For parents out there this week marks the most “wonderful time of the year”. In just a few days kids will gear up for a brand new school year of adventure and learning. Although this is a good time for both parents and kids it is an adjustment. Kids are thrust back into schedules, morning routines, and learning. Parents are responsible for helping kids adjust while our schedules also change. The key to making this all go as smoothly as possible is planning ahead! Here are 20 Tips to help you and your children acclimate to the new “normal”:

1. Begin setting your kids’ sleep schedules back to “school time” BEFORE the first day of school.

2. If they haven’t already, encourage your kids to read at least one book before the school year begins.

3. Before you go out to buy more, inventory last year’s school supplies for repurposing

4. Make back-to-school shopping fun by letting them pick out some of their items.

5. Create a family calendar that tracks everyone’s activities and commitments.

6. Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they’ll use to manage their activities.

7. Set up regular family meetings to review your kids’ schedules for the week(s) ahead.

8. Your schedule can not be all work and no play. Create an after-school schedule that allows time for snack, relaxation, play, and study. Is also important to set “family time,” whether it’s during dinner or before bed.

9. Refresh your school year rules about screen time. Go over what’s allowed and when?

10. Discuss what your kids can expect on the first day so they feel more prepared. This is a good time to talk openly with your kids about their feelings about returning to school.

11. Visit the school with your kids at their “open house” so they can get familiar with their new environments.

13. Establish rules for where they should put lunchboxes, etc. when they come home.

14. Figure out different ways you can be involved in the classroom this school year.

15. Remove things like mobile devices from kids’ bedrooms to focus them on sleeping.

16. Use night lights, white sound machines and fans for kids who can’t get to sleep. Getting good rest is crucial to a successful school day and propels crankiness.

17. Have your kids pack their school bags before they go to sleep that night.

18. Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend bedtimes.

19. Plan one last hoorah and do something fun to diffuse this stressful time of year for all of you. Trust us, you won’t regret blowing off some steam and making memories.

20. Take a deep breath!

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