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Back to School Tips & Tricks

1) Set your kids' sleep schedules back to "School Time" two weeks before the first day.

2) Get your kids involved in programs that they can do after school to keep them active.

3) Encourage your kids to read at least one book before the school year begins.

4) Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they'll use to manage their activities

5) Let kids choose a planner or scheduling tool that they're excited to use.

6) Set up weekly meetings to review your kids' schedules for the week(s) ahead.

7)Create a family calendar that tracks everyone's activities and commitments.

8) Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What's allowed and when?

9) Establish a set "Family Time," whether it's during dinner or before bed.

10) Determine how long it takes them to do assignments to help with time management.

11) Use an egg timer to get your kids used to focusing for specific periods of time.

12) Teach your kids to prioritize their assignments by making to-do lists with deadlines.

13) Discuss what your kids can expect on the first day so they feel more prepared.

14) Visit the school with your kids so they can get familiar with their new environments.

15) Arrange playdates with two or three of your kids' friends to rebuild existing social ties.

16) Set -- and enforce -- regular weekday and weekend bedtimes.

17) Set -- and enforce -- regular weekday and weekend wake-up calls.

18) Keep track of existing extracurricular activities to prevent over-scheduling.

19) Create a list of fun after-school activities and games to keep your kids entertained.

20) Touch base with teachers early on to troubleshoot any issues your kids may be having.

21) Carve out blocks of fun time for your kids, whether it's through sports or playdates.

22) Model good behavior by doing your own work/projects while your kids do homework.

23) Encourage your kids to lay out their school clothes the night before.

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

25) Have your kids also pack their gym bags the night before and leave them by the door.

26) If your kids bring their own lunch, pack their lunch boxes before going to bed.

27) Create an inbox for kids to leave things that need your attention, like permission slips.

28) Set a time each week to sync up individual calendars with the family calendar.

29) Buy bulk packaged snacks like bags of grapes that can be easily added to lunches.

30) Get your kids involved in creating and preparing their daily lunch menus.

31) Buy reusable sports bottles to increase their water consumption during the day.

32) Keep a small emergency allowance in your kids' bags, just in case.

33) Make a week's worth of sandwiches on Sunday, wrap in tinfoil, and freeze. Unthaw them the night before.

34) Use sticky notes to flag important items in kids'books that they should pay attention to.

35) Set your clocks forward 10 minutes. This makes it easier to be on time.

36) Create a rewards system for when they meet goals like helping around the house.

37) Shop for school supplies and clothes early. Avoid the rush.

38) Use positive phrasing, such as "You can go outside after your homework is done," rather than "You're not going outside until this is finished."

39) Make sure your kids (and you!) have an effective wake-up alarm that works for them.

40) Set an alarm or notification 30 minutes before bedtime.

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

41) Use night lights, white sound machines and fans for kids who can't get to sleep.

42) Set up the breakfast table before you go to bed.

43) Talk openly with your kids about their feelings about returning to school. Make sure to hit on these 5 Back-to-School Worries.

44) Do something fun to diffuse this stressful time of year for all of you.

Liz Alton


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