Unbelievable! August has just begun and everyone is already talking about “back to school”.

When I was growing up, school started just after Labor Day and we enjoyed a full 8 weeks of summer.  Obviously much has changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is what we have to do to prepare ourselves and our kids for going “back to school”, whenever that is.

Here are some great tips to help you and your family get ready to get “back to school”:


  • Get back on a schedule two weeks before school starts:   Routines are good as everyone knows what to expect.  Get your kids back into the groove by reintroducing the ground rules.  That means getting to bed earlier; having them read and/or write a little bit every day; taking a few minutes before bedtime to clean up and get organized for the next day.
  • Make sure that everyone is getting enough sleep:  Getting your kids to bed earlier at least two weeks before school starts is a great way to reset their internal clocks.
  • Have them read:  If they haven’t been reading all summer, have them start again.  It is one of the best ways to keep a child’s mind sharp. 
  • Make it fun:  Take them shopping to get their school supplies and some new clothes. There are a lot of sales right now so take advantage of them.
  • Get a calendar and put it in a place where everyone in the family can see it and have access to it.  Check it every morning before school to make sure everyone knows what the activities of the day are.  Check it again at night to make sure that everyone knows what’s going on the next day so that they can prepare accordingly. 
  • If your child is attending a new school, visit the school before the first day so that he/she can get a feel of the surroundings.  This will definitely alleviate some anxiety as the first day in a new school can be a bit scary no matter how old they are.

The following are some more tips for when school actually starts:

  • Have them pick out their clothes the night before.  Make sure they have the appropriate attire for the next day’s activities.
  • Showers and/or baths should be done the night before as well.  The less they have to do in the morning, the better it will be for everyone.  The warm water will also help them unwind and sleep better.
  • Check homework and make sure that assignments have been completed before bedtime and especially before TV time or any other leisure activities.  Get backpacks ready the night before as well.  
  • Stick to your morning routine. When the same things are done the same way, as much as possible, kids will automatically know what they are expected to do.  There will less fighting and fussing and the mornings will be more pleasant for everyone.  
  • Make sure that going back to school is something your children look forward to!