It's that time of year again. Parents are rejoicing and kids are groaning as it's time to go back to school. Here's how to get them - and you - ready for it. Kids, I'm with you.

Bedtime Basics

As the sun sets earlier and earlier, so should the bedtime for everyone. It's a terrible idea to let it go until the night before the first day of school. I know. I did this and it was just a bad deal for everyone. The kids are fussy because they aren't tired. You're angry because they won't go to sleep and so on. Bring everyone back to reality by cutting back bed time by 15 minutes every night and then try the school year bed time for a week before school starts.

Get a Menu Together

If you have a menu planned for the first month of the school year, it's going to cut back on a lot of chaos when the kids get home. Once you have the menu planned, try and get the bulk of the shopping done in order to avoid unplanned and unprepared trips to the store. You'll need quick healthy breakfasts, school lunch supplies and healthy dinner options that defrost well so you can just take it out of the freezer before you head out the door in the morning. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but between the hectic schedule of the school year anyway, piled on top of homework and after school activities, it will save lots of time and you won't be racking your brain at work, on the way home or worse - at the grocery store. Feeling stuck? Try one of these seven apps to make meal planning on the go a breeze.

Go For That Check Up

Your child won't have to miss class for a doctor's appointment if you take them for a check up now. The State of Minnesota requires that all children enrolling in a licensed day care home or child care facility to show evidence of immunization or properly document exemptions. If there's time, a dental check up is also a good idea. That way if a cavity needs to be filled or a tooth needs to be pulled, they won't miss school recovering. I had to go back to school with half of my face numbed up. Worst. Day. Ever.

One Last Hurrah

Do one final family event before summer is over. It could be a camping trip, a trip to a water park, a weekend up north or a big sleep over. Just make sure you let them know that this is it for summer so they can start to do a reality check that this is really it. Labor Day Weekend is not the best weekend to let them run buck wild and then they have to get up before the crack of dawn two days later and schlep off to class.


Celebrate their achievement of starting kindergarten, starting middle school, starting high school or starting their senior year. Or, Moms and Dads can celebrate the fact that you get your morning back.

How do you get ready for back to school?