Back to School Check List

Summer is nearly over and the kids are back to school in a week.  For many a mum that means hanging out the bunting.  For others it’s a time of heart break.  But for all of us the next week is a time of panic.  Normally.  But not this time for I have written a handy list of things you need to think about over the next week so that you don’t get to 8pm next Sunday and think SHIT SHIT SHIT I HAVEN’T BOUGHT ANY PLIMSOLES!


Buy plimsoles!  Alternatively if your child is not going to school in the 80s then buy trainers.  Check for other PE kit bits too.

Are the white socks and tops still white.  Be honest?  Are new ones needed?

Check trousers and skirts for the appearance of extra holes, especially if you haven’t had them out of the wardrobe since Easter.

Finally get yourself a packed lunch, flask of tea and sleeping bag and prepare to spend 2 days in Clarks waiting to buy new shoes.  The ‘Extra Long Clown Shoe’ is all the range I hear!


Do you even know where they are?  Start that hunt before Thursday so that you have Friday to purchase new ones if necessary.

Are pencil cases full of the right things?  Are pencils starting the term sharp?  Do the felt tips work?  Have you got glue?  Wilko is only open until 5pm on Sunday so make sure you’ve checked before then.

Locate water bottles, then hide them again in a safe place that only you know about so that they won’t go missing again before the big day.


Getting the kids out of the house in the morning is an Olympic event.  It won’t just happen – you need to train for it.  Start setting the alarms and put them a bit earlier each day.  Start putting bedtime routines back together.  Stop getting drunk with the neighbour’s on a Wednesday.  It’s back to weekend drinking (for a week or two anyway).


Have a pointless one sided conversation with your child about whether or not homework was sent home, then search the bag to find worksheets scrumpled up in the bottom.  Buy suitable food bribes (anything from Greggs or a supermarket chocolate aisle works well) and then place worksheet on the table.  Combat the torrent of moaning with the promise of a food bribe.  Tolerate stroppy child for the 10 minutes it takes to do the homework.  Give them bribe.  Send them off.  Eat extra bribe that you brought for yourself.  Check homework.  Complete homework on their behalf making it look like they did it by writing with your none dominant hand.


Obviously you’re definitely not going to do the school run in the car whilst the weather is still nice and it’s good for the kids to walk.  If you fill the car with petrol sods law dictates that you won’t need it!


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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure.  She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right.  Infact 80% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS  are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.




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