The start of a new school year is right around the corner, and that means early mornings, busy schedules, and lots of homework. Staying on top of all those tasks while getting the kids to school on time can be a challenge for any parent, but there are several ways to make getting your kids ready for school an easier task.

Get Them Used to an Earlier Bedtime a Week in Advance

Bedtimes are often a thing of the past when it comes to summer. Days are consumed with plenty of activities, which may mean staying up later than usual. To make those early mornings a bit easier, start having them go to bed at their regular time at least a week prior to the first day of school.

Establish a Routine

Kids thrive on routine, so establishing one early on will make every morning run smoothly. A good routine starts with a reasonable bedtime so they wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

Do as Much as Possible the Night Before

Even with a strong cup of coffee, it can still be difficult to accomplish all the tasks required on school mornings in such a short amount of time. Try preparing lunches, setting out school clothes, and packing book bags the night before to save time in the morning.

Keep Things Fun

Even though school mornings can be hectic, it’s still valuable time spent with your children. Keep things fun and entertaining by playing some games at the bus stop or on the drive to school. Sing songs, turn on their favorite music while they’re getting dressed, allow them to watch a short cartoon, or give them a few extra moments to cuddle with you and their favorite stuffed animals before heading out the door. They’ll carry those special moments with them all through their day at school.

Offer Rewards

If you really struggle with getting your child ready for school, offer a reward system for staying on track. Something as simple as a quick trip for breakfast on the way to school once a week or a reasonable allowance might be enough to keep them motivated.