As back-to-school season draws near, stress levels often rise. Times of transition are difficult for many children, and the start of a new school year marks a major turning point in the life of any child.

Here are some 5 tips for getting your child ready for school that you can use to prepare your child for a successful school year.  

1. Discuss the new school year. It’s difficult to address a child’s concerns if you aren’t sure what they are. Invite your child to share his or her feelings about the upcoming school year. Encourage positive feelings and excitement about the coming activities. There might also be fears that you were not aware of. Be understanding and work together to come up with a few coping strategies, should a tricky situation arise.

2. Develop schedules and practice your routine. Start walking through your updated routine before school begins. This can save stress and hassle when the big day arrives. For many children, written or visual schedules can assist with mapping out the morning. Also, it’s important to get your child’s sleep schedule aligned with what it will be in the upcoming school year.  Begin sending your child to bed and waking them up earlier about a week before school starts to get them reacquainted with an earlier day.

3. Get organized. Put together the materials needed to make the school year a success. This might mean setting up a “homework station,” making a calendar for yourself or arranging clothing for the first week of school. Developing some organization strategies at the beginning of the school year will promote consistency.

4. Allow your child to make choices. Even if it’s something as simple as selecting a brand of pencils, or deciding to brush hair before teeth, allow your child to make a few positive choices about the school year supplies or routine. Offering choices helps children feel like they are in control of their lives and the new situations they will encounter.

5. Talk to teachers. Whenever possible, talk to your child’s teachers with your child before the start of the school year. Get a feel for the school day schedule, classroom expectations and classroom setup for each teacher. Incorporate this information into your child’s back-to-school preparation activities. This can help to alleviate your child’s anxiety prior to the first day of school.

Back-to-school jitters are common. With a little bit of planning, you can help your child prepared for an amazing year full of learning and fun.