FOX13′s Back-to-School checklist for parents

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Summer is coming to an end and that means students will soon head back to the classrooms.

Parents have a lot to do to get their kids - and themselves - ready before that first school bell rings.

FOX13 put together a list of things to do to make the transition as stress-free as possible.

1. Take inventory

Find out which supplies can be reused this year, and which items you’ll have to buy new. The backpack may be good to go, but you may need to get a new lunchbox. The same rule applies to clothes. Figure out which items still fit and which items don’t. Make a list of everything you’ll need to buy before heading to the store.

2. Mark your calendar

Pull out that planner to mark down important dates: first day of school, meet-the-teacher days, PTA meetings, registration deadlines, etc. Share the planner with your student and anyone else involved in their schedule.

3. Handle child care

Make arrangements now for daycare or anyone you’ll need to handle school drop-off and/or pick-up. Set up carpools if needed.

4. Visit the pediatrician

Schedule a visit if your child needs an updated physical or any new vaccinations before the school year starts. You may also want to get your child a dental cleaning.

5. Shop early

Don’t want until the last weekend to shop for school supplies and clothes. Look for sales and plan to buy as soon as possible. Last-minute shoppers could find bare shelves and sold-out items. Stock up on multiples of items your child will use regularly. Begin meal prepping for busy nights and rushed mornings.

6. Check summer homework and reading

Make sure your child is on track and making progress on any summer homework packets and reading assignments. If they weren’t assigned anything, this is a good time to brush up on their skills and take another look at what they learned last year.

7. Plan lunches and snacks

Start planning what you’ll pack for lunches and snacks. Find out what’s available in the school’s cafeteria and what options you can make at home. Find out how much meals cost at school and how much you’ll spend on food prepared at home.

8. Set a routine beforehand

Know your child’s schedule for waking up, getting to school and going to bed ahead of time. Start gradually setting back the bedtime and waking them up earlier to make the transition easier.

9. Organize a study space

Help your child create a clean, quiet place to study and do homework. Discuss a plan for completing homework and projects with your child. Try to limit distractions like cell phones and TV during their study time.

10. Talk to your child

Discuss expectations and rules related to the new school year. Ask them about any concerns or fears they have. Encourage open communication.

11. Talk to educators

Get to know your child’s teachers, counselors and other school staff. Give them a call or shoot them an email.

12. Reconnect with friends

If your child hasn’t seen their classmates that much over summer break, try to plan some time for them to reconnect. Help them make plans to get together or reach out, even if it’s just a phone call. Encourage them to make new friends as well.

13. Have some fun

Things are going to get busy once school starts, so this is a good time to kick back and enjoy those final days of summer vacation. Plan a fun outing with your child or take that family trip. If a staycation is your style, the possibilities for having fun at home are endless: bake yummy treats, camp in the backyard, have a swim party, or host a family game night. Get creative!