Helping parents get ready for back-to-school

Aug 19, 2013, 08:01 ET from

The transition from summer break to school doesn't have to be difficult  

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Summer is a time when routines and schedules go out the window, days are usually carefree and bedtimes are pushed back. But those relaxing days can make transitioning back to school difficult for both parents and students.

With some advance planning, however, the switch from summer to fall doesn't have to hurt quite as much. There are some good resources for going back to school and you can also follow these easy tips:

Set sleep habits: Ease the transition back to early mornings by implementing a bedtime. Getting enough sleep is important for school performance. If your child stays up late in the summer, start setting back the bedtime in small increments until it's back where you want it. Setting it back slowly will make early school hours easier to handle.

Study space: Create a specific place in the house for students to do homework, whether it's at the kitchen table or in a room, and make sure there's plenty of light and that it's free from distractions. Set a consistent time for them to work, before dinner or right after school, so it becomes part of their daily routine.

Stay healthy: Kids tend to be more active in the summer. You can keep those habits going during the school year by adding physical activity to family time. Instead of watching TV or playing video games after dinner, try a sunset stroll. Maybe even sign up and train for a charity walk. It's also important to pack a healthy lunch filled with protein, fruits, vegetables and water.  

Schedule help: Before the year begins, figure out who will drop-off and pick-up each day and keep a calendar to remind yourself of after-school activities and special events. If your child needs help with homework or school projects, set aside library time or sign up for after-school tutoring. And be sure to keep an open dialogue with your child's teacher so there won't be any surprises about work expectations.

Spend less: Buying new clothes and school supplies can be stressful on your budget. You can save money by recycling certain supplies. Hunt for deals online, where you can find discounted prices on everything from uniforms to lined paper. and are the U.S. Government's official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).