“See you in September,” sounded so far away back in June.  Now the vacation fun is winding down and there are just a few weeks left in the summer. Returning to school means a new teacher, a new grade, a new schedule and possibly a new school.  Either way, change is surely coming!

Here are some tips to help parents get their little ones ready for the year to come:

1) BEDTIME: Change your little ones’ sleep schedule to accommodate the school hours a minimum of at least a week before school starts, so that waking up on the first day of school and thereafter is not a problem.

2) FOOD MATTERS: Eating habits should also begin to follow the routine that the school uses. If your child’s schedule consists of eating snack at 10 am and lunch at 11:30, that’s a schedule you want to begin to do at home a week in advance so your child’s tummy is not going to distract them from learning

3) GETTING ORGANIZED: Make sure you call or check your school’s website and/or the lists that were given to you by the school for their required supplies.  Also, if you can take your kids’ school supplies in the day before classes start, do so, so that they are not carrying a ton of things on their first day. This really helps with new schools, so the children have less to worry about and they can focus on getting familiar with the space and the new faces.

4) BE READY TO ROLL: On day one you want your kids to feel good about school. Get them off to a great start with a good breakfast, perhaps even their favorite AM meal. Let them pick out and or wear a favorite outfit, which can help them feel comfortable and confident.  If they attend private school and they wear a uniform, perhaps they can wear a special watch, bracelet or a hair clip they love.  Packing a favorite lunch for the first day can also help.  You can put a loving note in their lunch to make them smile: maybe a joke or just a smiley face to reassure them of love, even when you are not present (This is something my kids love and you can continue through out the year.)  Anything that can help your child feel great and look forward to the first day of school will be a plus.

5)TALK IT OUT: Talk with your kids about school and their thoughts of the upcoming year.  Ask them what they think about the new school year and what they are looking forward to experiencing.  These types of discussions over dinner can help them with any concerns they may have and it can also allow them to get excited about what the new school year has to offer.

Helping your child start the new school year off right can help set the tone for the rest of the year. With all school has to offer, organization, scheduling and a positive outlook can go a long way and it begins at home.

Audrey Griffin is a wife, mother of four, inspiring educator and parenting lifestyle consultant. Visit her website, check her out on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.