Monday, January 19, 2015


 By Jo Lenton
Jo is a lifestyle and travel enthusiast. As the mother of three young boys she is fearless when it comes to road trips, tents, cabins, cafe's and international adventure. From packing the essentials to planning the perfect kid friendly itinerary, Jo runs a tight ship and is on board to share her knowledge and experience with us here at The Beetle Shack.

My oldest child is starting school this year. I’m unprepared… Emotionally and practically… While there is no way of knowing how we will cope emotionally, I do know that I can be prepared practically. Here is my ‘Back to school checklist’.

School Bag
Super cool key-ring to identify school bag
Cooler bag (most ugly ‘Transformers’ bag to be exact)
Cooler bricks
Lunch box (yep, ugly...)
Water bottle
School uniform (summer/winter)
Sport uniform
Spare socks, underwear and shorts to pack (just in case)
Wide brimmed School Hat (without neck strings to avoid being unintentionally choked)
Wallet/coin purse
Library bag
Umbrella or rain coat
Paint shirt (do people still use daddy's old business shirt?)
Lead pencils
Coloured pencils, textas, highlighters, crayons
Workbooks (cover with this and label with this)
Pencil case
Glue, scissors, erasers, ruler, enclosed pencil sharpener
Wipes (how cool are these!)
Insect repellant

I should mention that I don’t actually have to buy a lot of the ‘stationary’ as our school provides it for Kindergarten, but I have included it anyway to make the list more useful for coming years. I also saw a few other lists that included ‘hand sanitiser’ but we never use it.

Ok all of you seasoned school mums, what have I forgotten? And how many pairs of socks do I actually need?


  1. Sick? More than you think. My youngest son was a bit of a dreamer. He was sent one day with good cotton socks. labeled with name. He cam home with two ill matched, cheap nylon socks."all that was left mum" was his excuse. Despite the labelling, we never did get the good ones back.

    1. I didn't even think of labelling the socks! I'll put it on my to-do list:)

  2. Sorry, arthritic fingers wrote "sick" instead of "socks."

  3. I am one of those Mums who buys 5 of everything including socks. I wash and iron all on Sunday night and it is done. Some items are secondhand and I buy a cheap knock off uniform for spare in the school bag when they are little. I have a son like yours Jan so we have a spare hat in his bag as he is notorious for losing items! I laughed at the socks. I also have little engraved key rings bought on Etsy that say Chess or After School Care so he can check where he is to go each afternoon.

    I have my youngest starting school this year. It is always chaotic on the first day so I have described what it will be like and told him it isn't always like that as it can be overwhelming. I play down the first day so am always surprised when I see such mayhem!

    1. I'm pretty sure it won't be long before I'm buying a replacement hat too. We are playing down the first day too but I really have no idea what to expect... We have met a lot of the students and parents before at the 'head-start' programs so hopefully it will all go smoothly:)


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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em