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10 Tips to get kids ready for school

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

School's in

September’s almost upon us, and the kids will soon be back in school. It’s time to kick off the flip flops, pull up your socks, and get ready for school. Making the transition from summer to school mode can be difficult for children -- and parents! Check out these 10 tips to get your family back on track and ready for school.

Pizza Party

These tips were provided by Sage Pabar, founder and director of Exclusive Tutors, which provides individualized tutoring for grades pre-K through adult.

Say farewell to summer

Plan something special for your family just before school starts as a way to celebrate the end of summer. Commemorate the season with one last hurrah before you turn the page and enter the new school year.

Fun family activities >>

Out with the old, in with the new

Clear the clutter off your child's workspace, dust off the backpack and buy whatever school supplies your child needs. Make sure that annual checkups and immunizations are in order, and that school forms are filled out and ready to hand in.

Vaccine checklist and wellness tips >>

Pop quiz!

Time to grease the brain gears. Making Italian for dinner? Ask your child to calculate the nutritional value of the meal, spell words such as "gnocchi" or "penne," talk about the Roman Empire or chat about capital cities in Italy. Incorporate "pop quizzes" into your child's day with math facts, spelling questions, history facts or geography questions to warm up for the upcoming school year. Online brain games such as crossword puzzles, word scrambles and Sudoku are also fun ways to exercise the brain.

7 Ways to stop summer brain drain >>

Routine, routine, routine

Begin a gradual transition from the carefree days of summer to the rigors of the academic schedule. Send the kids to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, and wake them up a little closer to the usual school start time. This transition should also find its way into the kitchen. Get back into the habit of starting the morning with a healthy breakfast, serve lunch at a regular time and get into the routine of a hearty, early dinner. Regulating your family's internal clocks will help ease the transition for both your children and you!

Help reset your child's internal clock before school starts >>

Summer in retrospect

Every year starts with some iteration of the same time-honored question: "What did you do this summer?" You know your children will be asked, so why not prepare them now? Have your children collect their thoughts, pore over photographs, jot down some notes or write journal entries so that they're ready when the teacher pops the question.

Keeping family journals >>

Let's do lunch

Beat the sandwich blues by brainstorming new lunch ideas with your children. Come up with an exciting lunch menu for the first week of school and stock the fridge with all the ingredients you'll need. Planning will help avoid the early-morning scramble.

5 Healthy brown bag lunches kids love >>

What to wear

The first day of school is an important event on the fashion front. Collaborate with your children to find that perfect back-to-school outfit and set it out the night before. This helps build anticipation for the big day and saves precious time in the morning.

Shopping for school clothes >>

Party time

Celebrate the start of school with a get-together -- maybe a classmate pizza party the first weekend of the school year. Planning a party will give your child something to look forward to, and it's a great way to reconnect with peers and set the foundation for friendships that will stay with your child throughout the year.

Party planning tips and ideas >>

Related video

Back-to-school crafts: How to decorate a spiral notebook

Let your child show off her unique style this school year with a customized notebook.

More back to school

Does your child need a tutor?

10 Steps to school year success

The best times and places to study

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