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Prepare your kids for the back-to-school routine

Molly Cerreta Smith has enjoyed a career in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. As an editor of several regional magazines, she has had the opportunity throughout her career to meet many local celebrities, businesspeople, ent...

Back to school prep

Can it be true? Back-to-school time is looming ahead already? It may be a few (short) weeks away yet, but Mom, our back-to-school prep work begins now. We've got simple ways to subtly get your kids ready for school… before the bell rings.

Back-to-school prep

Can it be true? Back-to-school time is looming ahead already? It may be a few (short) weeks away yet, but Mom, our back-to-school prep work begins now. We've got simple ways to subtly get your kids ready for school… before the bell rings.

Turn back time

Summertime usually means friend sleepovers and late nights. But the school bell leaves no time for sleeping in so you’ll want to make sure your kids are well rested come the first day of class.

Don’t wish your kids back to class yet — read 10 reasons to appreciate your kids >>

No matter how far off track you are from your kids’ ideal bedtime, it’s fairly easy to regain a routine bedtime. With older children, start working back to their school-year bedtime fifteen minutes at a time. If you’re kids have been staying up until 10:00 p.m., give them a shout out at 9:45 one night, 9:30 the next and so forth until you are back where you want to be with bedtime.

With younger children, you can usually cut back to the normal bedtime hour without too much trouble. I find that if I put my children to bed an hour earlier after a late night, they sleep longer and more soundly. With that in mind, try to stick to no later than an 8:00 p.m. bedtime for young school-goers.

Hint: A few weeks before school starts, begin waking your kids up a few minutes earlier day by day until you achieve the ideal wake-up call that gives them (and you) enough time to get ready for the day without mass chaos occurring.

Mornin’ sunshine

Your kids’ late summer nights have probably given way to sleeping in come morning. But your kids won’t have that luxury in mid-August (is it me or does school seem to start earlier every year?) so you’ll want to make sure they are used to getting up in time to get themselves ready (or have you help them) and have breakfast before they need to be off to school.

Check out these 7 ways to motivate kids in the morning >>

Mealtime match-up

As many things do during summertime, your family’s mealtime schedule may have gotten a little lax. But it’s important to maintain a consistent mealtime schedule so your child isn’t going hungry throughout the school day.

Even if your child claims she’s not hungry for breakfast, have her eat a little something to hold her over until lunchtime. Breakfast can be something as simple as piece of whole grain toast with apple butter or grapes and string cheese.

Try to match up your child’s lunchtime at home with the school’s lunch hour so he’ll be used to eating at that time when school begins. That way there will be fewer chances of him coming home with a full lunch box and an empty tummy.

Check out these back-to-school nutrition basics >>

The after-school snack or late afternoon snack tends to be the meal-breaker at the dinner table. Make sure your child doesn’t overindulge in empty calories during his afternoon snack. Veggies with dip, a yogurt or some fruit and nuts are all good choices that will satisfy him until supper without spoiling his desire to dine.

More on back-to-school

Tips for a stress-free back-to-school season

5 Tips for beating back-to-school blues
Secrets of smooth school mornings

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