Believe or not, summer is already halfway over. It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating the arrival of this sun-soaked season. Now before you know it, the school year will be here and families will start moving back into chaotic fall schedules. The transition from summer routines is tricky for every family, no matter how much you plan ahead. And scrambling at the last minute to get everything and everyone together for the school year is not ideal. Here are a few ideas to make your back-to-school transition your most organized yet.

1. Integrate organized learning.

Help your kids get ready for the school year by getting them back into the swing of things with some organized learning. Schedule mandatory family reading time (even if it’s just for a short ten minutes a day to start!) This will make learning a part of your children’s daily routine again, and will get them back into the right mindset for the school year.

2. Make a checklist.

Back-to-school clothes shopping? Classroom school supplies? Mandatory physicals at the doctor? When preparing for back to school, it can feel like the agenda is endless. Take some time to make a checklist of everything you need to accomplish before school starts. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and can get started on completing your list as soon as you’d like.

3. Establish a morning routine chart.

Work together as a family to establish a school year morning routine chart. An organized outline will help everyone know what is expected of them in the mornings when the school year rolls around. (Bonus: you can slowly start transitioning into the new routine right away!)

4. Attend a back-to-school open house.

Most schools host a back-to-school open house so that kids and their parents can get to know their new classroom. Attending these events aren’t always the most exciting (especially if this isn’t your first time around), but it’s important to drop in if you can. These events often lay out important dates and to-dos, and lets you know what’s expected of your family throughout the year. It’s the best way to be prepared and in the know at school.  

5. Create a master calendar for the whole family.

Many families keep track of their schedules using an online Google calendar, but it may be helpful to create an additional visual calendar for the whole family to see. Printouts or whiteboards are easy for kids to read, and will help the whole family know what’s going on each day. Don’t forget to add in after-school activities, doctor’s appointments, and birthday parties. You can even color code or add fun images if you’d like!

6. Buy only what you need for back-to-school shopping.

Instead of spending extra time and money on unnecessary back-to-school shopping, figure out what your kids actually need for the school year. Go through your children’s closets with them to figure out what fits and what they’ve outgrown. (A great excuse for a fashion show!) While this may take some time upfront, it will help in the long run when you’re trying to get everything you need together.

7. Start the search for your after-school sitter.

Get a head start on the school year by beginning your after-school sitter search as soon as possible. Look for sitters with skills like transition management and tutoring experience to better help your kids move from the school day to after school care. Using online platforms for child care like Sittercity help make your search a lot easier.

8. Don’t forget about yourself.

While back to school preparation calls for a lot of attention on the kids, it’s important to remember that you’re part of this transition too. Who hasn’t been so caught up in the kids’ schedules that they forgot to brush their own teeth in the morning or run a brush through their hair? We’ve all been there. Take some time to think about the changes that may need to happen in your own morning schedule, aside from your kids’ routines. Each day will go a little smoother if you’re taken care of as well.

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