After three months of fun in the sun, it’s time to grab backpacks, go supply-shopping and round up your children, because it’s time to go back to school! This can be a chaotic time for a lot of parents, making it easy to forget essentials. Here’s a list of things you might have overlooked.

Make plans for before and after school. Research local after-school programs your child can participate in while one or both parents are working. Many Ys across the city and the suburbs offer before- and after-school care, as well as arts classes and sports programs to keep children entertained and engaged.

Set up a sleeping schedule. Summer vacation can mess up a child’s sleeping pattern, so make sure your children go to bed at a reasonable hour. Have them turn off phones and computers too as these are proven to make it harder to fall asleep.

Read up on what’s new with your child’s school. Check in with schools before classes begin to stay up-to-date with changes and new policies that may have taken place during the summer. An easy of doing this is visiting the school’s Facebook page or contacting the office directly.

Set yourself up for organizational success. Create a system for organizing clothes, supplies and food so that mornings are less chaotic. Check out these great meal ideas!

Go over your school supplies list. Double-check your list and review your child’s current items and equipment — see what needs to be bought, replaced or cleaned.

Make your home “homework friendly.” Structure can be hard to come by after a summer of fun, so set up a work area in your home — whether it’s a desk or the kitchen table — for doing homework and studying.

Make time to listen to your child. Ask your children to tell you how their day went, but do it in creative ways for more detailed answers.

Featured Photo Courtesy: YMCA of Metro Chicago