Putting the following strategies into action now will save a lot of time and anxiety later!
- Shift your schedules. The lazy, unstructured days of summer are ending, and so is your child's freedom to sleep in and eat erratically. Ease him back into a school schedule by shifting his bedtime back to a school-day bedtime and waking him closer to the hour he'll need to rise.
- Have a morning routine run-through. The week before school starts, start getting your child up, dressed, and fed at the same times as you would on a school day. Both you and your child will benefit from a few practice runs to smooth out trouble spots and get comfortable with the routine.
- Clean house. Go through your child's clothes, and get rid of anything he's outgrown or worn threadbare. It'll be easier to choose outfits if there's less clutter. Do a thorough cleaning of his room and study area as well.
- Stock up on supplies. After you and your child are through cleaning, make a list of everything she'll need for the coming year, from socks to crayons. Ask her teacher or the school for a list of supplies, and check what's missing. Buy extras of essential items and store them for later.
- Get papers in order. While you're calling the school, ask what paperwork your child will need to start. Take care of any missing vaccinations or forms ASAP, then gather all the papers in a large, clearly marked envelope or file and photocopy everything, or collect all required documents into a folder on your desktop.
- Create calendar and file central. Set up an area with a large calendar so everyone in your family can see everyone else's plans for that month. For added organization, color-code each family member and keep colored markers nearby so everyone can easily mark plans. Pen in after-school activities, lessons, play-dates, and family time. Nearby, set up file baskets or bins marked "To Be Signed," "From School," and "To School," so your child can deposit papers you need to see in a regular place right after school and pick up things to go "To School" each morning.