The end of summer is near. I know, it’s sad, but all good things must come to an end. The entrance of a new school year is a big transition for students as well as parents. It can feel a bit stressful to try and get everything prepared for the school year and pull everyone back into a routine.

Here are 10 ways you can kick off the school year, and prepare yourself and your kids for a fresh start.

1: Return to a regular sleeping routine.

During summer the days are long and getting to bed on time isn’t a priority. Prevent stressful early mornings and extremely groggy kids by getting into a regular sleep routine 1-2 weeks before school starts.

2: Shop for school supplies with your child.

You may cringe when you think of taking your child shopping, but this is a great way to get them excited about the school year. Let them pick out some of their supplies, this gives them a little bit of ownership too!

3: Resume a daytime routine.

1-2 weeks before school starts, begin waking your child at the same time as a school day. Plan to eat meals at the same time as during the school year. You can even plan activities during school hours, so they’ll arrive home at the same time as they will during the school year. This helps your child slowly adjust so that they are mentally and physically ready for the school year.

4: Make a homework space.

Set a time and a place where your child will do their homework during the school year. Choose somewhere moderately quiet, but during a time when you will be able to help them if they need it. Include your child in this decision, so that they can own it and be on the same page.

5: Expect the unexpected.

If you’re a working parent, plan for what will happen if you get a call from the school saying that your kid is sick. Line up a sitter or someone to watch your child if you can’t get away from work.

6: Plan for after-school care.

Decide where your child will go after school, whether it’s to an after-school program, a neighbor’s house or home by themselves. Make sure your child understands the plan. This will help get rid of any frustration and confusion during the first few weeks.

7: Limit electronic time.

Many children fill their summer with endless hours of video games and TV shows. To help them transition into six hours of school, instead of six hours of TV, you should slowly decrease the amount of time you let them use electronics. When electronics are off, you can encourage them to read or play quietly. This will help them ease into a mindset of learning.

8: Read over school packets and information.

Many schools hand out packets with lots of information about events that will be happening over the school year, information about your child’s new teacher, emergency forms, etc. Make sure you read over these and mark any important dates in your calendar.

9: Organize!

The school year comes with A LOT of paperwork, permission slips, homework sheets, etc. Make sure you prepare yourself by designating an area of your home to store these papers. This will help you decrease paper clutter and the stress that comes with it.

10: Take your child for a check-up.

Everyone seems to get sick in the fall, and that’s because schools are basically germ cesspools. Prepare your kid by taking them for a check-up before the school year even begins. This way you can get them caught up on any required vaccinations, and get advice on how to keep them healthy throughout the year.

With preparation and organization, the transition from summer to school can be a lot less painful. This will minimise the dread you feel about the first week of September, and allow you and your child to enjoy the rest of your summer!