Back-to-School Checklist

The following checklist, although not exhaustive, can help to guide you as you prepare your child for school. It's best to look at the items on the list as goals toward which to aim. They should be accomplished, as much as possible, through everyday routines or by enjoyable activities that you've planned with your child. If your child lags behind in some areas, don't worry. Remember that children grow and develop at different rates.

Good Health and Physical Well-Being

My child:

___ Eats a balanced diet
___ Gets plenty of rest
___ Receives regular medical and dental care
___ Has had all the necessary immunizations
___ Runs, jumps, plays outdoors and does other activities that help       develop his large muscles and provide exercise
___ Works puzzles, scribbles, colors, paints and does other activities that       help develop her small muscles

Social and Emotional Preparation

My child:

___ Is learning to explore and try new things
___ Is learning to work well alone and to do many tasks for himself
___ Has many opportunities to be with other children and is learning to       cooperate with them
___ Is curious and is motivated to learn
___ Is learning to finish tasks
___ Is learning to use self-control
___ Can follow simple instructions
___ Helps with family chores

Language and General Knowledge

My child:

___ Has many opportunities to talk and listen
___ Is read to every day
___ Has access to books and other reading materials
___ Is learning about print and books
___ Has his television viewing monitored by an adult
___ Is encouraged to ask questions
___ Is encouraged to solve problems
___ Has opportunities to notice similarities and differences
___ Is encouraged to sort and classify things
___ Is learning to write her name and address
___ Is learning to count and plays counting games
___ Is learning to identify and name shapes and colors
___ Has opportunities to draw, listen to and make music and to dance
___ Has opportunities to get first-hand experiences to do things in the       world — to see and touch objects, hear new sounds, smell and taste       foods and watch things move

Helping your child meet these goals will get her on the path to a successful school year! For more ideas about getting ready to go back to school, read How to Prepare for the Beginning of the School Year.


Helping Your Preschool Child. U.S. Department of Education. First published in November 1992. Revised 2002 and 2005. pp. 62-63.


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