The end of August is a good time to start preparing kids for going back to school and getting used to the school year routine again. Sit down with kids and explain how these 7 steps will help:  

1. Morning

Set the alarm again and start getting up and dressed at the same time every morning. Start eating breakfast, lunch and snacks around the times your child will eat when school is in session. 

2. Independence

Help your child to start managing things on their own. Talk to them about organizing school materials, writing down assignments and bringing home homework.

3. Routine

Designate a spot where school things, such as backpacks and lunch boxes, always go. This will avoid last-minute scrambles in the morning. You might also make a list of things to bring to school and post it by the front door.

4. Homework

Homework is part of the deal – and should be part of your child's everyday routine. Establish a time and a place for studying at home. Try to be available during homework time.  

5. After School 

Figure out what happens after school because school gets out sooner than most people's workdays end. Do you need to find an after-school program? Do you need a sitter? Someone to pick up your kids from school? You might want to do a few practice runs before school starts so everyone's familiar with the new routine.  

6. If Kids get Sick

Line up a trusted babysitter or group of parents that can help each other when children get sick. Check the school's policy too. You may have to sign forms ahead of time listing people who have your permission to pick up your child.

7. Orientation

Schools usually invite parents and students to orientation and information sessions – you should go. These are good opportunities for you to meet teachers, school counselors, the principle and the front desk staff.