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As the summer winds down and the school year looms ahead, it can be a stressful time for parents and kids alike. Unlike the refreshing sensation of diving into a crisp pool during the summertime, jumping right back into a regular routine after an extended break can be an abrupt jolt to the system.

Follow these 10 tips to painlessly ease back into your school-year routine:

1. Set a schedule
At least two weeks before class starts, get your family back on a regular schedule of waking up early in the morning and going to bed at a regular bedtime.

2. Create a morning routine checklist
If your crew has trouble getting out the door and arriving to class on time, map out your ideal morning routine and practice executing it prior to the first day of school.

3. Meet your teacher
The common practice of students meeting new teachers before the school year starts is a great opportunity for parents, too. Come prepared to ask questions and collect their preferred contact information – you’ll be ahead of the game!

4. Make back-to-school shopping a family affair
After you’ve taken an inventory of your existing supplies and made a budget for new ones, involve your kids in back-to-school shopping to get their brains in gear for the school year.

5. Reconnect with school friends
Even if your kids already have friends in class, sometimes the summer months can shake things up. Set up playdates with a few schoolmates to keep them connected during the break, ensuring they know a few friendly faces on the first day for added confidence.

6. Set up a family calendar
Before school-year schedules begin, synchronize your family calendar! Use a digital calendar app across all of your devices to track everyone’s activities and commitments in one place.

7. Create an engaging home workspace
Set your child up for a successful year by creating a dedicated space for completing their schoolwork. Whether it’s a quiet area for writing or a flexible maker space for projects, ensure it’s a comfortable and engaging environment that inspires achievement.

8. Assign summertime family “projects”
Start getting your family back into the school-year mindset by assigning fun “projects” to complete, either as a group or individually. Ideas include photo albums or scrapbooks, simple home-improvement tasks (with adult supervision) or even gardening. Model good behavior by working on your own projects while your kids focus on theirs.

9. Set school-year goals
The pursuit of goals plays a significant role in our overall happiness and wellbeing. To help your kids eagerly anticipate the challenge of a new year and drive their own academic performance, help them set realistic goals and work to achieve them.

10. Return to a reading routine
While it’s ideal for kids to continue a healthy reading habit all summer long, if your children haven’t cracked a book lately, there’s still time to catch up! Encourage reading for fun to shake off the cobwebs and make the transition back to a learning mindset a little easier.

Here’s to a successful school year and your family’s continued health and happiness!

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