Summer is flying by. I know that because my kids tell me at least every other day. We’ve been through this end-of-summer/back-to-school transition before, and I’ve learned some tricks that help it go smoother.

1. Start Some Schoolwork Now

We’re not talking hours of sight words or multiplication facts. Just enough to jumpstart the brain cells again. Your school’s website likely has some interactive sites listed that your kids are familiar with. At the very least, encourage your children to grab a book and head to their rooms for 20 minutes each day. Their teachers will thank you!

2. Schedule Checkups and Other Appointments

If you haven’t done so already, make sure your child is up-to-date on their physical and vaccinations. Will they need one for fall sports? Schedule these appointments now before you’re competing with the school bell for available time.

3. Check Your Child’s Clothing

What fits and what doesn’t? Keep in mind that the weather likely doesn’t change drastically from August through September. The urge to buy that winter coat now may be strong, but you don’t have to just yet. Don’t forget staples like socks and underwear, as they outgrow these items, too!

4. Purchase School Supplies

If you wait until the week or days before school, you’re at risk of stores running out of items.

5. Establish a Homework Space Now

My daughter starts middle school this fall, and has decided she want to do homework in her room instead of the kitchen. So we’re making sure her space is ready for that first assignment.

6. Talk About New Rules and Routines

Summer is fun because it’s relaxed. Rather than jolting your kids back to reality that first week of school, have a conversation now about changes in how much they’re be able to go outside, watch TV, or use their electronics. Consider easing them into a new schedule during the weeks before.

7. Fill in the Calendar and Share It With the Family

Practice and game schedules, events and activities, holidays and teacher work days — get them on the calendar now so everyone is aware of them.

8. Start Setting That Alarm

One to two weeks before school starts, get your kids in the habit of waking up and going to bed earlier. This will make the first week much easier for everyone.

9. Get Pumped for School!

Hey, summer isn’t the only fun season out of the year. If you’re sad about school starting, your kids are going to feed off of that emotion. Talk enthusiastically about all that the new school year has to offer. Your positivity will be contagious.