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Posted on 08-22-2016

As summer comes to an end, it can be hard to get back into a regular schedule -- for both kids and adults. Whether you're a parent that's dreading the back-to-school rush, or a babysitter or tutor struggling to help children rediscover homework success, we've got some tips for you.
The trick is to plan ahead. Identify strategies and approaches to stay organized, to help ease your child seamlessly back into school and to manage your own stress.
Dr. Fran Walfish, a child and family psychotherapist and author of "The Self-Aware Parent," and Christina Nichols, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist from a leading independent school in New York City and the Hallowell Center, offer 101 things you can do before school starts to help your kids stay on track--- Here's the top 20:
  1. Set your kids' sleep schedules back to "School Time" two weeks before the first day.
     
  2. Get your kids involved in programs that they can do after school to keep them active.
     
  3. Visit cultural attractions like museums to shift their brains into "Scholar" mode.
     
  4. Hire an after-school sitter to help care for your kids while you're at work.
     
  5. Encourage your kids to read at least one book before the school year begins.
     
  6. Reacquaint your kids with the calendar schedule they'll use to manage their activities.
     
  7. Try apps like iHomework or MyHomeWork to help your kids organize assignments.
     
  8. Let kids choose a planner or scheduling tool that they're excited to use.
     
  9. Set up weekly meetings to review your kids' schedules for the week(s) ahead.
     
  10. Create a family calendar that tracks everyone's activities and commitments.
     
  11. Refresh your rules about screen time for the school year. What's allowed and when?
     
  12. Establish a set "Family Time," whether it's during dinner or before bed.
     
  13. Give kids a specific day to when they can choose all the activities you do together.
     
  14. Determine how long it takes them to do assignments to help with time management.
     
  15. Use an egg timer to get your kids used to focusing for specific periods of time.
     
  16. Teach your kids to prioritize their assignments by making to-do lists with deadlines.
     
  17. Give your kids a short break after each assignment they finish, such as a short walk.
     
  18. Set a regular alarm each day that signals the start of homework time.
     
  19. Discuss what your kids can expect on the first day so they feel more prepared.
     
  20. Visit the school with your kids so they can get familiar with their new environments.
With all this preparation, your kids will be in great shape. If you're relaxed and calm, they'll head off to school feeling excited and ready to get to work.

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