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10 Things you should do now to get your child ready for school

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Give your kids a head start for fall

Your kids are probably loving the homework-free summer, but take it from us, staying sharp and prepared will make the transition back-to-school easier this fall. Encourage your child to prepare for school by spending just a few minutes a day with an age-appropriate workbook or joining a summer reading program at the local library. Use these tips to prepare your entire family for school this fall.

Don't let school sneak up on you this fall. Try these ten tips to keep your kids sharp and your family prepared for all of the demands and expectations of the next school year. Get organized early, and stay on top of healthy routines that keep your child's learning brain engaged.

1

Discuss school expectations

As children progress from grade to grade, expectations change. Homework becomes more demanding, and kids are expected to stay focused for longer amounts of time. Take time to discuss what your child will experience next year, and what will be expected of her. This is a good time to refresh your child on behavior expectations.

2

Shop clothing and shoe sales

Avoid the back-to-school rush, and start keeping an eye on sales now. Follow blogs that share discounts and deals so that you can shop online when big sales arise. Hit shoe stores with your kids, and get them equipped in sneakers that fit well.

Find more tips to trim back-to-school costs >>

3

Make video game time educational

Kids love to slack during the summer. Instead of unplugging the Xbox, compromise with as many educational video games as possible. Young kids can enjoy iPad games focused on learning and writing. Older kids can play puzzle games and games that require critical thinking.

4

Disinfect your child's lunchbox

Don't send your child back-to-school with germs. Take time to air out and disinfect his lunchbox. If it smells musty, despite a solid cleaning, it's probably time to invest in a new lunchbox. Always wash and air-dry fully to avoid lingering germs and bad smells.

5

Check in with your child's school

Call your child's school to get updates on starting times and dismissal times. Make sure nothing important has changed over the summer. Find out where your child's school bus stop is this year, and ask if you can get a list of school supplies to start stocking up now.

6

Adjust your child's bedtime

No one likes to get up early over the summer, but it's important to start those bedtime and wake up time adjustments early. Slowly transition your child to an earlier bedtime as back-to-school season approaches. This will help your child stay focused and motivated on early school mornings.

7

Keep reading with your child

Read throughout the summer, every day. If your child is an early reader, or isn't reading yet, read chapter books out loud each day. Encourage older children to read a specific number of pages each day. Track reading goals on a chart, or allow children to join reading clubs through the school board or local library.

8

Get appropriate physicals and immunization forms

Avoid the last minute crunch for doctor's appointments by ensuring your child is up to date on immunizations and physicals early. Find out if the sports she is planning on participating in need specific physicals or paperwork.

9

Go on family field trips

Keep your children engaged with learning over the summer by visiting new places. Even if you don't have a big family vacation on the books this summer, you can take weekend trips or visit local destinations like museums and gardens.

10

Stay active and eat healthy

Encourage your kids to get outside as often as possible this summer. Healthy bodies give kids the foundation they need to learn and grow during the school year. Eat well over the summer, and continue the habit of having a well-balanced, filling breakfast each morning.

Try these quick breakfast tips >>

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