It happens every single year--sweet summertime comes to an end and gives way to fall. If you have kids, the end of summer does not just single the changing of seasons, but it signals it is time to head back to school. The transition from a fun-filled summer to a strictly scheduled school year can be a difficult situation to deal with for many families. It is hard to wind down the freedom of summer and implement rules for the new school year. Here are our tips on how to best prepare your family for back to school. Ease in to a new bedtime For kids, one of the most exciting things about summer is the chance to stay up later than usual. The sun sets later, and bedtimes get pushed back. With no school bus to catch in the early morning, many kids love to revel in their later summer bedtime. When it comes to resettling in to a bedtime routine, it is best to ease into it, instead of jumping in all at once. For example, if your child gets to go to bed at 9:30 p.m. during summer break, you should reestablish their school bedtime gradually. Over the course of a week, make your kid's bedtime 15 minutes earlier each night until you land on your desired school week bedtime. If you don't make a sudden change in rules, your kids are way more likely to oblige and obey. Get all your supplies in order before the last weekend of summer Chaos will make for a stressed out kid, which is why you should make sure to stock up on school supplies before the last few days of summer. Your kids need time to unwind and relax before the school year whirls them away. For this reason, school supply shopping should be done before the Friday before the first day of school. Back-to-class outfits should be picked out and ready to wear, backpacks should be filled with all the items on your school supply list, and your mind will rest easy. Enjoy the last few days of summertime freedom without worrying about scrambling for last minute additions. Round out summer with some fun Say goodbye to summer with fun, low-key activities. Have a water balloon fight, run around in the sprinklers, wave around sparklers or make some s'mores. Celebrate a fun summer with your kiddos and enjoy spending some extra time with them. This will surely leave them with memories to cherish and something to look forward to next summer. Good luck, and have a great school year!