Everyone can use a little help when tackling back to school. It comes upon us so fast. Here are 30 of my favorite tips to prepare for the coming year.

  1. Set your kids’ sleep schedules back to “school time” two weeks before the first day of school.

  2. Use an egg timer to get your kids used to focusing for specific periods of time.

  3. Encourage your kids to read at least one (or one more) book before the school year begins.

  4. Discuss what your kids can expect on the first day of school, so they feel more prepared.

  5. Talk openly with your kids about their feelings about returning to school and be ready to answer any questions.

  6. Create a family calendar or choose a calendar app that tracks everyone’s activities and commitments.

  7. Set up weekly meetings to review your kids’ schedules for the week(s) ahead.

  8. Hire a before- or after-school sitter to help care for your kids while you’re at work.

  9. Have a backup transportation plan in case your kids miss the bus.

  10. Get your kids involved in programs they can do after school to keep them active. See our list at https://www.parentmagazinesflorida.com/ for more ideas.

  11. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What’s allowed and when?

  12. Work out an after-school schedule that allows time for snacks, relaxation, play and study.

  13. If they choose to take lunch on some or all days, let your kids be involved in creating and preparing their daily lunch menus.

  14. If they choose to buy lunch, get copies of school menus in advance to discuss lunch choices.

  15. Shop for school supplies and clothes early to avoid the rush.

  16. Inventory your kids’ wardrobes and toss/donate things they’ve outgrown.

  17. Get the lists of school supplies, books and technology your kids will need.

  18. Create a dedicated space at home for your kids to store their school supplies and technology.

  19. Establish rules for where kids should put lunchboxes, etc., when they come home.

  20. Encourage your kids to lay out their school clothes before going to bed.

  21. Have kids pack their school bags.

  22. If they bring their own lunch, have the kids pack their lunch boxes.

  23. Have kids pack their gym or sports bags.

  24. Make sure any bags, equipment or must-bring items are left by the door.

  25. Set an alarm or notification 30 minutes before bedtime.

  26. Set — and enforce — regular weekday and weekend bedtimes.

  27. Remove tech devices, such as phones and tablets, from kids’ bedrooms to focus them on sleeping.

  28. To help with time management, determine together how long it takes kids to do assignments

  29. Teach kids to prioritize their assignments by making to-do lists with deadlines.

  30. Have your kids set realistic goals for the new school year, such as reading 30 books or filling a journal.