August means back to school, and the start of a new academic year means changes for the whole family. So we’ve read several expert posts and condensed the best of the best advice into five back-to-school prep tips.

  1. Don’t wait for the first bell to start your school-year schedule. First, ease the family back into a school routine. A week to ten days before classes resume, start adjusting bedtimes and wake-up times. If summer break has been more laid back, begin reintroducing morning routines and expectations. Talk about schedule changes and ask the kids for input on how they would like their days to start and end, when they need some down time (is it right after school or after super), and how to make the days as stress-free as possible.
  2. Create hubs. Have a designated place in your home for kids to keep backpacks and other items they need to take to school. Establish a homework zone (check Pinterest for ideas) that is as quiet and distraction-free as possible. Keep a school calendar when you keep track of assignments and school activities.
  3. Rehearse. Practice the walk or drive to school a few times before the first day. Rehearse both getting to and leaving school. Discuss contingency plans.
  4. Engage with the school. Take advantage of every opportunity your children’s school provides. Attend open houses, pick up class schedules early, and meet the teachers.
  5. Listen. Be a student of your child. Listen closely to their questions and concerns about the upcoming school year. Answer honestly and look for answers and solutions together when you don’t know.

Have a great school year! Don’t forget that reading together at bedtime is a great routine to keep all year!