As the summer draws to a close, many families are starting to prepare for the upcoming school year. While the last few weeks of summer are always filled with back-to-school shopping and organizing school supplies, some children may start to feel a little anxious about hitting the books again. Even children who are looking forward to the upcoming school year may feel those nervous butterflies as they head out the door on their first day back. Following, are several ways in which you can help ease your child’s anxiety, and ensure that they have a successful start to the new school year.

Slowly Start Easing Back Into the School Year Routine

One of the hardest adjustments at the beginning of a new school year is getting back into your daily morning routine. Most children tend to wake up and go to bed later during the summer. If your family’s sleep schedule has fallen off track, ease back into your routine by having your children wake up and go to bed earlier for the last few weeks of summer. By doing this, your children will be reacclimated to their regular routine, and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle that first morning back in the classroom.

If Possible, Let Children Choose Their Supplies and Accessories

One way to ease the sting of heading back to school is to let your child have a say in picking out a new backpack and lunch box. If there is a particular character or brand of a backpack that they love, which is not in stock locally, consider shopping around online. Inevitably, there are going to be items on your school supply list which are required to be a specific brand or color. However, try to let your child have as much input as possible. By allowing your children to have a greater say when picking their supplies, they will be more excited to wake up on their first morning back.

Prepare a Great Breakfast for the First Day of School

While a quick “grab and go” breakfast quickly becomes routine as the school year progresses, it’s a good idea to prepare a nice breakfast for your family to enjoy on their first morning before school. Make sure your family has enough time to sit and enjoy their meal before they head out the door. Eggs and bacon, or biscuits with gravy are all delicious breakfast options for that morning. If your child has a “nervous stomach,” and says they aren’t hungry, consider preparing their favorite meal in order to quell their butterflies and encourage them to eat a few bites.

Pack a Fun Lunch and a Note of Encouragement

Some children tend to be nervous in the morning, and then start to relax around lunchtime, which means they might be especially hungry at that point. Packing their lunch full of their favorite foods is a great way to re-energize them for the afternoon. Consider including special treats as a dessert. Jelly beans are an excellent option to pack in their lunch boxes. Some schools may have a policy against allowing particular foods in the cafeteria due to students with food allergies. Fortunately, there are companies that produce their products in nut-free and allergen-free factories. A sweet handwritten note is a great way to bring a smile to your child’s face as they finish eating their lunch.

Create a Personalized Study Space Your Child at Home

While most children are looking forward to catching up with their friends on their first day back to school, hardly any are looking forward to completing their homework assignments again. While the issue of homework is an ongoing battle in many households, consider creating a personalized study space they can look forward to using as they are tackling their assignments. A cubicle-styled configuration utilizing large display boards as dividers is a great solution for families with multiple children.

While you’re probably looking forward to shuffling your children out the door after they’ve been home all summer, many children are apprehensive about their first day back. By preparing for the new school year a few weeks before it starts, you can help your child ease their anxiety, and start looking forward to a fantastic, fun-filled school year ahead.