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The day your children go back to school looms overhead, and while you may have mixed feelings of relief and anxiety, you should make sure you help your children and yourself prepare for the new year. Below are a few things to consider when the day classes starts is fast approaching.

Set An Adjustment Period

It’s no surprise that summer is generally more relaxing than the school year, but that means hours of activity have likely shifted. Whether they’re in elementary school or high school, your children will probably have to adjust their sleeping schedule in order to function. You should anticipate this and set aside a week or two of adjustment time prior to school starting. During this period, you can help them shift back their bedtime, preferably in increments of 30 minutes, to help them adjust. Re-adjusting their sleep schedules is a basic but beneficial way of preparing them for the school year—and it might grant you some relief, too.

Establish Expectations and Routines

School provides some daily structure, and you should do the same at home. Explain to your children that they are still to help around the house, and that homework takes precedence over leisurely activities like video games. Depending on how scheduled you want their time to be, you could establish a designated homework time (say, from after school until dinner) for your children to stick to. You could also set up a homework area that is reserved for schoolwork. Establishing some sort of daily after-school routine will help keep your life organized and will help keep your children on the right track.

Buy School Supplies & Materials

If you get a list of supplies from the teachers, you should take your children shopping with you and make it enjoyable. Let them pick out folders that appeal to them, but try to stick closely to the list; you don’t want to spend more than you need to. Splurging on a few items that make your children happy but will also be functional is worth the extra money. If there are items on the list that your children don’t recognize, try to explain what they are and show them how they are used; making the items familiar will alleviate any stress from not knowing their function, and you can also get them excited about the new things they will learn!

Meet Your Children’s Teachers and Keep in Touch

Most schools have a “Meet the Teacher” night, so try to attend that if it works into your schedule. Cultivating a good, honest relationship with your children’s teachers will ensure that they will be open with you about your children’s progress and shortcomings. Good communication between parents and teachers should be mutual, and if you get the chance, volunteer to help in or out of the classroom!

The task of preparing everyone for a new school year may seem daunting, but with some effort and a little patience, you will help your children establish routines and give yourself some peace of mind.

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