Almost all of us dread the end of summer. Kids are reluctant to get back into the routine of early mornings, structured days and the homework that school brings. And many parents are also reluctant to get back into the routine of early mornings, structured days and homework!

Whether your child is returning to pre-school, elementary school or middle school, here are 10 tips to help make the transition back to school a success.

1) Scale Back the Bedtime Hour- It’s easy in the summer to let bedtime slide a little later. About 3 weeks before school begins start scaling back bedtime so that by the end of the third week your child is rising at the same time s/he will have to get up for school. (It takes about 3 weeks for the body to adapt to a new sleep schedule.) If you’ve been putting your child to bed at 9 p.m., the first week put him/her to bed about 15 minutes earlier at 8:45. The next week, make it 8:30 and then the next week 8:15. Also start waking your child up a little earlier each week so that one week before schools starts, you’re mimicking the school schedule.

2) Shop early for school supplies with your child. Your child will gain a sense of ownership by picking his/her own supplies.

3) Create a Homework Basket- While you’re shopping for school supplies, have your child pick a homework basket. This basket should contain all of the supplies that will be necessary to complete homework i.e. lots of pencils and erasers, a ruler, scissors, paper, markers, etc. These supplies should be used exclusively for homework to prevent dawdling/excuses when it comes time to do homework.

4) Find kid-friendly breakfast and lunch ideas. Shop for easy, nutritious foods that pack a lot of protein into your child’s diet. Protein enhances neural connections in the brain.

5) Get Yourself Organized- Develop a filing system for all of the paperwork that comes home.

5) Review bus safety rules.

6) Shop for a first-day of school outfit. If you can afford it, let your child start school in a fun new outfit that will feel special.

7) Develop Morning Strategies- Do as much as you can the night before each school day. Check the weather forecast with your child and pre-select an outfit with your child that’s weather-appropriate. Make sure his/her homework/supplies are in the back pack at night. Have lunches or snacks pre-packed. Have a picture chart with your child’s morning duties outlined and have your child check them off at they are completed. Time out how long the morning routine should take and add 10 minutes.

8) Meet the Teacher- If your school hosts a meet-the-teacher event or open house, be sure to go. Ask the teacher for an outline of the day’s activities so you can prepare your child. Also ask the teacher’s expectations for homework. Take a picture of your child with his/her teacher and post it on the fridge. Make sure your child knows his/her way around the school. Set up a play date if your child knows even one other child in the class.

9) End-of Summer Ritual- It can be helpful to create a ritual with your kids that signals the end of summer. It might be creating a scrapbook of the summer’s events. It might be going to an amusement park for one last hurrah.

10) Duplicate School Rules- Once school has started, ask your child what the rules are in his/her classroom. i.e. No putdowns. Try to mimic the language that’s being used in the classroom at home to reinforce the lessons in both places.

By taking these steps, you’ll be preparing your child to start the school year prepared for success.

Byline: By Toni Schutta, Parent Coach, M.A., L.P. Visit www.getparentinghelpnow.com to receive the free mini-course “The 7 Worst Mistakes Parents Make (and How to Avoid hem!).

Author's Bio: 

Toni Schutta is a highly successful National Speaker, Author, Parent Coach and Licensed Psychologist who specializes in providing parents of children ages 3-12 with practical, easy-to-use parenting tips that will make a parent's life easier!