It's back to school week and getting back in to the rhythm of the school year can be stressful for you and the kids, so here are a few ways to make this week less stressful.

Bedtime Fun

Make a pre-bedtime routine so nothing gets forgotten, but make it fun. After playing outside after dinner and bath time, get ready for bed, but make it a race. Have a checklist for everything they need to get done like set out the backpack and include everything that needs to go in it like homework, books, permission slips, etc. Then set out the clothes and shoes for the next day, get into their pajamas and brush their teeth. If they can get it done within a certain amount of time, reward them with ten extra minutes of play time outside, or ten extra minutes on the computer. Don't forget the bedtime story! That was my favorite.

Get Up Fun

Trying to get the kids out of bed is probably going to be like pulling teeth. Either they're scared and nervous to go for the first time, or they just aren't used to the schedule quite yet. Well, make getting up fun! Just like Chad's mom used to chant, "School, school, school school!" Make a mix CD to wake them up with. Maybe use some of their favorite songs, or find a KidzBop CD with fun kid friendly songs.

Homework Fun

Generally the first week of school, we didn't have homework, but when we did, it was the most awful thing ever in life. Kids nowadays are getting more and more homework and they're getting it younger and younger, so make it fun. Make a little desk space that's more fun than their school desk. We always had a little play desk to sit at, or a lap desk we could use in our rooms, so at least we could be in a comfortable environment. Even better, for the younger ones who like to play school, if they need help with their homework, set it up like they're playing school where you can write things out on a marker board or a chalkboard and they can ask you for help.