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Back-to-School Prep

Sure, it's still summer, but starting to get your child into school mode now will make things easier on both of you come September. What to do:

Adjust his sleep schedule gradually. Put him to bed 15 minutes earlier each week for a month leading up to the first day of school. The change will be less noticeable than if you suddenly make bedtime a whole hour earlier.

Prevent rude awakenings. To ease the transition from lounging around in the morning to getting up and out for school, plan activities he can do now soon after waking up, like walking the dog or some other outdoor chore.

Take him to meet his teacher. Many schools hold get-acquainted sessions. Spending hours with this new adult won't be so scary if he's already hung out with her -- with you around. If he's going to a new school, walk around the building so it's familiar on the first day.

Get him ready for group activities. Check out story-reading programs at your local library so he can practice listening and waiting his turn to speak.

Write a story starring your child. Include anything he may be nervous about, like making friends or taking the bus alone, and show how it all works out well. Read it over and over until the first day of school and he just may be as confident as that kid in the book!

Parenting and Georgetown University has teamed up to launch Mom Congress, a brand-new program to help moms connect and advocate for positive change in their children's education.
Join the Mom Congress initiative