collected by NJ Kids from our valued readers. 

These last few days of summer suddenly crept up on me!  Just when I was thinking that I had a week left to continue the slow pace of summer and baste in the sun, Hurricane Irene takes the last week away. September's now here...with cool breezy mornings, back to school, and long gone is the beach weather!  What to do?  On one hand, I'm looking forward to routine, to the six full hours of concentration while the kids are at school, but on the other hand, I hate that other routine!  Hectic after school schedules with each day different, homework stress, school snack and lunch prep and all that insane driving around.  Yuk!!!  I'm urging to be that super organized mom again. Needed! Some helpful tips to prepare us mentally and physically so that we don't lose it.  

Well, our readers emailed some great pointers which we share with you.  Below are 25 answers that we collected, many revolving around pre planning the day before.  My kids are a bit older now, 8 years and 10 years, so I love #2, #11, #13, and #18  which were not as obvious to me. Love #19 the best!  Read on...

Top Back to school tips to help take the edge off - NJ Kids Readers, thank you for sharing!:

  1. “Pack everything the night before”. This was the most popular answer.
  2. “Teach the students how to cook and make their own snacks if they’re old enough”. This gives them responsibility. Why not organize a drawer with healthy snacks and food items and set aside one part of the refrigerator that belongs to them.
  3. “Set a timer in the am...”  Great idea since my daughter thinks there is endless time in the morning.
  4. “Lay kids clothes out the night before”. This makes complete sense especially when you have a child who can’t decide and loves going from outfit to outfit.  Have you thought about organizing and agreeing on what to wear for the WEEK rather than just day by day?
  5. “Make lunch the night before to avoid rushing in the morning”.  This can cut as much as 15 minutes. Another top tip.  
  6.  “Shop Walmart or Target”. They've thought out all the details!
  7. “Pre-read”. Always a smart idea. There’s so many things to remember or rather forget!  
  8. “Pack the book bag the night before”.  One major nuisance is when you forget the signed forms or homework sheet that’s due that day...