Summer’s not over til it’s over. However, if you’re a family man (or woman) you’ve got back to school looming at the back of your mind. School supplies, back to school outfits, getting back to routine – it’s all mere weeks away. The good news? It doesn’t have to be a dark cloud! The next few weeks are a prime opportunity for you to use the last days off in the sun to good use.

Here are your exclusive Kinsmen back to school tips that are sure to make the most of your August:

1. Start the back to school routine before the kids actually go back to school

This doesn’t necessarily mean early rising (though for some it might); however, you can get you and your kids back into the school groove by getting them to pick breakfast the night before so there’s no time lost in the morning. Take it a step further and pack a lunch too, just to get the gears turning.

2. Cut back on device time over time

Rather than significantly diminishing screen time when the school bell rings, slowly but surely reduce the time your kids spend on screens week by week leading up to the first day of school. Follow the parameters yourself, too! When your kids notice that you can occupy yourself without a device, they’re more likely to follow the cut back schedule as well.

3. Get excited by getting into a ‘goal-setter’ mentality

If your kids aren’t keen on the classroom, getting their minds prepped early is key. One way to do this is to set goals in the weeks leading up to school that encourage them for that first day. Reflect on strengths from last year, and how they can build upon them for next year. This can be in academics, extracurriculars, hobbies, you name it. Focus on the positives so they’re not seeing dark clouds on day

4. Get back in the learning zone

Vacation has been a time to relax and unwind, and for your kids to get in that necessary play time. However, mixing in a few cultural attractions like museums or historical sites will provide a healthy ‘learning’ balance. We can learn everywhere we go, but activities geared toward information are great places to encourage your family to learn and recall facts leading up to school time, where the practice will be required.

5. Acclimatize to the new environment

If you’re able, visit the school before going back. Even if it’s not a new school, visiting a new classroom or meeting a new teacher can help you and your child mentally prepare for the year ahead.

6. And of course, back to school shopping

This one might be obvious, but there’s not much that gets the kids more geared up than back to school shopping. This one might even help with a few of the other points, like getting back into routine and scheduling with new alarm clocks or agendas.

Remember the lunch tip? Take your kids snack shopping too, enabling them to be a part of their weekly balanced meal planning.

It’s easy to put school at the back of your mind in those last days of summer but to get ahead of the back to school game will make the first day, and rest of the year, that much easier!

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