As parents gear up to send their kids back to school, there are a lot of things to prepare and prepare for.
"We're trying to hang onto the summer as long as we can," said Jennifer Stewart, "but in the back of our minds, I know we'll have to get ready for school here pretty quick."
Most people think about things like buying school supplies and getting medical checkups, but there are other things you can do to get ready.
One of the most important things you can do is learn about your child's school: Do teachers and administrators prefer emails, phone calls, or written messages? What should your child be expected to learn this year?
Plan healthy meals and snacks.
"Sugar's just going to slow them down," said Connie Olson, a mother about to send her son to kindergarten.
Whether by bus, car, or bike, make sure your child knows how to travel safely to school.
Go through the process before the school year starts so there aren't any surprises.
Establish some ground rules, like bed times and the balance between homework and play time, so kids can fall into a rhythm.
"They make their lunches the night before, and they're all prepared to go to school the next day," said Sheridan mom Victoria Milne, "so it has helped us tremendously to have a routine."
"Kids need that - the rituals, the consistency," added Olson. "They need to know what to expect."
One thing parents can expect is a little relief.
"I'm very excited to have my little one starting preschool," Stewart said, "so I'll have about two hours a day for three days a week all to myself this year."
Check out this Web site to download a more complete checklist of back-to-school prep.