys and girls available -browse them here. When I received the shoes in the post, I could tell tell that they were very well made and I liked that they were not too heavy. I also love that the Cross Hypes are machine washable! My son loves running around in them. They look smart and I feel confident they will last him throughout the year.
I also got a stack of new same-coloured socks so that there are no sock matching issues in the morning this year!
4. Gather school supplies.
Our school provides a list of school supplies at the end of the previous school year, so there is plenty of time to get supplies in order. Most of the items can be purchased at one shop, but several products (like chair bags or book coverings) were to be sought elsewhere. Getting this done as early as possible ensures all items are still in stock – plus you avoid the “back to school” crowd!
5. Get a backpack and lunchbox.
I prefer a backpack my children can carry themselves, so we have purchased a smaller bag for the first few years of school. Lunch boxes are another subject entirely, which took me quite a few months to sort out during my son’s first school year! Luckily I have my lunch box system down pat now, which is a big relief. You can read about my preferences and tips in this post.
6. Create a morning routine.
It’s helpful to think about the practicalities of what you and the kids need to do in the morning before school starts and to create a routine everyone can follow. Many families find it can be helpful to write out the routine or draw pictures for younger children to follow – i.e. get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, pack backpack, etc. I talk about morning routines in this post.
As for the first day of school – favourite breakfasts are a definite bonus to calm nerves and make the morning feel a bit special! This year I cooked pancakes the day before so I could just warm them up in the morning (and served alongside my son’s favourite treat – frozen blueberries).
7. Prepare for “back to school” traditions.
If your family has a special “back to school” tradition, get everything ready at least a few days beforehand so you will not be rushing on the morning school starts. This year I created a new family tradition which I called our Back to School Treasure Hunt. It was a fun way to discuss important messages with the boys about behaviour at school, and we all really enjoyed it.
8. Take a photo!
For many families, taking a photo on the first day of school is a must! All children, however, are not always keen for photos – so it can be useful to decide beforehand where and how you will take photos to minimise stress for everyone. We decided to simply snap a few photos on the back porch (instead of in the new classroom) so my son could be fully present when arriving at school and seeing his friends again. Telling him we were only going to take a few shots before we left the house increased cooperation, and we got a lovely photo without fuss.
I have also decided to have an annual “interview” on the first day of school, which I will add to the kids’ Memory Books along with the photograph from their first day. I have created two versions of this printable interview – one for a horizontal picture and one for a vertical picture – because you never know which style will turn out better! Basically the kids just fill in the forms (for my younger son starting Kindy, I wrote his answers for him) and then they can decorate the paper as they wish. You can download the printables here:
Horizontal First Day of School Printable
Vertical First Day of School Printable
9. Go on a tour of the school and meet the teacher.
Many schools provide a “meet the teacher” or “orientation” day. This is a wonderful way for kids to get more acquainted with the new space and envision themselves in the school environment. If you cannot attend these events, it can be nice to just go as a family to walk around the school and take a peak inside the classroom, if this option is available.
10. Ask your child if they have any questions and give them plenty of time to express their feelings, if they wish to.
I’m big on having short conversations with the kids at bedtime about questions and concerns from the day. Just asking how they are feeling or what they are excited about can prompt a deep discussion. I try to stay wary not to project my own anxieties onto my kids by asking something like, “Are you nervous?” but instead asking more open-ended questions such as, “How do you feel about going to school tomorrow?”
So there’s my checklist! School has now started, we’re all sorted, and I’m excited to see what the year has in store for my kids – they are having a blast so far!
Enter the Giveaway!
Thanks to Clarks, I have one pair of school shoes to give away to a Moments A Day reader residing in Australia. Simply answer the following question – Why do you want your children to wear Clarks?
The giveaway ends at 5:00 pm AEDST on Friday 20 February 2015. Read over the Terms and Conditions here.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. To read more about reviews on my website, visit this page.
I want my child to wear Clark’s shoes because feet get you places so they’re very important for little learners!
It can be so difficult to know what sort of shoes to get your children, especially when it comes to school shoes. You want something that is tough, supportive, comfortable and look good with the school uniform. Clarks are such a trusted brand I would always try and purchase them. They last much longer than other brands too.
I wore Clarks shoes when I went to school and I love that my own children can now enjoy their comfort. It’s important that my children’s feet are comfortable and supported throughout their long school day.
Ness - One Perfect Day
I remember wearing Clarks shoes when I was in school and they were always so comfortable. I’d love my son to wear Clarks school shoes. They’re durable, comfortable and supportive. What more could you ask for?
We are always on the lookout for lightweight sport shoes for my school aged child as she can be a little unsteady on her feet. The name brands like Clarks are so much better when it comes to weight. We actually find it quite a challenge to find all black sports shoes (which is part of our schools uniform) and the Cross Hype looks like a great option.
My boys simply need shoes. I love ones that are easy to get on
Kate - The Craft Train
Because good shoes are so important. I have hideous bunions on my feet now, which may or may not have been aided by not wearing a quality brand of shoes like Clarks when I was growing up. Bunions are genetic, but they can be made worse by wearing dodgy shoes. I’d like my kids to have the best chance they can of not having the same foot problems as me when they are adults.
I want my children to wear Clarks because:
they look COOL,
they’re made tough so they’ll LAST,
they are good for ACTIVE kids,
they have a great REPUTATION,
you can KICK a ball in them and
they offer excellent foot SUPPORT.
sapna - dreamdream936
Put on the Clarks,
My kid sparks,
Footy in his hands with tons of Marks,
He feels comfortable from morning till dark(s),
In the playground and in Parks,
they are tough like hunting of the snarks,
when it comes to kids shoes, nothing can beat the Clarks.
Durable and comfortable
That will last the whole year through
Unique and funky styles
The perfect big school shoe!!!
Clarks did me well resulting in happy, healthy feet & I want that for my kids now too.
Clarks is comfortable quality, shoes that get grown out of way before they’re worn out and that’s a good thing.
So I can be assured they will be able to concentrate on their school work rather than sore feet
I’ve tried Target and Kmart shoes but Clarks always fit the best!
Mum’s trust Clark’s. It is just one less thing to worry about in that school preparation frenzy.
Because Clarks shoes are smart right from the start, they wont ever put a foot wrong!!
I’m keen to gift my child healthy feet! Even though she has elephant size feet, Clarks will give her every chance to develop toes that are suitable to lightly cross the dance boards!
When talking with other families about school shoe recommendations…Clarks is often mention. Why..because they are good at doing great shoes!
I want my children to wear a quality brand which has stood the test of time, I need to know these shoes will last, Clarks fit the bill.
I grew up with Clarks,
because my mum said it was the best.
Now the next generation loves to have lots of larks
and put Clarks to the test!
Clarks keeps their toes protected,
while they’re running, jumping, and clowning around.
And wearing Clarks means their feet won’t need to be corrected,
because Clarks keep 4 pairs of kiddies feet playing happily, whether they’re in the air or on the ground.
they are the best and I want my kids to have the best
I’d love to be able to treat my eldest daughter to a pair of Clarks shoes.
She is just so deserving.
This year, with my husband out of work, and bills endlessly pouring in, I couldn’t afford to buy her a decent school shoe as I had to buy for my youngest daughter, who started Prep, so she is making do with what she has at the moment. She mentioned to me the other day that her feet feel a little squishy in the shoes she has, so I know she is due for a new pair.
She has been great at helping her sister adjust at school, and comforts her when she cries and I am not there.
These shoes would hopefully give some good karma back to her for being so good to those around her. Thank you so much for the chance to win.
Comfortable, trendy and cool,
Kiara needs a pair of Clarks for school.
Reliable and tough,
all day long she can play rough.
Comfy shoes are a must when you’re in them all day
Especially for kids as they work and they play
Clarks would be perfect for my four that need shoes
Would help to take away my ‘back to school’ blues!