Back-to-School Supply List for Parents

It's official - as evidenced by the ads on TV and in the papers, it's Back to School time in America! You have likely begun stocking up on your children's school supplies, clothes, and backpacks for the upcoming academic year. Schools are often very specific about the supplies your child needs- some even offer one-stop-shopping so you can order a pre-packaged box of supplies for your child's new grade level.

But what about you, moms and dads? Are you ready for a new year? Are you organized and prepared and ready to take on the daily grind of the upcoming academic year? Here's your Back to School list to make sure you start out on the right foot.

Dry erase calendar and markers Assign a color to each family member and keep track of doctor's appointments, practices, tests, and playdates. Don't forget to schedule yourself in there, too!

Colored folders Again, assign a color to each member of your family and keep class lists, sports schedules, and other important papers in one place. You'll never shuffle through a pile of papers again!

Homework baskets Get a basket for each child and make this the drop box for homework, forms, and permission slips that you need to see or sign. Show your children where to drop all these important papers each day and avoid scrambling at the last minute.

Healthy snacksOnce our routines pick up the pace, we tend to drop the healthy habits we establish when we have more time. Don't let this happen to you or your family! Stock up on low-fat granola bars, trail mix, and other healthy snacks to maintain your energy and your children's energy.

Back-up school suppliesHow many times has your child suddenly jumped from the dinner table to announce he needs a specific school supply and he needs it tomorrow! Keep index cards, poster board, a box of markers, sharpened pencils, glue sticks, a calculator, and construction paper in a closet- away from every day use. This should serve as your emergency supply only!

New shoes...for you! Invest in a new pair of comfortable shoes- the school year is about to start and you know that means you won't rest again until next summer!

Enjoy the last few days of summer and get ready for a great year!

Jennifer Cerbasi teaches at a public school for children on the autism spectrum in New Jersey. As a coordinator of Applied Behavioral Analysis programs in the home, she works with parents to create and implement behavioral plans for their children in an environment that fosters both academic and social growth. In addition to her work both in the classroom and at home, she is also a member of the National Association of Special Education Teachers and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.