My kids went back to school last week, so we went through a series of steps in preparation for this more than a couple of weeks ago. We took a vacation the first week of August and as soon as we came back, I started implementing many of the things I'm about to share with you and I think they helped us all get back into the school routine. I must say, though, that the hardest one is getting them to go to bed earlier than they normally did this summer.

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That's why this is the first thing on my list of 5 ways to get your kids back into the school routine:

Get them used to their regular school bedtime at least one whole week before school starts. Ideally, you start doing this by making them go to bed a half-hour earlier every day until they get to the desire time. This shouldn't take too long--unless your children are going to bed past 11 p.m. every night.

Go shopping for school supplies and back to school clothes (or uniforms) together. It's good to get them involved so they can understand their summer break is coming to an end soon and to get them excited for the next school year.

Schedule some playdates as their back to school date gets closer. This is a good a good ideal especially if your child has been in a summer camp or on vacation elsewhere and hasn't really had a chance to spend time with their friends. My daughter had a birthday party just before school started and she was able to connect with several of her friends, which made things much smoother the first day. 

Start cutting down the amount of time they spend in front of the TV. Or playing video games or on the computer. Like most parents, you're probably a lot more lax in terms of how much time they do this during the summer. So start cutting down on this gradually so that it doesn't come as a shock once school starts.

Use a family calendar. I just started doing this one this year and my daughter is loving it. She's fascinated by calendars, so I let her jot down the days she has acitivities after school and other important dates we need to remember, like Back to School night and Parent/Teacher conferences. It just helps all of us be more organized. 

What are your tips for getting your kids back into the school routine? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below. 

Topics: back to school  school