MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Summer is coming to an end and this means that students will soon be returning to the classrooms.

Parents have a lot to do to prepare their children – and themselves – before the first school bell rings.

FOX13 has put together a to-do list to make the transition as smooth as possible.

1. Take inventory

Find out which supplies can be reused this year and which items you will need to buy new. The backpack might be good to pack, but you might need to get a new lunch box. The same rule applies to clothing. Determine which items are still suitable and which are not. Make a list of everything you will need to buy before you go to the store.

2. Mark your calendar

Pull out this planner to jot down important dates: first day of school, meet-the-teacher days, PTA meetings, registration deadlines, and more. Share the planner with your student and anyone else involved in their schedule.

3. Manage childcare

Make arrangements now for daycare or anyone else you will need to handle the return and/or school pick-up. Arrange carpooling if needed.

4. Visit the pediatrician

Schedule a visit if your child needs an updated medical or new vaccinations before the start of the school year. You may also want to give your child a dental cleaning.

5. Buy early

I don’t want to wait until the last weekend to buy school supplies and clothes. Look for sales and plan to buy as soon as possible. Last-minute shoppers could find bare shelves and sold-out items. Stock up on multiple items that your child will use regularly. Start preparing meals for busy nights and rushed mornings.

6. Check summer homework and reading

Make sure your child is on track and progressing with summer homework and reading assignments. If they haven’t been awarded anything, now is a good time to brush up on their skills and review what they learned last year.

7. Plan lunches and snacks

Start planning what you will pack for lunches and snacks. Find out what’s available in the school cafeteria and what options you can do at home. Find out how much school meals cost and how much you’ll spend on home-prepared food.

8. Establish a routine beforehand

Know your child’s schedule for waking up, going to school and going to bed in advance. Start gradually moving back the bedtime and waking them up earlier to ease the transition.

9. Organize a study space

Help your child create a clean, quiet place to study and do homework. Discuss a plan for completing homework and projects with your child. Try to limit distractions like cell phones and TV during their study time.

10. Talk to your child

Discuss expectations and rules for the new school year. Ask them what their concerns or fears are. Encourage open communication.

11. Talk to educators

Get to know your child’s teachers, counselors and other school staff. Call them or send them an email.

12. Reconnect with your friends

If your child hasn’t seen much of their classmates over the summer break, try to schedule time for them to reconnect. Help them make plans to get together or reach out, even if it’s just a phone call away. Also encourage them to make new friends.

13. Have fun

Things are going to be busy once school starts, so it’s a good time to relax and enjoy those last days of summer vacation. Plan a fun outing with your child or take that trip as a family. If a staycation is your style, the possibilities for at-home fun are endless: bake up delicious treats, camp out in the backyard, throw a swim party, or have a family game night. To show creativity!

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