School starts soon, folks! For some of us, we’re jumping up and down for joy. The summer has been fun, but it’s also been long and maybe even a tad bit stressful. For others of us, we’re dreading getting back into the routine. Maybe it’s your child’s first year at school, and you are both nervous as all get out. Either way, in just a few weeks, school is back in sessions whether we like it or not. So, I’ve compiled a few tips to help make the transition back to school days a little bit easier on everyone involved.

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Start Back On A Bedtime Routine BEFORE School Starts

It’s inevitable. Kids just aren’t going to stick to an 8 o’clock bedtime throughout the summer. It’s warm out, there’s no school tomorrow and most of the time it isn’t even dark at 8 PM! They’re going to spend their evenings playing with friends or staying up late to watch movies, and that’s great! That’s what summer vacation is all about, having some fun and catching a break from the day-to-day routine. But, school always has to start back up eventually, and so does that bedtime routine. So, instead of waiting until a few days before the start date, start transitioning back to an earlier bedtime a few weeks before. You don’t necessarily have to go cold turkey back to 8 PM, but start moving towards an earlier bedtime gradually over a few weeks. It’s best to have them back at their school bedtime by a week before school starts at the latest. It’s difficult for anyone to adjust their routines so drastically, much less for children. And the last thing you want is groggy, dragging kids on the first morning back to school.

Make Sure You Get Those School Supplies

My suggestion is to start school shopping as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the more stressful it becomes, and you risk forgetting important things. So, instead of making one huge school shopping trip spread it out over the summer some. That way you’re giving yourself a little more time to make sure you’ve gotten everything you need, and it’s less likely to break the bank all at once! Plus, no one wants that call or note from the school saying your child didn’t come with all of the supplies they needed. Keep that back-to-school list in your purse or car and give it a glance when you’re out and about. Pick up a few things off the list, and cross them off as you go. That way you know for sure your kiddo will head back to school fully prepared.

Get Registration Done

This is another one of those things that you don’t want to wait on. Unless you’re moving and transferring school districts, get them registered as soon as possible. A lot of schools offer early registrations and it’s just one less hassle later on. Not to mention that high school students usually have to pick their schedules and classes. The sooner they’re able to get this done, the sooner they’re able to prepare for what’s coming this school year. You’ll know who their teachers are and have a better idea of what to expect when school gets started.

Give Your Kiddos A Refresher

It’s never easy to have an extended break and then be thrown back into the daily grind. Even for adults, after an extended vacation, it can seem like you forgot how to do your job for the first day or two! The same goes for kids and school. They’ve gone all summer without having to worry about math or English or history. Reading a book is usually far from their to-do list. And while we try to encourage some education throughout the summer, kids will be kids. They want to enjoy their break, and that’s okay! But, the last few weeks of summer vacation, help them get refreshed and back into the groove of things. Encourage them to read a few books or work on some math worksheets. It may make us seem like big, bad, mean parents, but it will be so much easier for them to adjust back to school if they’ve been exercising their brains a bit beforehand.

Back To School Bash!

If your child’s school offers a back-to-school bash, as most schools do, pack your kiddos up and take them! Not only do they offer some free school supplies, but they will give your child an opportunity to meet and greet with some of their new teachers and classmates. Especially if it’s their first year at school, the back-to-school bash will give them a chance to find and make some friends before that awkward and scary first day of school. They also get to meet their teachers and tour their classrooms. It’s a great way to warm them up to the change and give them a chance to adjust before the first day. Even for the older kiddos, their classmates may stay about the same, but their teachers and classroom doesn’t. This will just give them a chance to scope things out and know what to expect on the big day.

Don’t Stress It Too Much

School can be stressful, that’s just the way it is. It’s stressful for us as parents, and it can be stressful for our kids as well. I’ll never forget how much I would dread going back to school as a child. It can be scary and intimidating, and sometimes you just downright don’t want to go. It’s important to make sure that your children understand that while school is important, their mental health and happiness are very important to you as well. While you want them to do well and you want things to go smoothly for them, you want them to adjust and not be stressed to their limit. Make sure they understand that everything will be okay; school is a part of life just like a job when they grow up. Teach them some relaxation and stress-relieving techniques for when things are getting a little overwhelming.

Whether we’re excited about it or filled with dread, the time is upon us to get back into the groove of school. So just take a deep breath. While everything seems a little crazy at stressful at the start of things, soon enough everyone will be back into their routines and things will be going smoothly. Before you know it, it’ll be summer again!